Release date: 10/20/2011

The Bay Area celebrates the extraordinary career of mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade with one-night only tribute concert featuring Sir Thomas Allen, Zheng Cao, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Samuel Ramey, Richard Stilwell and other special guests.

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SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2011 – Frederica von Stade, one of the most renowned stars of the international opera world and concert stage, will be honored with a gala concert at the Herbst Theatre on Saturday, December 3, 2011. Presented by San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Performances, Cal Performances, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Celebrating Frederica von Stade will be a vibrant tribute to the life and extraordinary 40-year performance career of this universally acclaimed mezzo-soprano, arts advocate and music celebrity.
 
Joining Ms. von Stade on stage will be a roster of acclaimed artists and colleagues including sopranos Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Susannah Biller; mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham and Zheng Cao; baritones Sir Thomas Allen and Richard Stilwell; and bass Samuel Ramey. John Churchwell, Bryndon Hassman and award-winning composer Jake Heggie will provide musical accompaniment. The evening will also feature heartfelt remarks and recollections of working with Ms. von Stade, a longtime Bay Area resident who is affectionately known as “Flicka.” Opera stage director Bruce Donnell is the stage coordinator and veteran artist manager Matthew Epstein is the program consultant for this gala concert.
 
The musical program will reflect highlights of Frederica von Stade’s expansive performance and recording career, including arias from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria; songs by Ravel, Mahler, Poulenc and Berlioz; selections from works of American musical theater; and contemporary songs by Jake Heggie.
 
An intimate gala reception with the artists in the lobby of the War Memorial Opera House will follow the performance, with proceeds supporting two organizations dear to Ms. von Stade’s heart: University of California Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program and the St. Martin de Porres Catholic School in Oakland.
 
Tickets for the concert are $50, $75 and $100; tickets for the gala reception, which includes premium seating for the concert, are $500. Tickets for the concert and gala reception are available at sfopera.com or the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue, or by phone at (415) 864-3330.
 
Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for nearly four decades with her appearances in opera, concert and recital. She made her 1971 San Francisco Opera debut as Sextus (La Clemenza di Tito) with Spring Opera Theater and her main stage debut in 1972 as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), and has appeared with San Francisco Opera in more than a dozen roles, including Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande), Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Countess Geschwitz (Lulu) and the title roles of La Sonnambula, La Cenerentola, and The Merry Widow. She created two roles in world premiere productions by San Francisco Opera: Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons and Mrs. Patrick de Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; she also created the role of Madeline Mitchell in Jake Heggie’s chamber opera Three Decembers, presented in its West Coast premiere by San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances in 2008. Known as a bel canto specialist, von Stade is also beloved in the French repertoire, including the title role of Offenbach’s La Périchole. She is also a favorite interpreter of the great “trouser” roles, from Strauss’s Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Octavian to Mozart’s Sextus, Idamante (Idomeneo), and Cherubino. Von Stade’s artistry has inspired the revival of neglected works such as Massenet’s Chérubin, Ambroise Thomas’s Mignon, Rameau’s Dardanus, and Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, and she has garnered critical and popular acclaim in her vast French orchestral repertoire, including Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été and Canteloube’s Les Chants d’Auvergne. She is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts, and has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Von Stade was appointed as an officer of France’s L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at the White House by President Reagan. She holds five honorary doctorates.
 
CELEBRATING FREDERICA VON STADE
Presented by San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Performances, Cal Performances,
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and San Francisco Conservatory of Music
 
Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.                                       Herbst Theatre
                                                                                                                 War Memorial Veterans Building
                                                                                                                 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Featuring:
Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano
Susannah Biller, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, sopranos
Zheng Cao, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, mezzo-sopranos
Sir Thomas Allen, Richard Stilwell, baritones
Samuel Ramey, bass
John Churchwell, Bryndon Hassman, Jake Heggie, pianists
 
Frederica von Stade, one of the most renowned and beloved stars of the international opera world and concert stage, will be honored with a gala concert celebrating the extraordinary 40-year performance career of this universally acclaimed mezzo-soprano, arts advocate and music celebrity. The very special one-night only concert will feature von Stade and a dazzling array of artists in a program reflecting highlights of von Stade’s expansive performance and recording career, including arias from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria; songs by Ravel, Mahler, Poulenc and Berlioz; selections from American musical theater; and contemporary songs by Jake Heggie. An intimate gala reception with the artists in the lobby of the War Memorial Opera House will follow the performance, with proceeds supporting University of California Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program and the St. Martin de Porres Catholic School in Oakland.
 
Tickets & Information: 
Tickets for the concert only are $50, $75 and $100; tickets for the gala reception, which includes premium seating for the concert, are $500. Tickets for the concert and gala reception are available at sfopera.com or the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), or by phone at (415) 864-3330. Program and artists are subject to change. For further information, visit sfopera.com.