San Francisco is about to witness the launch of a new and exciting opera company this weekend as Urban Opera makes its debut with a site-specific production Henry Purcell's Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas. The first opera ever written in English, Dido and Aeneas features "A city that is destroyed by flames, sailors who come and go, and a tragic queen ... [it's going to be] very San Francisco." Set against the Bay as a backdrop, Urban Opera is a filling niche the City hasn't had before now- opera geared toward an audience that feels equally at home at Black Rock City or the War Memorial. Three performances will be held beginning Friday night at The Urban Opera Art Space, located at 409 - 499 Illinois Street (@ 16th Street)in Mission Bay, San Francisco. All performances begin at 7:00 PM, and tickets are available here.
Urban Opera includes artists from San Francisco Lyric Opera, Chanticleer and Volti to bring the City something new: professional singers performing non-standard repertory in challenging new productions specific to the space and time in which they're performed. The production is accompanied by The Jubilate Baroque Orchestra. Since the original music to the prologue has been lost, the production will begin with with a staged overture and spoken prologue, giving those of us who don't completely remember the fourth book of Virgil's Aeneid (and that's most of us) the back story before the action begins.
Kindra Scharich is Dido. Featured with Ms. Scharich, are sopranos Kimarie Torre (Belinda), Milissa Carey (Sorceress), Pamela Igelsrud (Second Woman), tenor Todd Wedge (Aeneas), counter-tenors Cortez Mitchell (First Witch/Mercury) and Michael McNeil (Second Witch/Sailor).
Directed by veteran Chip Grant, with costumes by Kue King, Urban Opera's debut looks to be the most interesting event taking place over this busy weekend. Get yourself a ticket, or be doomed to lament missing it.