Thursday, December 1, 2016

San Francisco Playhouse Strikes Gold With "She Loves Me"

When Susi Damilano came out on stage to introduce her latest SF Playhouse production, “She Loves Me,” the audience as told that opening night jitters were contained by exhaustive preparation.

“The cast and entire crew are so well rehearsed that we just want to raise the curtain and get started,” she said.

As Bay Area arts critics agree, she delivered on that promise, and more. A complete triumph in every regard.

Amalia Balash (Monqiue Hafen*) and Georg Nowack (Jeffrey Brian Adams*) in front of Maraczek’s parfumerie.

The musical direction by David Aaron Brown was exceptional, too, with a tight jazzy ensemble blowing off the rafters.

For those unfamiliar with the plot:

She Loves Me follows Amalia and Georg, two perfume shop clerks who don’t quite see eye to eye. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. After they each respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement” in the newspaper, they start to fall for their anonymous pen pals—but will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?

For more on SF Playhouse, check out past posts in Bay Crossings and this year's column. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Just in Time for the Holidays: The Adler Fellows Gala

One of the most widely anticipated events of the holiday season is coming, celebrating youth, glamour, peace, and fellowship.

San Francisco Opera Center presents the culminating concert of the 2016 Adler Fellowship season, The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Gala Concert, on Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. The concert showcases the acclaimed Adler Fellows from San Francisco Opera Center’s young artist training program in a gala concert of opera scenes and arias with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra led by Resident Conductor Jordi Bernàcer.

The Future Is Now features sopranos Julie Adams (Burbank, California), Amina Edris (Christchurch, New Zealand) and Toni Marie Palmertree (Fleetwood, Pennsylvania); mezzo-sopranos Zanda Švēde (Valmiera, Latvia) and Nian Wang (Nanjing, China); tenor Pene Pati (Auckland, New Zealand); baritone Edward Nelson (Santa Clarita, California); bass-baritones Matthew Stump (Goshen, Indiana) and Brad Walker (Lake Zurich, Illinois); bass Anthony Reed (Alexandria, Minnesota); and pianist/apprentice coaches Ronny Michael Greenberg (Montreal, Canada) and Jennifer Szeto (Calgary, Canada).

2016 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows. Photo: Matthew Washburn.

Julie Adams, Zanda Švēde, Nian Wang, Edward Nelson and Matthew Stump conclude their Adler Fellowships at the end of this year. Amina Edris, Toni Marie Palmertree, Pene Pati, Brad Walker, Anthony Reed, Ronny Michael Greenberg and Jennifer Szeto will return to the program as 2017 Adler Fellows. 2016 Adler Fellow Noah Lindquist concluded his pianist/apprentice coach fellowship earlier this year.

Named for former San Francisco Opera General Director Kurt Herbert Adler, the Adler Fellowship Program is a multi-year performance-oriented residency offering advanced young artists intensive individual training, coaching, professional seminars and a wide range of performance opportunities. Adler Fellows, who are selected from the participants of the Merola Opera Program, also gain valuable professional experience by performing supporting roles in San Francisco Opera’s mainstage productions. The prestigious resident artist training program has nurtured the development of more than 175 young artists since its inception.

Tickets and Information

Tickets for The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Gala Concert are priced from $30 to $65 and are available at or by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330. $15 Student Rush tickets will be sold on the day of the performance from 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera Box Office and from 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre Box Office with valid ID, subject to availability.  Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. For public transportation information, visit and