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Jubilate Orchestra Joins SF Urban Opera in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas

DidoAeneas_11x17The Jubilate Orchestra is providing the orchestra for performances this weekend of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The performances mark the launch of a new opera company in San Francisco called Urban Opera. Urban Opera is focused on “telling the beautiful, yet often improbable, stories of the classic operas in a compelling way for a modern audience.”

The cast features Kindra Scharich as Dido along with sopranos Kimarie Torre (Belinda), Milissa Carey (Sorceress), and Pamela Igelsrud (Second Woman); tenor Todd Wedge (Aeneas); and counter-tenors Cortez Mitchell (First Witch/Mercury) and Michael McNeil (Second Witch/Sailor). The orchestra is led by David Wilson, and includes Katherine Kyme, David Sego, Farley Pearce, John Dornenburg, and Phebe Craig.

Mark Rudio wrote about opening night in the San Francisco Cultural Events Examiner:

The last line in the program for Urban Opera’s Dido and Aeneas, is “If you like what you see, please make it a point to thank them [the performers].” Since I didn’t get a chance to do so at the performance’s conclusion, I’d like to publicly thank the entire cast, crew and the Jubilate Baroque Orchestra for putting on a damn fine show. It’s easy to be skeptical about the promise of a small company in a big opera town, but Urban Opera’s first time outing was more successful than it had any right to be.

From the article in th San Francisco Ambassador:

The first opera ever written in English, Dido and Aeneas features “A city that is destroyed by flames, sailors who come and go, and a tragic queen … [it’s going to be] very San Francisco.” Set against the Bay as a backdrop, Urban Opera is filling niche the City hasn’t had before now- opera geared toward an audience that feels equally at home at Black Rock City or the War Memorial. Three performances will be held beginning Friday night at The Urban Opera Art Space, located at 409 – 499 Illinois Street (@ 16th Street)in Mission Bay, San Francisco. All performances begin at 7:00 PM, and tickets are available here.
Urban Opera includes artists from San Francisco Lyric Opera, Chanticleer and Volti to bring the City something new: professional singers performing non-standard repertory in challenging new productions specific to the space and time in which they’re performed. The production is accompanied by The Jubilate Baroque Orchestra. Since the original music to the prologue has been lost, the production will begin with with a staged overture and spoken prologue, giving those of us who don’t completely remember the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid (and that’s most of us) the backstory before the action begins.
Directed by veteran Chip Grant, with costumes by Kue King, Urban Opera’s debut looks to be the most interesting event taking place over this busy weekend. Get yourself a ticket, or be doomed to lament missing it.

Tickets are available for performances tonight and tomorrow here.

The Jubilate Orchestra is a project of Magnificat, providing period instrument accompaniment and performance practice consultation to arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a repertoire ranging from Gabrieli to Pärt, Jubilate has performed over 300 times in the past two decades.