Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The World of Film and Opera - La Cenerentola

As part of San Francisco Public Library's partnership with Merola Opera Program, the Art, Music & Recreation department is pleased to screen La Cenerentola with music by the Italian maestro Gioachino Rossini on May 29, 2016, at 1:00 PM in the Main Library's Koret auditorium. 
The universally popular story of Cinderella possibly had earlier origins than the version penned by the French writer Charles Perrault upon which Rossini's La Cenerentola is based. Rossini had already won plaudits with his The Barber of Saville when his La Cenerentola premiered in 1817, five years after The Brothers Grimm's telling of the tale The reception of La Cenerentola was lukewarm initially, but within short time it considerably gained in popularity. 

Rossini's telling of the tale differs from the standard versions of the time in at least two key developments. Instead of the wicked stepmother, Rossini introduced the character of a villainous stepfather.  He also replaced the Fairy Godmother with a philosopher. At the age of 25, the maestro completed the opera in three weeks. La Cenerentola is described as full of subtle humor but with sad moments kneaded into the laughs.

San Francisco Public Library carries many books, CDs, and DVDs as well as streaming audio and video relating to the opera and its composer  

Below is a short book list:

Rossini by Gaia Servadio (New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003)

Understanding Italian Opera by Time Carter  (New York, NY :, Oxford University Press, 2015)

Famous Italian opera arias edited and translated by Ellen H. Bleiler (Mineola, NY : Dover Publications, 1996).

Rossini : his life and works by Richard Osborne (Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2007)

Evenings at the opera : an exploration of the basic repertoire by Jeffrey Langford (Montclair, NJ : Amadeus Press, c2011).

Sunday, May 8, 2016

6 PM, Tuesday night, May 10 - Ladies of the Nightclubs!

The Golden Age of Hollywood points to a period in the history of American music that had never happened before and will never happen again. Songwriters from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway flocked to Hollywood to write tunes for the movies and studios had purchased the holdings of two major publishing houses. Music filled the air and sheet music was everywhere - but audiences demanded variety; not every film could be a musical. What better way to realistically add songs to a movie than by including a nightclub scene?

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection at the SFPL, Janet Roitz and Sean Martinfield present Ladies of the Nightclubs, a talk exploring songs from night club scenes in classic Hollywood films. This presentation will highlight nightclub scenes and songs from four films set in San Francisco: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Nora Prentiss (1947), Wharf Angel (1934) and San Francisco (1936). Roitz and Martinfield will preview their research documenting nightclub scenes as the iconic device for integrating songs into non-musical films during Hollywood’s golden age.

The Dorothy Starr Collection has been and invaluable resource for Roitz and Martinfie;d in their research. As Roitz says, “If Dorothy doesn’t have the sheet music, I’m going to have to really do some excavating!”

Ladis of the Nightclubs will be presented at 6 PM, Tuesday night, May 10, 2016 in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library.  The Art, Music and Recreation Center on the Main Library's Fourth Floor is also presenting a display of sheet music covers, Dorothy Starr by Decade, through June 30, 2016.

All Library programs are free and open to the public.

Sean Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. As a professional singer, he juggled his day job as the Cantor at the Holy Name of Jesus Church in the outer sunset with his duties at as the MC at the famed North Beach nightclub, Finocchios. Sean has been a vocal coach to Bay Area singers and actors since 1983. As a writer, Sean has been covering the San Francisco cultural scene since 2005. He currently contributes to the HuffingtonPost – interviewing the singers, musicians, choreographers and conductors associated with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet. For FabulousFilmSongs, Sean contributes articles and commentary about the singers and songs of classic Hollywood.

Janet Roitz is the creator of the website FabulousFilmSongs. She is a singer and actor and also serves as a teacher, choreographer and Program Administrator for Rhythm and Motion dance program in San Francisco. Janet is one half of the recording duo, Tumble & Ruff whose versions of pop tunes from the sixties and seventies can be found on the YouTube channel, Pop Song of the Month Club.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Turkish Nostalgia by "FAME"

Mete Tasin will return to the Koret Auditorium this Sunday, May 8, from 2-3:30 to sing Pop Songs of the 1970's and 1980's. Some of the songs performed will include “Parole,” (Words) and “I Will Survive.” These and other songs will be sung in Turkish, English, or Italian. Mete Tasin, has sung opera at the Koret Auditorium a number of times. He holds two Master’s degrees: one in Music from Brooklyn College and another in Performing Classical Music from the Conservatorio Del Liceu, Barcelona.

Mete will be joined by three other musicians. (Their initials’, along with Mete’s spell “FAME.”) Fatosh started playing piano at the age of nine. Inspired by her native Cypriot Folk Music, Fatosh began playing accordion, and for the last 20 years she has been traveling Europe and America representing her country at music festivals. Abi graduated from San Jose State University with a Master’s in Jazz Performance. He is well-known, in his native Venezuela as a Film/TV Music Composer, with more than 30 short films and TV specials scored. The only member who is not pursuing music as a professional career, Ekin was born in Turkey and studied Chemical Engineering for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She has studied Jazz Performance at Middle East Technical University and Voice at Stanford University.

It’s sure to be a fun afternoon of nostalgia, with an international flair.