Release date: 6/22/2010

San Francisco Opera Celebrates Independence Day at Stern Grove Festival with a Concert Featuring Patricia Racette, John Relyea, San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus Conducted by Ian Robertson

Photos Available
SAN FRANCISCO (June 22, 2010) — San Francisco Opera returns to the beautiful outdoor setting of Sigmund Stern Grove on Sunday, July 4 at 2 p.m. for “A Celebration of American Music” at Stern Grove Festival, located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. This annual admission-free concert is one of San Francisco Opera’s most popular community engagements, attracting thousands of Bay Area opera lovers.
 Soprano Patricia Racette and bass-baritone John Relyea, both of whom are currently starring in the Company’s production of Gounod’s Faust, will join the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a concert of American favorites by George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Jerome Kern and Carlisle Floyd, among others. Both former members of the San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellowship Program, Relyea and Racette will be joined by current Adler Fellows Susannah Biller, Leah Crocetto, Sara Gartland, Brian Jagde and Austin Kness.
San Francisco Opera Chorus Director Ian Robertson leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a program that includes orchestral and choral selections from Jerome Kern’s Show Boat and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land as well as Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody, and a fanciful arrangement of familiar songs by George M. Cohan entitled "Patriotic Fantasy." Highlights include Patricia Racette singing “Ain’t It A Pretty Night?” from Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah; John Relyea singing “Ol’ Man River” from Show Boat; “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Leah Crocetto and John Relyea; and “Glitter and be Gay” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide sung by Susannah Biller. A pre-concert lecture will take place at 12 p.m. in Stern Grove’s Trocadero Clubhouse.
San Francisco Opera’s performance at Stern Grove Fetival is sponsored by the Patricia Yakutis Endowment Fund and the Hendrickson Family in memory of J. Scott Hendrickson, Supernumerary.
All Stern Grove Festival concerts begin at 2:00 p.m. at Sigmund Stern Grove, located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. All Stern Grove Festival events are ADMISSION-FREE; no tickets are required.
Stern Grove Festival is accessible by MUNI bus and metro lines and concert-goers are encouraged to use public transportation. Due to construction at St. Francis Circle, MUNI Metro service beyond West Portal Station will be impacted. Patrons can take lines K, L or S to West Portal Station, transfer to an M Ocean View Bus or K Ingleside Bus, and exit at the first stop at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. Patrons are advised to allow for extra travel time. Visit for updates.
Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early for the best lawn seating and may bring picnics, low beach chairs, and ground covers. Tall chairs, beach umbrellas, and pets are prohibited in Stern Grove during concerts. Blankets and groundcovers are restricted in size to 8x10 feet due to space limitations. Unoccupied blankets are subject to removal. Designated benches are reserved for seniors over the age of 65 and disabled persons with one guest until 30 minutes prior to concert time. To ensure the safety and comfort of patrons at each performance, the concert meadow will be closed to further entry if capacity is reached. Patrons are not guaranteed seating in the meadow.
Free shuttle service within the Grove is provided to seniors and disabled patrons and a drop-off area is located at the entrance to the park at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. A limited number of handicapped parking spaces are available at the 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard entrance to the park.
Picnics are welcome and food and drinks are available from the Grove Café. Festival merchandise and artist CDs are for sale at the Festival Shop. Sigmund Stern Grove is a 33-acre recreation area with meadows, picnic facilities, hiking trails, and a lake. The audience is advised to come prepared for both sun and fog.