Parties: Hitting The High Notes

By Catherine Bigelow

SF Opera Guild

Attendees: 200 screens
Impact: More than $100K for guild music education programs

The San Francisco Opera Guild hosted Life. Changing. An Evening With Frederica von Stade and Jake Heggie, a virtual — and complimentary — April 28 event celebrating the power of music to change lives. The program starred beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica “Flicka” von Stade and composer-pianist Jake Heggie in conversation with guild students, alumni and teachers, all of whom shared inspiring stories — and songs. “It means so much to me because I know firsthand of these efforts and have seen the amazing results. I applaud the guild’s director of education, Caroline Altman, and her work with the Opera Scouts and the amazing team at the guild,” enthused von Stade. “Music changed my life, and I’m excited to celebrate how it changes the lives of our precious young people.”

Co-chairs Lauren Erickson and Victoria Weatherford were joined by emcee, opera enthusiast and KTVU Mornings on 2 anchor Gasia Mikaelian. At the program’s end, viewers chimed in for a Q&A that provided the opportunity to hear from von Stade and Heggie, both legends in the opera world.

“I’m delighted to join with my great friend Frederica von Stade to spotlight the important ongoing work in music education made possible by San Francisco Opera Guild,” said Heggie, composer of the modern works Dead Man Walking and Moby Dick. “Through the power of opera, music and theater, youngsters in the guild’s programs can experience wonder, possibility, new connections and unexpected, transformative journeys,” Heggie continued. “Journeys that can empower them throughout their lives.”

And thanks to VIP sponsors ($500–$5,000) who virtually “mingled backstage” before the official program commenced, the guild’s music education programs are even more finely tuned.

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