Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ryan Kuster in 9/11 Tribute & SF Opera Fall Season; Hampson's 9/11 opera

Ryan Kuster (L) & Thomas Hampson (R)
One of the most gifted young barihunks on the operatic horizon Ryan Kuster, who we've featured previously on this site. He was a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia before participating in San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellowship Program.

Kuster will be performing in the city of San Francisco's official tribute to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack. The city and the San Francisco Opera have teamed up for a performance of Mozart's Requiem at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park at 2 PM today. Kuster will be joined by fellow singers Nadine Sierra, Maya Layhani and Daniel Montenegro along with maestro Nicola Luisotti.

The San Francisco Opera has wisely engaged the future star in a number of this season's operas. Kuster will perform Escamillo in Carmen, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Astolfo in Lucrezia Borgia and a Mandarin in Turandot. For performance and ticket information visit the San Francisco Opera website.

The San Francisco Opera is also premiering composer Christopher Theofanidis' "Heart of a Soldier," which opened last night. The opera tells the story of Rick Rescorla, a British-born adventurer who fought in Vietnam before settling in New York as head of security for a brokerage firm based in the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, his extraordinary courage and calmness in a crisis paid off: Rescorla led all of the 2,700 people under his care to safety—literally singing them down the stairs—before heading back into the burning building for one last check. He never emerged.

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