"Winter Season in Opera" - Opera Scene Performance

Opera Academy of California (OAC) is pleased to announce "Winter Season in Opera" - a Performance of Favorite Scenes and Arias from such FAMOUS OPERAS as: “La Bohème” by Puccini and “Eugene  Onegin” by Tchaikovsky and also from FAMOUS but RARELY PERFORMED RUSSIAN and ITALIAN OPERAS such as: “La Bohème” by Leoncavallo, “Christmas Eve” by Rimsky-Korsakov  and “Tsarina’s Slippers” by Tchaikovsky.


The program will be directed and narrated by YEFIM MAIZEL, the internationally renowned stage director from the METROPOLITAN OPERA and conducted by ALEX KATSMAN, the Music Director of Livermore Opera. Young and talented Bay Area singers-performers will bring this music alive and relevant for a San Francisco audience.


Both Mr. Maizel and Mr. Katsman studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, now renamed in honor of great Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov who was the conservatory’s director from 1871 until 1905.


Yefim Maizel has directed and assisted in the former Soviet Union, in Europe, in Japan and in the U.S. at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Mariinsky Opera, Wexford Opera Festival, Saito Kinen Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera Theater and Opera Santa Barbara.


 In 2005, Mr. Maizel established Opera Academy of California (OAC), a non-profit educational organization, where he serves as CEO and Artistic Director.  The next production for OAC, which he will direct, will be a charming operetta-farce Les Bavards” by Offenbach at the Legion of Honor Theater in San Francisco (May 2009).  March of 2007 featured “Gems of Russian Opera, a performance and a master class for singers that was open to the public. In celebration of Mozart’s 250th Birthday, at the end of May of 2006, the Opera Academy of California presented Happy Birthday, Mr. Mozart!”, an exciting evening of Opera Scenes from five Mozart operas. In January of 2006, OAC performed The Impresario (Mozart) at the Annual Gala of the East Bay Chapter of the San Francisco Opera Guild, which Yefim directed.  In October 2005, he directed first OAC’s Opera Scene Program for Halloween – “Spooky Times:  Witchcraft and Supernatural in Opera”.

In 2006 and 2007, besides of working for OAC, Mr. Maizel directed productions of La Boheme (Puccini) for the Livermore Valley Opera, The Merry Widow (Lehar) for the West Bay Opera, Un ballo in maschera (Verdi) at the Opera Santa Barbara  and Dialogues des Carmelites (Poulenc) and Lucio Silla (Handel) for BASOTI.  In the summer of 2008, Yefim directed the production of Le Nozze di Figaro for BASOTI.  He will return to Santa Barbara Opera with the production of The Merry Widow (Lehar) in February of 2009.

In the last couple of years, Yefim Maizel directed Madama Butterfly (Puccini) at the Metropolitan Opera (with Placido Domingo conducting), Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) at the Indiana University Opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Les Bavards (Offenbach) for the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) in San Francisco and Something New For The Zoo (Hoiby) for the Cinnabar Opera.


Since 1999 he has been at the Metropolitan Opera, where he directed Madama Butterfly (Puccini) and assisted on productions of Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Shostakovich), Il Trovatore (Verdi), Manon (Massenet), The Gambler (Prokofiev), Idomeneo (Mozart), Don Carlo (Verdi), Elektra (Strauss), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), Otello (Verdi), The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky) and Das Rheingold (Wagner).


 Mr. Maizel is a member of the faculty of the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI) since 1998, where he directed Riders to the Sea (Vaughan Williams), Suor Angelica (Puccini), La Calisto (Cavalli), The Impresario (Mozart), Little Women  (Adamo), and numerous scenes from different operas.


In the Fall of 2007, Yefim joined the Faculty of the Music Department at the California State University at Sacramento.  He worked with the students on the Opera Scenes Program which was performed on the 10th and 16th of December 2007.


 Mr. Maizel spends much of his time working with the young singers.  He has a studio in San Francisco where he coaches singers on audition techniques and prepares them for a performance of an aria, scene or a complete role from operas and musical theater.


 Yefim regularly leads workshops and master classes for singers with invited audiences and also teaches opera appreciation classes for those who would like to enhance their knowledge and enjoyment of opera.


Alexander Katsman, Music Director of the Livermore Valley Opera and Alumnus of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, received his M.M. from Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since his arrival in the U.S. in 1990, Alexander has been sought after as a conductor and collaborative pianist. Locally he conducted for Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Bayshore Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, Oakland Lyric Opera, Solo Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Martinez Opera, Diablo Light Opera and also at CalState University at Hayward and Diablo Valley College.


His conducting credits include productions of Un Ballo in Maschera, Madama Butterfly, Der Rosenkavalier, Faust, Rigoletto, La Juive, Andrea Chenier, L’italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Manon, Suor Angelica, The Bartered Bride, Die Fledermaus, Orfeo et Euridice, Kismet, Sweeney Todd, The Student Prince, Carousel, The Most Happy Fella, Traviata, Fiddler on the Roof, and Merry Widow.

Alexander serves on conducting and coaching faculties of Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute and Peninsula Teen Opera. He is also on the coaching staff at the Opera San Jose, San Francisco Conservatory and at the Holy Names University. Alexander’s next upcoming production is Le Nozze di Figaro at the Livermore Valley Opera in February of 2009.


 OAC is currently developing, also, a series of Opera Appreciation Classes based on the season of the SF Opera and Opera Companies around the Bay Area.


Name Sales End Price
Full Price Ended $40
Student Ended $25
Senior Ended $25

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