Zubin Mehta conducts Israel Philharmonic
MTT & Anne Sofie von Otter at SFS

Merola Behind the Scenes Event 2011

Adler Fellows, photo by Scott Grieder * Program *
"Je suis encore toute étourdie" from Manon
Sara Gartland, soprano and David Hanlon, piano

"Quando me'n vo" from La bohème
Sara Gartland, soprano and David Hanlon, piano

"Aprite un po' quegli occhi" from Le Nozze di Figaro
Ao Li, baritone and David Hanlon, piano

"O du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser
Ao Li, baritone and David Hanlon, piano

"Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" from Samson et Dalila
Maya Lahyani, mezzo-soprano and David Hanlon, piano

"O mio Fernando" from La Favorita
Maya Lahyani, mezzo-soprano and David Hanlon, piano

* Notes *
San Francisco Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald and San Francisco Opera Center Director of Musical Studies Mark Morash held an event (pictured above, photo by Scott Grieder) about how they cast and program the Merola Opera Program's Schwabacher Summer Concert. We got to hear three mock auditions given by current Adler Fellows Sara Gartland, Ao Li, and Maya Lahyani. Gartland sang "Je suis encore toute étourdie" with a lovely vulnerability. Greenawald and Morash noted the easy top of her voice and the quality of the passaggio. Gartland is a very fine actress, and this came out in her flirty "Musetta's Waltz."

Next came Ao Li, who sang Figaro's Act IV aria with beauty. Greenawald remarked that Li has a giant head, which is good for Wagner, and praised him for his legato and the gorgeous line of his voice. Li also sang Wolfram's moving aria from Act III of Tannhäuser.

Our last performer was the fiery Maya Lahyani, who started with Dalila's famous aria. Greenawald and Morash agreed she is a real mezzo and that she would not be singing Rosina or Cenerentola. Lahyani was compared to Tatiana Troyanos and was told she is a riveting actor, so perhaps she would be good for Baroque pieces. Lahyani also sang "O mio Fernando" with great feeling.

Greenawald and Morash picked 3 phantom singers to cast with, these being David Lomelí, Alek Shrader, and Ryan Kuster. From this they constructed a 60-70 minute program of scenes from Don Giovanni, Le Comte Ory, Il Puritani, The Rake's Progress, and La Favorita.

* Tattling *
Greenawald and Morash debated on the proper spelling of "Anne Trulove." As for the audience, man were quite engaged in the lively proceedings. There were some that were slightly restless, a few cellular phones rang, and a few left early.