Event images by Moanalani Jeffry Photography
Year after year, the San Francisco Symphony Opening Night Gala sets the stage for fall gala season by bringing out the best from the Bay Area’s most beautiful crowd. Beginning with the patrons and Symphonix dinner events at City Hall at 6pm, opening night continues with an evening of symphony and guest-star performances, followed by the Grove-street after party, not to be missed for style makers of San Francisco and beyond.
The black tie fête, taking place the evening of Wednesday, September 7th, brings together two of the biggest and most glamorous stars of the opera world, Renée Fleming and Susan Graham, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. The two longtime friends and acclaimed superstars will perform a program of Italian and American songs, including pieces written by MTT himself.
Renée Fleming has appeared in virtually all of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. In 2013, President Obama awarded Renée Fleming the National Medal of Arts. She has sung at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, in HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012, and was featured in the televised inaugural concert for President Obama in 2009. In 2014 she became the first classical singer ever to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.
Among a long list of honors, Mezzo-soprano and Texas native Susan Graham’s extensive discography features oratorios and song cycles by Berlioz, Ravel, and Chausson, as well as a Grammy award-winning recording of Ives songs. She recorded Mahler songs with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony for SFS Media. Among her additional honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year and an Opera News Award, and she was awarded the French government’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Susan Graham made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 1991.
Following the evening’s performances is a fitting finale to the the black-tie evening – the after party. The indoor-outdoor after-party is held in the tented pavilion and on grove street – a treat that is open to all ticket holders! As always, there will be music both inside and outside, as well as tons of food and drinks from local establishments. Proceeds from the Opening Night Gala benefit the Symphony’s myriad artistic, community, and education programs.
So get ready to don your best beauty looks and black-tie attire, as San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Night is just the beginning of a glamorous fall season.