Sunday, August 19 at 2 p.m.
Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and
Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco
Audiences enjoyed the renowned San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Orchestra with conductor Giuseppe Finzi. The afternoon's program featured soprano Leah Crocetto, tenor Michael Fabiano, and more soloists performing a selection of operatic favorites.
Click here for the full program.
The performance was dedicated to the memory of Elise S. Haas, Festival Chair from 1956 to 1968.
Recognized as a rising star in the next generation of singers, Leah Crocetto represented the United States at the 2011 Cardiff BBC Singer of the World Competition where she was a finalist in the Song Competition. She is a 2010 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the First Place Winner, Peopleâ€™s Choice and the Spanish Prize Winner of the 2009 JosÃ© Iturbi International Music Competition, and winner of the Bel Canto Foundation competition. As a former Adler fellow with San Francisco Opera, Ms. Crocetto was heard in productions of Aida, Il trittico, and Cyrano de Bergerac . She has been featured by San Francisco Opera in their annual Opera in the Park concert, for which the San Francisco Chronicle said, â€œâ€¦outlandishly gifted soprano Leah Crocetto, who won the crowd over with a formidable account of â€œRegnava nel silenzioâ€ then sealed the deal with a limpid â€œO mio babbino caro.â€
Ms. Crocetto begins the 2012-2013 season with her debut in Venice, performing as Desdemona in Otello with the Teatro la Fenice. She reprises this role with the company in their tour of Japan later this season, as well as with Oper Frankfurt in her company debut. Ms. Crocetto also makes her debut with the Israel Opera as the title role of Luisa Miller. She joins the Calgary Philharmonic in performances of the Verdi Requiem.
This past season, Ms. Crocetto continued to make important debuts on stages around the world. She began the season in her role debut as LiÃ¹ in Turandot for San Francisco Opera, and was featured by the prestigious San Francisco Performances on their 32nd Annual Gala Concert. She made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in performances of Poulencâ€™s Gloria with Nicola Luisotti conducting, and debuted with Houston Grand Opera as Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia. Ms. Crocetto will make her debut with North Carolina Opera later this year as Leonora in Il trovatore. In the summer of 2012, she made her debut with The Santa Fe Opera as Anna in Rossiniâ€™s Maometto II in a new production by David Alden.
Ms. Crocettoâ€™s 2010â€“2011 season included her European debut as Leonora in Il trovatore with OpÃ©ra National de Bordeaux and performances of Verdiâ€™s Requiem with Columbus Symphony and Albany Symphony. She returned to her hometown for a gala concert of opera and musical theatre with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra and was featured in a gala opera concert with the Toronto Symphony. She finished the season with performances of Mahlerâ€™s Symphony No. 2 â€œResurrectionâ€ at the Grand Tetons Music Festival with Donald Runnicles, and Beethovenâ€™s Symphony No. 9 with Rafael FrÃ¼hbeck de Burgos and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl.
Ms. Crocetto began the 2009 â€“ 2010 with San Francisco Operaâ€™s production of Il Trittico in Suor Angelica and covered the roles of Leonora in Il trovatore and Desdemona in Otello. She joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for performances of Verdiâ€™s Requiem; a piece she prepared with Riccardo Muti for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also, she was featured in a Schwabacher Recital for the San Francisco Opera. Further concert performances included Pergolesiâ€™s Stabat Mater with San Francisco Opera and Nicola Luisotti, and Handelâ€™s Messiah in Anchorage.
Ms. Crocetto holds degrees from Siena Heights University in acting performance and Moody Bible Institute in vocal studies. She is a former member of the Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artists Program where she appeared in Le nozze di Figaro and in La Rondine. She was a member of San Francisco Operaâ€™s Merola Opera Program, where she performed scenes from Manon, Don Pasquale and sang the roles of two Verdi heroines, Luisa Miller and Leonora in Il trovatore on the Grand Finale Concert. Of this performance, San Francisco Chronicle said Crocetto has a â€œpowerful Verdi voice and formidable precision technique, and intensity that amplifies an already huge voice, and an innate, irresistible musicality.â€ San Francisco Classical voice said, â€œIn thirty years of exciting discoveries, listening to each group of Merolini for the first time, I have never experienced a singer as complete and awesome as Crocetto.â€
Michael Fabiano made operatic history last season when he became the first tenor to sing in the first live, 3-D simulcast of an opera in European history; portraying Gennaro in Donizettiâ€™s Lucrezia Borgia, produced by English National Opera and Sky ARTS. Considered one of the most important young talents in the world today, The Wall Street Journal wrote: â€œTenor Michael Fabiano as the son, Gennaro, shows why he is in such demand in the big opera houses.â€
A Grand Prize winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Fabiano is prominently featured in The Audition, the internationally released documentary about this competition. In the summer of 2011, Mr. Fabiano performed the Verdi Requiem at the Grant Park Music Festival. This season (2011/12), he made his debuts at the San Francisco Opera as Gennaro in Donizettiâ€™s Lucrezia Borgia, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere performances of the â€œPrologueâ€ to Shostakovichâ€™s opera Orango under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and at the Florida Grand Opera as the Duke in Rigoletto.
In addition, he performed in a staged performance of the Verdi Requiem at Oper KÃ¶ln, and will make his debuts at the Teatro Real as Christian in Alfanoâ€™s Cyrano de Bergerac, and in Vienna singing Elgarâ€™s The Dream of Gerontius with the Wiener Symphoniker. Last season (2010/11), Mr. Fabiano made his debuts at the Dresden Semperoper as the Duke in Rigoletto, at the Vancouver Opera and the AsociacÃon Bilbaina de Amigos de la Ã“pera in Bilbao as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and OpÃ©ra de Limoges as Rodolfo in La BohÃ¨me, and the OpÃ©ra National de Paris as Cassio in Otello. In addition, Mr. Fabiano sang Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia at ENO, performed his first Verdi Requiem with the Columbus Symphony, and was the soloist for â€œO Holy Nightâ€ during the nationally televised Midnight mass from St. Patrickâ€™s Cathedral on Christmas day.
In the summer of 2010, Mr. Fabiano sang at the FÃªte du Vin Festival in Bordeaux, France, and performed in Central Park as part of the Metropolitan Operaâ€™s Summer Recital Series. Mr. Fabiano made his London debut at English National Opera as the Duke in Rigoletto, his Metropolitan Opera debut as Raffaele in Verdiâ€™s Stiffelio, and sang Alfredo in La Traviata at the Teatro San Carlo, and Nemorino in Lâ€™Elisir dâ€™Amore at the Fort Worth Opera in the 2009/10 season.
The 2008/09 season, included Rodolfo in La BohÃ¨me which opened the 50th Anniversary Season of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and a concert performance of Respighiâ€™s La Fiamma at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Further highlights of Michael Fabianoâ€™s professional career include: his La Scala debut as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Rinuccio and the title role in Stravinskyâ€™s Mavra at the Greek National Opera, his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in La BohÃ¨me, and his first La Traviata performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Opera New Jersey; all accomplished during the 2007/08 season. Mr. Fabiano made his professional stage debut at the Klagenfurt Stadttheater in La Traviata in 2006, and his Carnegie Hall debut in 2007, as Don Antonio in Donizettiâ€™s Dom SÃ©bastiene with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Noted with success in numerous vocal competitions, Mr. Fabiano was awarded the 2009 Grand Prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, is the First Prize winner in the 2008 Opera Index Awards, the Grand Prize winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the First Place winner in the 2007 Loren Zachary Competition; the recipient of a 2007 George London Foundation Encouragement Award to a Tenor in Memory of James McCracken, a 2007 Sarah Tucker Study Grant, First Prize winner of the 2006 Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition, the JosÃ© Carreras Prize for the Best Tenor in the 2006 JuliÃ¡n Gayarre Competition in Pomplona, Spain, and the Grand Prize recipient of the 2005 Florida Grand Opera Competition Junior Division.
He is a graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
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