On Sunday, April 27 San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program conclude the 32nd season of the Schwabacher Debut Recitals with New Zealand tenor Pene Pati and pianist Sun Ha Yoon
. Together, they will present a program of recital favorites by Richard Strauss, Roger Quilter and Paolo Tosti, as well as a selection of songs from Pati’s native Samoa, for which he will accompany himself on guitar.
For those who don’t know the Schwabacher Debut Recitals
have been instrumental in launching the careers of internationally renowned artists like Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voight, Susan Graham, Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson since 1983. The recitals provide an opportunity for Bay Area audiences to experience exciting young talent perform a wide-ranging and eclectic repertoire of songs in an up-close and personal setting of the Martin Mayer Sanctuary
The season’s last recital will feature an extremely exciting young artist, one that prompted Opera Center Director of Sheri Greenawald to comment, “Pene has a bright, sunny, Italianate sound that is so reminiscent of Pavarotti that it makes us excited. He is also a larger than life Samoan rugby player, with one hell of a high C!”
The tenor is a 2013 Merola Opera Program
alumnus, a recipient of many of high profile awards and has performed with Auckland Opera Studio along with Auckland Chamber Orchestra and Hamilton Civic Choir. Though, a highlight of Pene’s career could be considered his involvement with the Samoan New Zealand vocal trio SOL3 MIO
. A combination of three powerful and moving operatic voices with a dash of irrepressible humor, SOL3 MIO is comprised of tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and their baritone cousin Moses Mackay. In 2013 Universal Music New Zealand released SOL3 MIO’s self-titled debut album, which spent 13 weeks at the top of the New Zealand charts and was the country's best-selling album in the year. The album went Gold in its first week and 5x Platinum in only 6 weeks, and Decca Records will release the album internationally in April 2014.
Take a look inside of SOL3 MIO:
Pene Pati performing at the Merola Grand Final 2013. Photo by Kristen Loken.