Trio Appassionato: SFCM with Frederica von Stade

I am very proud to announce that I will be photographing the legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music this Sunday, May 6th and Monday, May 7th for their sold out performances of,

Trio Appassionato—The Lives of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms


Antonia Tamer, soprano

Daniel Bates, tenor

Raquel Fatiuk, voice

Ryan Bradford, baritone

Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano

Lotfi Mansouri, director

Kathryn Cathcart, script

News of the performance has already been broadcast through KDFC. To view their website with a portion of the audio that aired please click here: (you’ll need to scroll down a little to find the audio player).

Read below for the official press release with more details:


When Lotfi Mansouri, former general director of San Francisco Opera, felt inspired to craft a theatrical piece on the lives of that pivotal trio of nineteenth-century German Romanticism—Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms—he found a ready artistic partner in Richard Harrell, director of the Opera Theatre program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Harrell suggested Mansouri develop and direct the work with students at the Conservatory, star mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade agreed to narrate and sing on the program, and a new theatrical work was born. On May 6 and 7, the Conservatory presents Trio Appassionato—The Lives of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms—in two sold-out performances in the Conservatory’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall.

Kathryn Cathcart, former music director of Conservatory Opera Theatre, researched the material and worked with Harrell and Mansouri to shape a script that hearkens back to the nineteenth- century Salon Musicale, a tradition that arose as musicians and aficionados gathered in private homes for informal performances of chamber music. As Harrell describes it, “Four singers and two pianists enter the stage and begin a conversation with hostess Frederica von Stade about the closely intertwined relationships of these musicians. As they do, music brings their stories to life.” The team selected compositions by all three figures, as well as one song by Schubert. Says Harrell, “the text and music evokes pivotal moments in the lives of these extraordinary artists.”

Most famous to Bay Area audiences as general director of San Francisco Opera from 1988 through 2001, Mansouri was drawn to the Lieder tradition for the project by his early experiences with German art songs. “These composers played an important role during my formative years as a musician. When I was a young student in Los Angeles I had the great good fortune of working on songs by Schumann and Brahms with some of the greatest concert artists of the time, including Lotte Lehmann and Dr. Fritz Zweig.”

The script for Trio Appassionato will be published, and there have already been inquiries from opera companies interested in producing the work.

Conservatory Opera Theatre presents Trio Appassionato at the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. and Monday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to these free performances (reservations required) are currently sold out.


I spoke to two of the singers today on the phone after I found out they were involved – some of my previous clients for headshots – Antonia Tamer and Dan Bates – both are honored to be a part of this new production (as am I!) It will surely be an event to remember!

More updates to come with photos soon…

x Kersh


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