San Francisco Opera Center Stages The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Concert

Release date: 11/19/2019    


The 2019 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship culminates on December 6 with a year-end concert at the Herbst Theatre, featuring conductor Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra

Tickets available at and (415) 864-3330

Adler Concert 2019.pdf  Photos Available

For its final concert of the year, San Francisco Opera Center will showcase the talents of the 2019 class of Adler Fellows in The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Concert on Friday, December 6, at 7:30pm.

Held in the historic Herbst Theatre, this annual concert celebrates the artistry of the Adler Fellows, a group of top young performers, coaches, pianists and directors selected for residencies at San Francisco Opera. The program will also feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by Eun Sun Kim.

The night’s performers include sopranos Mary Evelyn Hangley and Natalie Image; mezzo-sopranos Ashley Dixon and Simone McIntosh; countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen; tenors SeokJong Baek, Zhengyi Bai, Christopher Colmenero, and Christopher Oglesby; and bass-baritone Christian Pursell.

Together, these Adler Fellows will be performing a range of opera scenes, arias and duets from works including Puccini’s Tosca, Verdi’s Don Carlo, Handel’s Ariodante, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Massenet’s Le Cid and Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment.

Adler Fellow pianist/coaches Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad and César Cañón will provide accompaniment on the harpsichord and contribute musical preparation for the concert, in conjunction with San Francisco Opera music staff.

Founded in 1977, the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship Program offers a multi-year, performance-oriented residency to promising young artists selected from the Merola Opera Program. During their residency, fellows receive intensive, individualized vocal training, foreign language instruction, coaching, professional seminars and performance opportunities.

Adler Fellows have provided starring or supporting performances in each of San Francisco Opera’s 2019 mainstage productions, including Carmen, Orlando, Rusalka, Romeo and Juliet, Billy Budd, The Marriage of Figaro, Manon Lescaut, and Hansel and Gretel. They have also worked as cover artists and appeared in 2019 events like the annual Opera in the Park concert and the Schwabacher Recital Series.

This year’s concert will mark the final performance as Adler Fellows for Mary Evelyn Hangley, Natalie Image, Ashley Dixon, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, SeokJong Baek, Christian Pursell and César Cañón. Adler Fellows Kseniia Polstiankina Barrad, Simone McIntosh, Zhengyi Bai, Christopher Colmenero and Christopher Oglesby will return for a second year with the fellowship in 2020.

Conductor Eun Sun Kim returns to lead the 2019 The Future Is Now concert. Following her North American debut leading La Traviata at Houston Grand Opera, Kim was named the company’s first Principal Guest Conductor in twenty-five years. Her first appearance with San Francisco Opera leading last summer’s production of Rusalka was hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a company debut of astonishing vibrancy and assurance,” drawing “glorious playing” from the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.


The Adler Fellowship is renowned for launching the careers of top international artists like Ruth Ann Swenson, Brian Asawa, Patricia Racette, Sean Panikkar, Zheng Cao, Deborah Voigt and more. More than 180 young artists have passed through the program.

Adler Fellowship alumni currently appearing in our 2019–20 season include sopranos Nadine Sierra (Romeo and Juliet) and Amina Edris (Romeo and Juliet); mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack (Partenope); tenors Brian Jagde (Manon Lescaut), Alek Shrader (Partenope) and Pene Pati (Romeo and Juliet); baritone Lucas Meachem (Romeo and Juliet); and bass-baritones Bojan Knežević (The Marriage of Figaro) and Philip Skinner (Romeo and Juliet, Billy Budd and Manon Lescaut).

Originally known as the San Francisco Affiliate Artists Opera Program, the program was renamed in 1982 to honor the general director under whom it was founded, Kurt Herbert Adler. The Future Is Now concert has been an annual event since 2004.

*For the complete press release, including full program, please view the attached PDF.