Backstage at San Francisco Opera > November 2013 > The Adlers in 2013: A Photo Recap
The Adlers in 2013: A Photo Recap
Tomorrow evening our phenomenally talented Adler Fellows will perform in their annual The Future is Now: Adler Gala Concert. Founded in 1977 as the San Francisco Affiliate Artists-Opera Program, Adler Fellowships are performance-oriented residencies for the most advanced young singers and coach/accompanists. Under the guidance of San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley and Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald, the Adler Fellowship Program offers intensive individual training and roles of increasing importance in San Francisco Opera's main-stage season.

As the year draws to a close for our Adlers, we want to take a moment to highlight some of their key roles in 2013. The Adler Fellows truly are the rising stars of opera, and you can say “You saw them here first!”

 The Secret Garden:

The Adlers featured prominently in this world-premiere family opera, creating the roles of Archibald Craven (Philippe Sly), Martha Sowerby (Laura Krumm), Susan Sowerby (Marina Harris), Mrs. Medlock (Erin Johnson), and Ben Weatherstaff (Ao Li). [Photos by Kristen Loken.]

Mrs. Medlock (Johnson) rebukes a young Mary Craven (portrayed by Sara Shafer) after picking her up from the train station.

Martha Sowerby (Krumm), Susan Sowerby (Harris), and Mrs. Medlock (Johnson) approach Archibald Craven (Sly) about giving Mary more freedom outdoors.

Martha  (Krumm) befriends Mary Craven.

Mary brings Archibald (Sly) to see the secret garden she has been cultivating.

The cast comes together in the culminating scene of The Secret Garden.
The Tales of Hoffmann

Baritone Joo Won Kang took on the role of Hermann in Offenbach's timeless tale of a man's endless pursuit of love, seen below to the right of Hoffmann (Matthew Polenzani). [Photos by Cory Weaver.]


Hermann (Kang) holds back the long-suffering bar owner Schlemil (baritone Hadleigh Adams).

Soprano Jacqueline Piccolino made her San Francisco Opera debut as Hoffmann's love, the glamorous opera singer Stella.

Cosi fan tutte
Bass-baritone Philippe Sly portrayed the amorous (and mischevious) soldier Guglielmo, wooing both Dorabella AND Fiordiligi in this summer's Mozart comedy.



The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

Four of our Adlers took on roles in this world-premiere opera by Mark Adamo. [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

Baritone Hadleigh Adams portrayed Simon, Mary Magdalene's earlier (and married) lover, as well as a Seeker and Follower of Yeshua.

Tenor A.J. Glueckert joined Adams as a Follower, in addition to portraying a Seeker and Preacher.

Mezzo-soprano Erin Johnson joined Glueckert as a Seeker, as well as a Girl in Yeshua's time.

Soprano Marina Harris created the role of Tamar, wife of Simon, as well as portraying a Seeker and Girl in Yeshua's time.


The fall season began in the grandest of fashions, with the long-awaited return of our iconic production of Mephistopheles, in which four Adlers took on roles. [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

Tenor Chuanyue Wang made his San Francisco Opera debut in the roles of Wagner, friend to Faust, and Nereo, a member of Elena's court.

Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier portrayed Pantalis, seen here with Patricia Racette as Elena.

Mezzo-soprano Erin Johnson played the feisty Marta, companion to the devil himself, Mephistopheles (Ildar Abdrazakov).


In selected performances, soprano Marina Harris portrayed the beautiful Elena, Queen of Troy.

Dolores Claiborne

A whopping six Adler Fellows took on roles in Tobias Picker's world premiere opera Dolores Claiborne, based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King. [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm, soprano Marina Harris, and soprano Jacqueline Piccolino join Patricia Racette and former Adler Fellow Nikki Enfeld as maids in the home of icy Vera Donovan.

Tenor A.J. Glueckert (far left) portrays well-to-do Mr. Knox and baritone Hadleigh Adams portrays Mr. Fox at a garden party at the home of Vera Donovan.

Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier took on the role of Meg Page, one of Falstaff's attempted conquests, in Falstaff, seen below with Ainhoa Arteta (Alice Ford) and Heidi Stober (Nannetta). [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

The Flying Dutchman

Mezzo-soprano Erin Johnson portrayed the task-master Mary in The Flying Dutchman. [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

Tenor A.J. Glueckert took on the role of the Steersman who falls asleep on his shift and misses the arrival of the Flying Dutchman.

The Barber of Seville and The Barber of Seville for Families

Baritone Ao Li portrayed Fiorello in the The Barber of Seville, with tenor A.J. Glueckert taking on the role of Ambrogio and baritone Hadleigh Adams the role of an Officer, seen below. [Photos by Cory Weaver.]

In The Barber of Seville for Families, nearly the entire cast was comprised of our wonderful Adlers.

Baritone Joo Wong Kang portrayed the wily barber, Figaro.

Mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm portrayed the lovestruck Rosina.

Soprano Marina Harris and baritone Ao Li played the comic roles of Berta and Don Basilio.

Bass-baritone Philippe Sly donned facial hair yet again to play the role of Rosina's guardian, Doctor Bartolo.

Finally, while they may not be on the main-stage, our Adler Fellow coaches/pianists play a truly vital role coaching and accompanying our Adlers, in addition to assisting the music staff on many of our productions. We are fortunate to have had Robert Mollicone and Sun Ha Yoon as the coaches and pianists in our 2013 Adler class. Mollicone was a pianist and a part of the music staff for The Secret Garden, The Tales of Hoffmann, Dolores Claiborne, The Flying Dutchman, and The Barber of Seville for Families. Yoon was a pianist and part of the music staff for The Secret Garden, Cosi fan tutte, The Barber of Seville, and The Barber of Seville for Families.

Coach/pianist Robert Mollicone accompanies soprano Marina Harris and mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier on a classroom visit as part of San Francisco Opera's ARIA Education program.

Coach/pianist Robert Mollicone, soprano Marina Harris (seated), and mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier visit a Bay Area classroom as part of San Francisco Opera's ARIA Education program.

Coach/pianist Sun Ha Yoon accompanies soprano Jacqueline Piccolino and baritone Joo Won Kang at a private opera event.

Coach/pianist Sun Ha Yoon accompanies mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm on a Bay Area classroom visit as part of San Francisco Opera's ARIA Education program.

A massive congratulations to our Adler Fellows and toi toi toi for your gala concert tomorrow!



Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.


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