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Out of the Box


It's great to see SF Opera Supers upgrading their performing experience to include speaking, singing, or other more sophisticated roles in venues other than ours. We can now say “we knew them when!”

If any of you know a Super who is performing in such a venue, please send your notices and/or reviews to the editor.


Pounds, Schillings and Pants

Louis Schilling appeared (and stole the show) in Wendy Wasserstein's hit The Sisters Rosensweig, which opened on Broadway in 1992. The play was performed at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward this summer. The action takes place in London, on the occasion of the eldest sister's 54th birthday. Louis played Geoffrey Duncan, the sexually ambiguous boyfriend of Pfeni, the middle sister. His flamboyant portrayal of the character lit the stage whenever he appeared, especially at the opening of the second act, when, reprising (or parodying) that well known scene in Risky Business, he sang and danced to “Can't Help Myself,” costumed in red socks, a black tank top, and silk boxers. Performing his lines with an appropriate British accent, Louis gave a completely entertaining performance.


Louis Schilling in Don Giovanni

Louis has recently appeared in Abduction from the Seraglio, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Samson et Dalila at SFO, and makes recurring performances as Mother Ginger in SFB's The Nutcracker.

Death Do Us Proud

Grove Wiley (the artist formerly known as Albert Malkin) is currently appearing as “Death” in the avant-garde production of a new play, Daughter of the Floods, at the Embarcadero Auto Showroom in North Beach. The 14 “Scenes and Archetypes” bring to life the cards of the Tarot. The Director's notes state that “…choosing to create a show around these Trump cards came from an unrelenting desire to explore the diverse and contradictory aspects of the self, and a need to understand, or rather an attempt to accept, without judgment, the polarities of human nature.” The character of the piece is decidedly feminist, and the 18 performers are assisted by techniques of movement, lighting, and creative minimalist staging as they progress through the scenes. Flesh-colored body suits and occasional bare breasts enhance the sensuality of the piece. Spoken dialogue is sparse but effective; however, other vocalizations, including screaming, shrieking, giggling, and bird calls fill the house with a primal ambiance. Masks are used very effectively to reflect the characters. And through almost every scene is Death…appropriately clad in black with a black mask, occasionally disarming the audience by peering directly into their eyes.


Grove Wiley in Giulio Cesare

Grove has supered with SFO for many years. During this past summer he appeared in Il Trovatore , and has recently acted the “super-plus” role of one of the Generals in Giulio Cesare. Performances continue Saturdays and Sundays through September 14 th . Further information and ticket reservations can be made by calling (415) 263-0414.

By George!

First-time supers Jeremy Joseph and Matt Costello (the Bear and the Back of the Giraffe, respectively, in the upcoming Magic Flute) will be performing as part of the International Dance and Poetry Festival to be held at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco on Saturday, October 4th , from noon to 4 pm. Poet Gaya Taliaferro-Tinmahan has written a poem entitled “Jeremy,” and Mr. Joseph has choreographed the poem as an homage to George Balanchine to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the famous choreographer's passing.


Matt Costello and Jeremy Joseph

Jeremy and Matt will perform the dance as the poet reads her poem. Jeremy has danced the role of the Prince in the San Francisco Youth Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker and has danced the parts of both the Gypsy and the Matador in the recent San Francisco Lyric Opera production of La Traviata.

Matt is making a strong debut into the performing arts. Not only is SFO's Magic Flute his first time as a super, but his participation in the Festival is also his first time performing as a dancer. “Toi-toi-toi” and “merde!” to you, Matt!


Matt and Jeremy

We wish them both the best at the Festival, and we hope to see more of them on stage at the opera house. For further information about the Festival, visit www.dancingpoetry.org .

The Singing Super

Larry Severino, soon to be in rehearsal for Don Carlos at SFO, and previously seen in such super roles at a Priest and Dignitary in Turandot, will soon be flexing his vocal muscle with Golden Gate Opera in their upcoming performances of I Pagliacci. The opera will be performed from September 27th to October 11th at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Larry, a bass-baritone, will be singing in the chorus. He has just completed another, more daunting, chorus role in the recent City Opera performances of Norma.


Larry Severino in Simon Boccanegra


Larry has even gotten out of the “chorus box” by singing comprimario parts for small opera companies in the Bay Area. His Benoit is always a highlight of La Bohème, as is his portrayal of Alcindoro in the Café Momus scene. He has also sung the parts of the Sacristan in Tosca and the Wigmaker in Ariadne auf Naxos. Way to go, Larry!

For information and tickets for I Pagliacci (the Golden Gate Opera performances, that is), call (415) 392-4400, or visit www.thinker.org/legion or www.goldengateopera.org .

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Super Alec Page will be gracing the stage of the Marin Shakespeare Company as the Changeling Child in “one of the funniest versions of A Midsummer Night's Dream we've ever seen!”

Alec Page

Alec has supered in SFO's Damnation of Faust, Carmen, Jenufa, Samson et Dalila, and had a solo singing role in Baz Luhrmann's La Bohème. Not to mention being the lead in two short films, supporting work in two others, and many commercials. Not bad for someone who just began fifth grade at Town School for Boys! For more details on A Midsummer Night's Dream, please see www.marinshakespeare.org.


Contributors to this page include Charlie Lichtman, Marcel Delgado, Mike Harvey, and Grove Wiley.

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