Ruth Ann Swenson will perform at Weill Hall of the Green Music Center, Sonoma, CA, Sept. 29. You still have time to get a plane ticket or jump in your car if you are not near Sonoma. Do not miss this opportunity. One of the loveliest places on the planet, Sonoma is about to rejoice in one of the loveliest voices ever heard. Ms Swenson’s recital is part of a line up of major stars whose performances celebrate the opening of this new, acoustically perfect venue. (Itzhak Perlman will be there on the 21st; Herbie Hancock on the 28th.) It was a privilege to be in Ms Swenson’s audience when she sang the role of Desdemona, June 22, 2013, at the Astoria Music Festival. This writer has long considered Verdi’s Otello to be THE opera. The performance in Astoria’s legendary Liberty Theater lifted us all to a new level of experience. Ruth Ann Swenson sings like an angel must sing: pure pitch, always effortless whether the heights of her soprano or the depths, exquisite clarity when the notes come quickly. Praying alone in her bedchamber, her Desdemona broke our hearts with her music at the same time she led us to experience more understanding through the music alone. The Otello performance onstage in front of the orchestra was devised and conducted by Artistic Director Keith Clark. It was a masterful presentation, a proper way to recognize Verdi in his bicentennial year. In addition to Maestro Clark’s Festival Orchestra, Ms Swenson was joined by the powerful performances of Allan Glassman as Otello, and Richard Zeller as Iago. Together they created an Otello that still pierces my heart just remembering it. On Sept. 29, Ms Swenson will sing music by Bellini, Verdi, Mozart, Handel, Berlin/Rodgers & Hart, Gershwin, Lehar. For ticket information call 866/955-6040. The Green Center: 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA. Photos: (L to R) Ruth Ann Swenson as Desdemona, Keith Clark conducting; Alan Glassman as Otello; June 22, 2013, Astoria Music Festival. Photos by Jonathan Clark.