Merolini/Adlers Start Local, Go Global

Janos Gereben on August 6, 2013
Heidi Melton and Ain Anger in the London <em>Tannhäuser</em> Photo by Chris Christodoulou
Heidi Melton and Ain Anger in the London Tannhäuser
Photo by Chris Christodoulou

Just a few examples of recent news about alumni of San Francisco Opera Center programs around the world, with their Merola dates:

* Soprano Marcelle Dronkers (a distinguished Pocket-and-other alumna rather than Merolina), bass Eugene Brancoveanu (2004), and tenor Brian Thorsett (2006) are soloists in the San Francisco Choral Society's upcoming perfomances of Haydn's The Seasons, conducted by Robert Geary, Aug. 17 and 18, in San Francisco's Calvary Presbyterian Church.

* Heidi Melton (2006) sang Elisabeth in the BBC Proms' Tannhäuser, the podcast still available this week. Conducted by former SFO Music Director Donald Runnicles, the performance received rave reviews, including this about Melton:

... [her] first appearance, when she greets the hall in which her beloved will soon sing again, was moving in its sheer joyfulness, and her singing retained this simple radiance throughout the performance.
Ailyn Pérez to sing in Stern Grove
Ailyn Pérez to sing in Stern Grove

* Tenor David Lomeli (2008) is a busy man, seen recently everywhere from Berlin to Glyndebourne to Toronto, Santa Fe, Lille, and elsewhere.

* Melody Moore (2005) has been heard as Senta at Glimmerglass, Pamina in Bordeaux, Donna Elvira in Denver, and so on.

* Soprano Tamara Wapinsky (2007) sang Turandot this year in Bologna, Stockholm, and Mexico City — under the name of Mancini, her mother's maiden name. She wants to sing Verdi in Europe, and her Italian nom de aria may be more helpful. She is using it only professionally, and hasn't changed the name legally.

* The free San Francisco Opera concert in Stern Grove on Aug. 18 will feature the husband and wife duo of tenor Stephen Costello and soprano Ailyn Pérez (2005). The program honors the Verdi-Wagner bicentennials, and the centennial of Britten. Many of the 2013 Adler Fellows will participate in the concert, led by George Manahan.