Thursday, July 3, 2014

Baseball, Opera and Baritones in Ball Gowns

Vanessa Bousay aka Erik Chalfant
San Francisco's local classical music station KDFC held a contest called the "Star Spangled Sing-Off" with the winner performing the national anthem at the live simulcast of the San Francisco Opera's La Traviata at AT&T Park,  home of baseball's San Francisco Giants. Over 80,000 listeners voted for the 74 contestants and the winner was Vanessa Bousay, a character created by classically-trained baritone Erik Chalfant.

Phyllis Curtin
Chalfant, who studied with the legendary operatic soprano Phyllis Curtin, created the character of Vanessa Bousay as a tribute to the woman he dubs his "teacher, mentor and friend." He holds the Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Boston University, School For The Arts. He is an alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the Britten-Pears School For Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, England.

In San Francisco, Vanessa Bousay has appeared at Yoshi's, Martuni's Piano Lounge and a variety of fundraising galas. Her beloved charity is the Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinners, benefitting the citizens of The Tenderloin. Chalfant refers to his character as "a talented songstress ... created by (a) proud San Franciscan."

The San Francisco Opera simulcast of Verdi's La Traviata from AT&T Park will be on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM. You can sign up for tickets at, or just show up at the, opera. The cast of the opera also includes barihunk Hadleigh Adams as the Marquis d'Obigny. Performances at the War Memorial Opera House run through July 13 and tickets are available online.

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