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Fall Lecture Series

Fall 2016 Lecture Series
by Steve Zilles

 The Fall Lecture Series of the San José Opera Guild begins on August 31st, this year. The five lectures will be on Wednesday morning from 10am to noon at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center at 14855 Oka Road in Los Gatos. This is just off Lark Avenue near the interchange with Highway 17. There is also one presentation that will be on a Friday.

 The first lecture in the series, August 31st will be Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano. This is an Italian verismo opera about the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. It is loosely based on the life of the French poet, André Chénier (1762-1794) and involves his passionate relationship with a young Noblewomen, a relationship that the terror tears asunder. It gives the tenor magnificent lyric-dramatic music to demonstrate his skills. Our lecturer will be Dr. Kip Cranna who is the dramaturg for San Francisco Opera and last spoke to us on Don Carlo.

 The second lecture on September 7th is a special treat. We have David Henry Hwang, the Librettist of Dream of the Red Chamber in conversation with Ken Scott. The Dream of the Red Chamber is a new opera by Bright Sheng which is based on what many consider to be the greatest Chinese novel (of the same name). It is set in 18th century China and brings to life the characters of a love triangle: the first born son of a noble, high ranking family and his two possible brides, one his spiritual soulmate, the other the ideal Chinese wife. Come, be one of the first to find out what happens to him and his family.

 We have two presentations the week of 19-23 September. The first on Wednesday, September 21st is a lecture on Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. This is a fun, boisterous comedy with lots of wonderful music. It features the miserly Don Pasquale who is no match for his nephew Ernesto and his sweetheart Norina. It falls in the “be careful what you ask for, you may get it” category of stories. Deborah Rosengaus will be the lecturer. She teaches regularly at San Mateo Adult School and is a practicing mezzo-soprano who will appear in the Cunning Little Vixen by Janácek at West Edge Opera in August.

 The second presentation that week will be on Friday, September 23rd in conjunction with the September Shabbat Lunch at the JCC. This will be an overview of the upcoming West Bay Opera season. Maestro José Luis Moscovich will introduce the operas: Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart (October), Il Trittico (The Overcoat, Sister Angelica and Gianni Schicchi) by Puccini (February) and Salome by Straus (May-June). This will be followed by selections by singers from the company. Plan to stay for the Shabbat Lunch at noon: $6 JCC and Opera Guild Members or $8.50 non-Members (with reservations by September 15th) and $10 for purchase on day of event.

 Our first lecture in October is on the 5th. We will hear about The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáscek. This is the story of Emily Marty, who does not look a day over 30, but is 300 years old. Come find out how she does it and does she still have what it takes. Prof. Richard Taruskin, who lectured on Janácek’s Jenufa this spring will talk to us about this Janácek opera.

 The fall season of lectures finishes on October 26th when Dr. Alexandra Amati-Camperi will talk about Women in Peril as seen in Aida, Madame Butterfly, La bohéme and Rigoletto. In all these operas, love leads the heroine to an untimely death. See how their love and their peril (buried alive, suicide, consumption and voluntary murder) is expressed in music and how did that change from the 19th to the 20th century (or did it?).


SJOG Fall 2016
Lecture Series

JCC of Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Road (cross street Lark Ave)
Los Gatos
10 AM to Noon
Members: free
Non-members: $10
Opera San Jose
Season Overview
Larry Hancock with OSJ Resident Artists
August 31
Umberto Giordano Andrea Chenier
Kip Cranna
September 7
Bright Sheng
Dream of the Red Chamber
by David Henry Hwang with Ken Smith
September 21
Gaetano Donizetti
Don Pasquale
by Deborah Rosengaus
Friday, September 23
West Bay Opera
Season Overview
José Luis Moscovich
with singers
October 5
Leoš Janáček
Makropulos Case
by Richard Taruskin
October 26
Women in Peril
as seen in
Aïda: (Giuseppe Verdi)
Madama Butterfly: (Giacomo Puccini) Rigoletto:
(Giuseppe Verdi)
La Bohème:
Giacomo Puccini
by Alexandra Amati-Camperi

The San José Opera Guild
P. O. Box 33025, Los Gatos, CA 95031-3025
Banner photos by Bob Shomler
©San José Opera Guild   2016