San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), under the artistic direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig, has rolled out the magical red carpet for the multi Oscar and Grammy award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. He will join the 275 SFGMC members on stage performing his celebrated Broadway musical hits and film tunes in Enchantingly Wicked, March 20-21, 2012 in San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall.
Spanning over four decades, Stephen Schwartz’s lyrical works encompass Broadway sensations Wicked, Godspell (currently enjoying a revival on Broadway), Pippin, The Baker’s Wife, and Children of Eden; and the musical scores for films including Enchanted, The Prince of Egypt, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Pocahontas.
“Enchantingly Wicked is an amazing collaboration between the Chorus and Stephen,” said Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC artistic director. “Creating this show has been a once in a lifetime dream made possible by Stephen’s vast songbook of inspiring music. We are over the moon and thrilled to perform his magical works.”
Composed especially for SFGMC, Mr. Schwartz along with the It Gets Better Project co-founder Dan Savage will premiere “Testimony”, a breathtakingly poignant new musical work woven from transcripts of those who have shared their lives' journeys. Dan Savage, syndicated columnist, author, and star of MTV’s upcoming series “Savage U,” worked closely with Stephen Schwartz on the new choral work.
"Testimony" was recently recorded at Skywalker Ranch, for future release and DVD sales later this month. The recording is produced by multi Grammy Award-winning recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones who is currently the Director of Music Recording and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm, Ltd. company.
Acclaimed operatic soprano and second-time celebrated guest with SFGMC, Melody Moore, returns from her recent leading role as Régine Saint Laurent in the American debut of Rufus Wainwright’s new opera, Prima Donna, in New York. Excerpts from Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon will round out her feature in the Enchantingly Wicked performances.
The Choral Project directed by Daniel Hughes also joins SFGMC to perform Kéramos, composed for The Choral Project by Schwartz. The award-winning San Jose ensemble also performs several equally enjoyable works that round out the program.
“We invite you to hear SFGMC with the extraordinary music of Stephen Schwartz. See the Chorus perform his beloved songs along with him, and experience the extraordinary and moving world premiere of ‘Testimony,’” concluded Dr. Seelig.
About Stephen Schwartz:
Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker’s Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children of Eden, My Fairytale, and the current Broadway hit, Wicked. He collaborated with Leonard Bernstein on the English texts for Bernstein’s Mass and wrote the title song for the play and movie Butterflies Are Free. For children, he has written songs for two musicals, Captain Louie and My Son Pinocchio. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. He has released two CDs of new songs entitled Reluctant Pilgrim and Uncharted Territory. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009 and was recently produced by New York City Opera. A book about his career, “Defying Gravity,” has recently been released by Applause Books. Under the auspices of the ASCAP Foundation, he runs musical theatre workshops in New York and Los Angeles, and is currently the President of the Dramatists’ Guild. Mr. Schwartz has recently been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and a tiny handful of tennis trophies.
About The Choral Project:
Celebrating 16 years of musical excellence, The Choral Project has developed an outstanding reputation for performing high-level choral literature and has been hailed by the San Jose Mercury News as "a Bay Area jewel," stating that "there is nothing subtle about why this is one of the best choirs you will ever hear." The award-winning ensemble has performed throughout the world and has had the distinct honor of working directly with Stephen Schwartz on his piece, Kéramos, composed specifically for The Choral Project.
About Melody Moore:
Melody Moore, one of America’s exciting new talents, portrayed Susan Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier at San Francisco Opera, which opened on the eve of the ten year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Fall 2011. After having successfully debuted as Rita Clayton in Stephen Schwartz’s, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Melody returned to New York City Opera this month as the leading role of Régine Saint Laurent in the American debut of Rufus Wainwright’s new opera, Prima Donna. In the summer of 2012, Melody will be on the SF Opera stage as First Lady in The Magic Flute.
About San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus:
Founded in 1978 as the first Chorus to have the word “Gay” in its name, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus strives to inspire its audience, members and the world through high-quality choral experiences. In addition to a home season of three annual subscription productions in San Francisco, the Chorus performs at public and private venues throughout the Bay Area, and performs in the community with annual hospice caroling and performances for bay area communities where concert proceeds directly benefit local non-profits. Under the current leadership of artistic director and conductor Dr. Tim Seelig, the chorus has nearly doubled to its current size of 275 singers and has increased the number of concerts in its 2011-12 concert season. More history of the SFGMC.
Tickets available online at SFGMC.org and through City Box Office: by phone (415) 392-4400 (Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 4pm) and in person at City Box Office 180 Redwood Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94102.