Lively Foundation Creates Community: Embarcadero Publishing

This article appeared in Our Neighborhoods: Mountain View and Los Altos, December, 2019, a magazine published by the Embarcadero Publishing Co., which publishes the Mountain View Voice, Palo Alto Weekly, Menlo-Atherton Almanac newspapers. Lively thanks Embarcadero Publishing for recognizing The Lively Foundation as a leader in creating community and selecting us to represent our community.

The first thing Leslie Friedman notices when she enters a room is the floor. Wooden? Concrete? Tiled? Her dancer’s eye is always looking for good floors for dancing. She is also always searching  for ways her work can serve the community. She brings people together to dance, to enjoy dance, to learn about our many cultures, and about each other. Her dance succeeds at building community.
As an internationally touring performer, choreographer, and artistic director of the nonprofit Lively Foundation that operates in Old Mountain View, her deep passion for life and her art energizes her choreography and performances. She is first American dancer or artist of any kind to perform with joint sponsorship of the US State Department and host countries around the world. These “firsts” include performances in Moscow and Leningrad/St. Petersburg, Russia; Beijing, Shenyang, and Shanghai, China; Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Poznan, Poland; New Delhi, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai (Madras), India; Bucharest, Romania; Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt; Tunis, Tunisia, and more. Her performances in these cities plus London, Tokyo, Toronto, Seoul, were all given ovations and invitations to return.
She stirs up artistic presence on the Peninsula by inviting renowned dancers to teach and  perform in the annual International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley that she hosts in Mountain View.

Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman
First launched in 2012, the week long festival seeks to create performance opportunities for professional dance artists, offers intensive training for dancers and dance students, and invites the whole community to experience dance in professional performance. “Some audience members would be dance lovers, for some it would be their first time watching, for all we hope to give them the excitement and beauty of dance,” says Leslie. The Festival also attracts adults aged 15 and up to classes in a wide variety of dances and  exposes them to the new choreography created by the teaching artists.  Performances and classes include traditional dances from many cultures flourishing in the Bay Area: Irish set dancing, Salsa, Polish folk dance, Mexican Folclorico, Afro-Haitian, several kinds of classical Indian dances, classical Chinese dance. These are in addition to Ballet, Tap, Line Dances, Contemporary, Jazz, and Ballroom dances.

Crystal Bella Chen and Oscar Adrian Rodriguez perform Ballroom dance in the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, 2019

“There is a rich variety of movement styles available for our open Master Classes on the Festival’s Full Day of Dance©,” says Leslie, “We encourage everyone to do what they love and also try something new.” All the classes are mixed levels. That includes beginners and pros.
“A ballerina will have an opportunity to learn Afro-Haitian Dance and love it as a beginner in the class. A complete beginner might have a wonderful time in Line dances or find a gift for Tap,” Friedman explains. “Professional dancers can showcase their work here. It gives them new audiences, a chance  to demonstrate and develop their art.”
Through the IDF@SV, Friedman said she hopes to bring the diversity of arts of different origins while involving the community in dance. She also believes it is possible and important that everyone finds a way to move that they enjoy enough to keep doing.
“Move whatever moves, wiggle whatever wiggles,” she said. “If my work inspires someone to keep moving, wow!”
]ennifer Urmson, a mother of two boys, was happy to endorse the way Leslie Friedman and The Lively Foundation build community. She started taking Friedman’s weekly ballet classes when a friend invited her two years ago. “I had not been dancing for a very long time, and I was nervous about the idea of doing ballet as an adult,” Urmson said, adding that as a child, she was told ballet was for bodies of a certain shape. “But Leslie is wonderful as a teacher, very open and supportive. I was really pleased that after a couple of lessons, I felt myself getting stronger and improving my balance.”
Within Jennifer’s class there was a woman in her early 20s, other moms, and retirees. A few of them were organize activities for their dance class friends outside class, such as going together to attend a ballet performance at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
Urmson said whether you attend several classes or take part in a single workshop at the Festival, The Lively Foundation seems to have a way of connecting people.
“Months after the dance Festival, you’ll hear people exchanging highlights from the event when they run into one another around town,” she said. “Even if it’s just one class, you see a different side of people. You feel you know them better.” For more information about the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, contact livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net
­—Esther Young, 2019; photo of Leslie Friedman demonstrating a movement for Julie Van Gelder, private student and Festival participant, by Magali Gauthier

The Dancer’s Garden: How to buy it!

Thank you all for your queries about buying The Dancer’s Garden. Your interest is profoundly appreciated. Here is how to buy it:

Choose which edition you prefer. Both have the complete text and more than 60 full color photos by the author, Leslie Friedman, plus 10 by photographer, Jonathan Clark, and one by actor Dennis Parks. Both are printed on fine, glossy paper. Both are hard back books.

Version A:  Costs $45. That price includes tax and mailing cost.

Version B: Costs $75. It is printed on extra heavy paper. It comes with a photographic print by Jonathan Clark. It is signed and suitable for framing. It also can fit into the book. The price  includes tax and mailing cost.

Please mail a check made out to The Lively Foundation to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Avenue/Mountain View, CA 94041-1941

We will send you The Dancer’s Garden right away. Thank you again!

 

Artist in Residence: Dr. Leslie Friedman, Dancer, Choreographer, Writer

This is an article by author Don McPhail. It appeared in the November issue of OMVNA (vol. 31, Number 4) which covers the Old Mountain View, CA area.

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: Dr. Leslie Friedman, Dancer, Choreographer, Writer

With quiet energy and a generous nature, Leslie Friedman is a local treasure. Her willingness to share and motivate other is distinctive. Residents who have participated in Leslie’s dance classes or the International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley which she founded and directs may be surprised to learn that this same unselfish teacher is an award winning, world-renowned dancer and ambassador of art. All of Leslie’s classes, the Festival, and other Lively Foundation events take place at Mountain View’s Masonic Lodge, in the heart of Old Mountain View.

Leslie Friedman’s extraordinary background is documented on The Lively Foundation’s website/blog  www.livelyfoundation.org   Leslie’s remarkable career as a dancer and choreographer has earned her acclaim from audiences and critics alike on four continents. She has performed with the support of the US State Department and host countries in Russia, China, India,England, Spain, Poland, Egypt, South Korea, Japan, and more. A writer and former history professor, she received her Ph.D. in Modern British History from Stanford. She taught at Stanford, Vassar, and Case Western Reserve before returning to dance professionally.

An invitation to introduce American modern dance to the artists of India’s National School of Drama led to a Fulbright Lectureship to support her work and travel. Beginning at Viswa Bharati University, home of Tagore, India’s Nobel winning poet, she performed across India: new Delhi, Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta, and Jaipur. Her work was so well received that each place invited her back for more performances.

Representatives of Indian arts institutions, US consulates or Fulbright in India took her to the next plane or train, but she traveled as she danced: solo. She was welcomed by people with whom she maintains long friendships. On China or Bulgaria she says, “I met wonderful individuals and learned so much.”

The success of her first India trips led to more. She performed and taught in Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Tunisia on that journey. Word of her beautiful dancing and ability to relate to new people and places spread, leading to more journeys touring her art. Next: Budapest, Pecs, and Gyor, Hungary; Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; Moscow and Leningrad, USSR. She knew these were peak experiences and was thrilled to be doing what she loved for appreciative, knowledgeable audiences.

The US State Department and The Place, London’s foremost theater for modern dance, co-sponsored her performances there. She taught her choreography to London’s Ballet Rambert. In China, she taught modern dance and created choreography for the national ballet academies: Beijing, Shenyang, and Shanghai. She introduced modern dance to Poland’s national ballets, making four extensive trips to Poland and Romania performing and choreographing.

Lively Foundation Artistic Director Leslie Friedman

She continued performing concerts across the US and the Bay Area. She and her company performed education performances about the the Gold Rush for thousands of students from San Jose to Marin. She created several firsts: concerts honoring the many holidays at year’s end; benefit concerts for breast cancer patients; Heroic, Beloved, a concert for Women’s History Month performed in multiple states’ universities and arts centers.

For this writer, Leslie Friedman’s delight in sharing her art is most inspiring see in the context of tumultuous historic events going on around her as she keeps dancing.

Current bookThe Dancer’s Garden, published in April, 2019

Current project: International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, Founder & Artistic Director

MIKA SHIGEMATSU: A Lively Tribute

The Lively Foundation salutes our friend, opera singer Mika Shigematsu. She passed away in October, 2019, so soon after receiving a cancer diagnosis, in September. A mezzo-soprano cheered in performances around the world, The Lively Foundation featured an interview with her in the first issue of The Hedgehog, the international arts review, November, 1996. Ms Shigematsu came to San Francisco early in her career and flourished in the Merola program and as an Adler Fellow of the San Francisco Opera. Here is the cover of the issue with the title article: NEW FACES OF OPERA, the introduction, and the interview. It brings tears to our eyes.

NEW FACES OF OPERA  That beautiful voice you hear singing in Italian may well have come from Osaka, Shanghai, or Atlanta. New voices are revising the operatic images of old: an enormous woman in blonde pigtails and brass breastplates or a handsome, but too well-fed tenor. Opera has grown more popular around the world and through the US. Accessibility through good recordings and TV has created an interest in the extravagant art form and led singers from diverse origins into major American opera companies. Leslie Friedman introduces you to three young singers to watch.*

MIKA SHIGEMATSU: Mika Shigematsu remembers the exact moment she decided to become an opera singer. Watching TV at home in Osaka, she turned the channel to NHK, the national station. The Japanese government broadcast Italian opera from La Scala once every four years, and she had switched it on at just the right time. There were no musicians in her family, no one knew opera, but she decided she must do it.

She played koto and sang in a choir, but she knew she had to learn more. Her school music teacher told her she would need to attend Osaka College of Music. Suddenly, she “needed voice lessons, piano, many tests to enter.” Her family “just hated it” and told her to forget it, but she was persistent. There was only one chance to pass for music college, and she made it.

Looking back, Shigematsu sees the evolution of her own voice. Her success came from working very hard, but also from a breakthrough in understanding how to use her body and voice together to build a new technique. She was not a star in college and took additional lessons to improve. She joined Kansai Nikikai Opera after graduation, but felt that her roles — major ones like Venus in Tannhauser –were not right for her.

She almost gave up. She told her mother she would enter a major competition and either win or quit. She recalls working terribly hard and being embarrassed because she did so poorly. In the process of preparing for the contest, she felt something entirely new develop between her “brain and body.” Rather than quit, she continued and won first prize the next year. She was the first mezzo-soprano to win in 24 years.

She came to the United States in 1989 on a Japanese government scholarship. She studied in New York, where she found part of her training came from hearing many fine artists in concert almost every day. She says her “ear was learning.” Although she was supposed to return after one year, she told her teacher and opera company she would become even better if she stayed longer.

An audition for the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program was “the key,” says Mika, that opened many stage doors for her–not only to performance opportunities, but “letting me see what I need in the real world.” She was in the Merola training/performing program twice and became an Adler Fellow in 1994, performing the role of Emilia in Rossini’s Otello.

Mika feels that Japanese students may make a mistake by going to Europe for study instead of to the United States. This is where she found real opportunities “to grow, to have the water and sun I need to sing.”

Mika Shigematsu

This sprightly young woman with extraordinary vocal power walked through the huge hall of San Francisco’s Opera House before its closing. She claimed that when she first arrived she felt overwhelmed by the place. To Mika Shigematsu’s audience, it seems just the right size for her. (Future performances include debuts in Seattle as Cherubino in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and in Genoa as Charlotte in WERTHER. She appears as Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SEVIGLIA in Tokyo and San Francisco.)

*Pictured on the cover are Scenes from San Francisco Opera productions, clockwise from lower left: Zheng Cao as the Kitchen Boy in Rusalka, with tenor Michel Senechal as the Gamekeeper (1995); St Petersburg Maryinsky Theater Acrobatic Troupe in Fiery Angel (1994); Mika Shigematsu as Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with tenor Roberto Sacca as Count Almaviva (1996); Pam Dillard as Mercedes in Carmen (1996). Interviews with Pamela Dillard and the late Zheng Cao also in The Hedgehog, Vol. 1, No. 1.

Photos courtesy of San Francisco Opera: cover page photos, upper & lower left, Marty Sohl; upper & lower right, Larry Merkle; Mika Shigematsu, Lisa Kohler.

 

The Dancer’s Garden: Great Review (first published review, too)

The Dancer’s Garden by Leslie Friedman (The Lively Foundation, 2019)

This is a wonderful, quirky, perky series of ruminations on gardens, flowers, plants, trees, cats, people, indeed life. It has magnificent photographs mostly taken by the author herself but also some by her husband, the distinguished photographer and printer, Jonathan Clark, the proprietor of that fine private press, appropriately named The Artichoke Press. Leslie herself, a member of the Institute, is well-known primarily as a dancer and choreographer but is also a fine historian. Some years ago, to an extent sidelined by hip problems, she decided to turn more attention to her garden in Mountain View. In this delightful book she tells us about the various growing things, mostly flowers, that she deals with, their characteristics, difficulties and rewards. She and Jonathan expand their horizons, coping with so many growing things, not only flowers but pine, apple, and orange trees. They rescue abandoned cacti from the neighborhood. The author has an amazingly direct way of dealing with what she is putting into the earth, the satisfactions and beauty (so wonderfully captured in the photographs) when they flourish; the sadness when they die. She makes being a gardener such an immediate, connected, and personal matter.

In the text, Leslie recounts her adventures with a wide range of growing things, most vividly oxalis, chrysanthemums, poppies, narcissus, camellias, primroses, magnolia, all beautifully illustrated. She is very insightful on how to deal with all these and other growing objects, and how they can be menaced by birds, notably crows, as well as by cats, humans, too much water and too little water. There is such a splendid sense of engagement with the ambitious enterprise of having a garden. As she writes towards the end of the text about fruit (but it may be about any of the myriad aspects of nature that she has nurtured): “When I had acquired my first new hip, my first foray into the garden was to see the apple blossoms. The apples would arrive later than the peaches. The oranges come when we run out of apples. We change partners, but it is the same dance.” Leslie Friedman has choreographed a garden and other growing things much as she has both performed and created dance. As she concludes her book: “It is a wonder.” It is an exhilarating read.   Peter Stansky, Frances & Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University. Professor Stansky is the author of many books, most recent is Leonard Woolf: Bloomsbury Socialist ( Oxford University Press, 2019) with co-author, Fred Leventhal This review appeared in the journal of the Institute of Historical Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2, Fall, 2019

For information about purchasing the book, please contact The Lively Foundation, livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net

 

Merola Grand Finale: LIVELY AT THE OPERA

The Lively Foundation was delighted to invite our music loving friends to attend the GRAND FINALE of the Merola Opera at the SF Opera House. Every voice was extraordinary on August 17 when our Lively group of twelve attended. Through their Merola months, the artists perform full length operas, the Schwabacher Concerts of select opera acts, and recitals. The Grand Finale is their graduation celebration. Their performances are with the full San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

In the Grand Finale, the “Merolini” perform a selection of arias, choruses and groups. In some “greatest hits” performances, there will be one or two pieces which are fabulous and maybe one or two which do not please. Each audience member might have his or her favorite or least favorite. In this performance, each presentation truly made the audience open eyes wide, catch the breath, and applaud. The applause only slowed because the next selection would begin a few breaths after the previous one ended. The program presented the song in its setting, so each selection is performed in the dramatic context of the opera from which it came. This allowed the performers to engage in their characters and show the audience their acting ability. It was done so successfully that for the time of that scene the audience experienced the pain or joy in the moment of the story.

Named in honor of the first director of the San Francisco Opera, Gaetano Merola, the program brings singers who are already beginning their careers to San Francisco for twelve weeks of intensive training and performing. Merola is widely considered among the finest training programs in the world. International stars launched by Merola include Ruth Ann Swenson, Susan Graham, Deborah Voight, Anna Netrebko, Dolora Zajick, Brian Asawa, Rolando Villazon, Thomas Hampson, Quinn Kelsey, Conductor Patrick Summer and so many more.

Among memorable moments were Alice Chung, Mezzo-Soprano, as Gertrude and Timothy Murray, Baritone, as Hamlet, Stefan Egerstrom, Bass, as the Spectre, in Hamlet by Thomas. (L to R) Timothy Murray and Alice Chung

Ms Chung’s presence was powerful even as Mr Murray castigated her for the death of her husband, Hamlet’s father. Their voices gave the Mother-Son relationship a new dimension beyond the usual lascivious Queen and up-tight Prince. Esther Tonea, Soprano, as Fiordiligi; Michael Day, Tenor, as Ferrando; and Edward Laurenson, Baritone, as Don Alfonso, gave Non son cattivo cornico…L’abito di Ferrando sara buono per me…Fra gli amplessi from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti the lilting, teasing buoyancy of this opera of practical jokes in the war of the sexes.

(L to R) Esther Tonea and Michael Day

A tense scene from Maria Stuarda, by Donizetti, had all 2,000 listeners on the edges of their seats. Chelsea Lehnea, Soprano, sang Elisabetta (Queen Elizabeth I of England); Salvatore Atti, Tenor; Conte di Leicester; Rafael Porto, Baritone, Lord Cecil. The Queen cannot make up her mind: should she sign the execution order and have Mary, Queen of Scots killed or not? As the threesome debates the political pros and cons of allowing Mary to live or killing her, the voices soared. It was a gut wrenching and magnificent experience demonstrating the expressive and musical gifts of opera.

In a lighter scene, Elisa Sunshine, Soprano, sang Marie, in Donizetti’s La Fille du regiment (Daughter of the Regiment) and Andrew Dwan, Bass-Baritone, was Sulpice, who acts as her adoptive father. Both voices were outstanding. Ms Sunshine surely deserves her last name. Her actions as well as her musicality made her performance an absolute delight. What can I do now? Running up against a word limit when the Grand Finale’s incredible artists have not all been given their well deserved salutes? A rush to mention more does not do them justice. Hat’s off to Laureano Quant, Baritone, who sang Sir Riccardo Forth from Bellini’s I Puritani, Kneeling, down stage center, he reached into our hearts. Brandon Scott Russell, Tenor, sang the Prince from Dvorak’s Rusalka with a voice and presence that were surely royal; Jeff Byrnes, Baritone, was Germont, the father trying to spare Alfredo, his son, sung by Salvatore Atti, Tenor, who has lost himself to Violetta, in Verdi’s La Traviata. Mr. Byrnes, with a baritone which gets that musical term “burnished,” makes the father figure sympathetic. His distress is in his voice as the foolish lover, besotted Mr. Atti, his son, runs after that woman.

Keep track of these names! Soon you will see them perform around the US and the world. How exciting to be able to say, I was there when Anne-Marie MacIntosh sang Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, or Brennan Blankenship sang Stephano in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Cara Collins, Anna Dugan, Victor Starsky, Amber R. Monroe, Hyeree Shin, Patricia Westley, Edith Grossman, Nicholas Huff. Each one a star. No kidding, keep this list!

GARDEN BOOK: The Dancer’s Garden by Leslie Friedman

The Lively Foundation is proud to announce the publication of The Dancer’s Garden, a new book by Lively’s Artistic Director, Leslie Friedman. It is a beautiful hardback book with text and more than 60 full color photographs by the author.

Cover photos are by internationally admired photographer, Jonathan Clark.

“Neighbors, strangers, cats, flowers, weeds, trees appear in the garden and in my memory. I meet time through lives in the garden, including my own.” Dancer/choreographer Leslie Friedman writes about her humorous, informative, piquant experiences in gardening, dance, and life.  Friedman’s groundbreaking solo dance performances have been acclaimed worldwide. She holds a Ph.D. in History from Stanford, and an A.B. summa cum laude from Vassar College. Her writing has been published in the US, France, India, and Poland.

This limited-edition book is now available from The Lively Foundation. Hard back printed on fine, glossy paper. Price: $45 (this price includes postage). Special edition on heavier paper with signed photographic print by Jonathan Clark, $75 (this price includes postage). There are now only 12 of the book plus print edition. To buy The Dancer’s Garden, contact  livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net

FERLINGHETTI’S 100th BIRTHDAY! GET THE POSTER!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s birthday is March 24. Just a few days ago he turned 100. Celebrate this great life landmark with an exclusive poster designed by Jonathan Clark. His birthday is also March 24th! but not his 100th. Not yet. The poster is colorful with a strong image of Lawrence’s painting. Buy one now for yourself and another as a gift. It was a limited edition poster of which Jonathan is offering some of what he has in his own collection.  In 1994, Jonathan –Lively’s technical director as well as an internationally acclaimed photographer and fine art printer—was the Chair of the Visual Arts Committee for the City of Mountain View, CA. He organized and presented the first major exhibition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s paintings. Well known as a poet and publisher, Ferlinghetti’s visual art was not well known. Soon after the exhibition in the Mountain View City Hall, the exhibition moved to San Francisco to be shown in The Lively Foundation’s new studio at the corner of Grove and Gough Street, just a block from the SF Ballet and the SF Opera House. It was Lawrence’s 75th Birthday Party and our opening; a great day with a great crowd of art lovers and many who were devoted to Lawrence’s role in the cultural life of San Francisco.

Original poster. It is 18″ x 24″

Cost for one poster is $18. If we mail it to you, cost is $25; that includes mailing tube and postage. Yes, that really is the postage. This is a real deal. You will not find this anywhere else, and it is terrific. Email us at livelyfoundation.org   Let us know your name, address and how many posters you would like. This is first come, first served. Mail a check made out to Jonathan Clark to Jonathan Clark, 550 Mountain View Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94041-1941. You will love having this historic poster celebrating an individual who is a significant cultural force and who has done so much for many artists. Do it today!

International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, 2019:HERE WE GO!

The Lively Foundation is excited to announce the dates and events of International Dance Festival@Silicon Valley, 2019. OUR 8TH SEASON! This year, IDF@SV takes place in May. The Full Day of Dance© will be on Saturday, May 18. First class begins at 10 a.m. Last class ends at 5 p.m. The Festival Concert will be on Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m. ALL EVENTS take place at the Mountain View Masonic Center, 890 Church Street, Mountain View, CA 94041. There is free parking on the street around the Center and in the parking lot behind the building. It is also an easy walk from CalTrain.

FULL DAY OF DANCE© You may take any number of classes, but for the BEST DEAL & THE MOST FUN: TAKE THEM ALL! Ballroom (Cha Cha and Waltz), Ballet, Etta’s Electric Line Dances, Pilates mat, Tap. The best teachers anywhere, all of them are established, acclaimed artists in their own movement styles and all of them are devoted teachers. No partner for Ballroom? No problem; partners will be provided by the teachers. Each class is one hour long, open to mixed levels of training or dance experience, best for participants age 14 and older. Any age adult is welcome. Class costs: Price per class reduces with each added class. Early Bird registration: $20 single,$36 for 2; $48 for 3; $56 for 4; $60 for all five; Regular registration: $25 single; $40 for 2; $54 for 3; $64 for 4; $70 for all five.

Audreyanne Delgado Covarrubias teaching Tap

FESTIVAL CONCERT The Festival artists perform and choreograph new works special for this concert. Premieres by Audreyanne Delagado Covarrubias, Kris Mola, Leslie Friedman. The Awardees of the annual Choreography Competition present their award winning works. This is a Very Special Event for dance lovers and those who are interested in getting to know dance in the intimate, summer stock style setting of the Festival Concert. The dances will range from Contemporary to Traditional, international dance forms; Ballroom to Hip Hop. It is not to be missed! Tickets are $20 general admission; $12 for over 65 or under 10. Sponsor Tickets: $35 or more by your choice (reserved best seat and tax deductible donation). Group ticket discounts are available. Please contact The Lively Foundation for group information.

Taylor Florez & Casandra Armenta thrilled the audiences with their Hip Hop at IDF@SV, 2018 and return to the Festival Concert, May 19, 2019

FESTIVE FESTIVAL DINNER! Join artists and audience members at a fun, delicious dinner after the show. We will meet at Amici’s Pizzeria which is about a block and a half from the Masonic Center. Dinner plus the show: $40.

TO REGISTER AND BUY TICKETS: email livelyfoundation@sbcglobal.net  If you are registering for classes tell us which classes, and if you are buying tickets, tell us how many and which type of ticket. Please mail us a check made out to The Lively Foundation and mail it to The Lively Foundation/550 Mountain View Avenue/Mountain View, CA 94041-1828   OR if you need to use a credit card please go to the landing page of this blog, scroll down the page until you see the PayPal logo, click on it and follow directions. PLEASE let us know what classes you are registering for and how many and which kind of ticket. It is absolutely necessary for you to email us this information or, when you appear for class or performance, we will have no idea that you paid or paid for what. OR you may pay at the door.

THANK YOU!

MEROLA OPERA GRAND FINALE: A LIVELY EVENT!

Over the years, the Merola Opera has made it possible for The Lively Foundation friends to attend some of its wonderful performances in San Francisco. Named after Gaetano Merola, the first director of the San Francisco Opera, Merola is THE great training program for professional singers. They spend a year in Merola and go on to become world famous stars. Just a few of their graduates are Ruth Ann Swenson, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voight, Brian Asawa. In July, Lively friends attended a comic Mozart opera performed by the Merolini (singers in the program carry this festive name), Il re pastore.

Zhengyi Bai as Alessandro in Il re pastore

Patricia Westley as Elisa in Il re pastore

On August 18, a group of Lively friends will attend the Merola Grand Finale at the San Francisco Opera House. It will be a sensational evening. All of the 2018 Merolini will perform. The program includes arias, duets, and other groupings selected from many different operas. The voices will be excellent. Watch the Lively Foundation News & Events and the Hedgehog Highlights on livelyfoundation.org for a report and review of this great event. It’s the Merolini’s graduation party, and we are invited!

photos by Kristen Loken, courtesy Merola Opera