It was a lovely Il Cenacolo afternoon at the Marin Art and Garden Center. The 67th Annual Opera Outing was attended by over 100 people. The late summer day was just perfect, the food delicious, and the performers fantastic. Delectable hors d’oeuvres were passed and an excellent lunch was served by the friendly and efficient catering staff. The exceptional talents of soprano Maria Valdes and tenor Chris Bozeka and encore accompanist Kevin Korth were highlighted by how much fun they seemed to be having! There were some unexpected hijinx from Chris, who climbed a tree while singing an aria, and made a sneaky stage entrance from behind a hedge! Lots of laughs, conversation and reunions were had by all.
Many, many thanks to Chuck Stagliano, our longtime Opera Outing organizer, who has been creating this festive signature Il Cenacolo event for over ten years (we have lost count!). The reports keep coming in: “This just keeps getting better!”
The voice of Soprano Maria Valdes has been described as “resplendent” and “warm” and she was recently described in the New York Times as a “first-rate singing actress.” A graduate of Merola as well as an elect Adler Fellow, she has had a busy career. Featured performances have been with San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Charlottesville Opera, West Edge Opera and many others. She is rapidly gaining attention on both operatic and concert stages.
Tenor Chris Bozeka has been recognized for his “expressively captivating” tone. A Merola graduate, he recently performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, covering tenor roles in Eugene Onegin and the new Hamlet. He has performed all around the country with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Atlanta Opera, Opera Delaware/Baltimore, Sarasota Opera, and several others, as well as winning prestigious opera competitions. His lyric tenor voice has been praised from New York to San Francisco.
Pianist Kevin Korth was praised by Gramophone for playing that is “superb” and “full of color and character.” His debut album, Out of the Shadows, is a recording of American art song with soprano Lisa Delan and cellist Matt Haimovitz. Known as an interpreter of contemporary work, the album features premieres by Jack Perla, Gordon Getty, and David Garner. He has collaborated with many legendary artists such as Frederica von Stade, Isa- bel Leonard, Jake Heggie, Suzanne Mentzer—to name only a few). Recent projects include an album of Robinson Jeffers settings by composer Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli with mezzo-soprano Buffy Baggot, and an album of songs by composer David Conte.