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Le Nozze di Figaro - Percussionist Jake Nissly - ‘Olympia’ @ SF Greek Film Festival - Trolly Dances

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area performing arts, host David Latulippe talks with American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel (pictured) about his title role in the current production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the San Francisco Opera, which runs at the War Memorial Opera House through November 1. 

Sumuel made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2011. After singing Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen and Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, he returns to take on the role of Figaro, the clever servant who must outmaneuver the nobleman of the house before marrying his beloved.

This Figaro, in a new production by director Michael Cavanagh, marks the beginning of a multi-year project to weave together Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte’s three operas - Le Nozze di FigaroCosì fan tutte and Don Giovanni- as a trilogy set within an American manor house during three time periods. Conductor is Hungarian maestro Henrik Nánási. 

Also, a conversation with San Francisco Symphony’s principal percussionist, Jake Nissly (pic 2, during rehearsal), and with Los Angeles based composer Adam Schoenberg, about the world premiere of Schoenberg’s concerto for solo percussion, Losing Earth, commissioned by SFS. 

Concerts are on October 17, 18 and 19 (8pm) at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Also on the program: Ravel’s famous orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; and D’un matin de printemps  (Of a Spring Morning) by French composer Lili Boulanger (1893-1918). Guest conductor is Cristian Măcelaru. 

We talk to filmmaker Harry Mavromichalis about Olympia, his revealing and unfiltered new documentary feature which follows the life and career of Academy Award-winning actress, Olympia Dukakis, starting on the day she turns 80 and continuing for three years. Olympia opens the 2019 San Francisco Greek Film Festival on October 20 (5:30pm) at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. 

Joining the conversation to discuss the rest of the 16-year old festival are executive director Kleon Skourtis, and fellow director Katerina Mavroudi-Steck. 

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival runs from October 20 - 26 at venues throughout San Francisco. 

Plus, we talk with Kim Epifano, about the 16th annual San Francisco Trolley Dances, on October 19 and 20. This year’s route travels along the J-Church Muni Metro light rail line, from the mid-Market/Tenderloin to Noe Valley. Epifano, who is artistic director of Epiphany Dance Theater, matches artists and ensembles with specific sites, inviting them to create an 8- to 15-minute piece in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.

This year, participating companies include Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, SoulForce, GERALDCASELDANCE, Guillermo Galindo, dawnsondancesf, MoToR/dance and more… plus a preview of Epiphany Dance Theater’s evening-length Rock & Mortar, premiering at Z Space in December. A total of 12 tours are scheduled over the weekend, six each day, starting at 11 a.m.

Open Air with host David Latulippe; heard live on Thursday, October 17 at 1pm. Listen now or anytime...