February  12, 2015
Loving our Sostenuto Society with
Mezzo-Soprano Patrice Houston
Serenading Festival Opera's Top Supporters 

   Festival Opera's inside circle of support is called the Sostenuto Society. Each year, these committed arts patrons provide a substantial portion of the community-based foundation needed for the season.
Patrice Houston
    Sunday, March 8 at 2pm, Festival Opera's Sostenuto Society will meet in a private home for a concert by Festival Opera favorite, mezzo-soprano Patrice Houston. Ms. Houston has appeared in many Festival Opera productions and concerts, such as Verdi's
Un Ballo in Maschera (2005), 
Verdi's Il Trovatore (2008), and the 2012 "Make Our Garden Grow" Benefit Concert.  
    Sostenuto members -- donors of $1,000 or more per year -- have an inside connection to Festival Opera, with exclusive access to private concerts with principal artists, opportunities to attend designated staging and chorus rehearsals, updates and invitations to exclusive opening-night intermezzo receptions at the Lesher Center. Sostenuto Society members are invited to several private concerts each year. These exclusive receptions, held in private East Bay homes, feature vocal performances by some of Festival Opera's brightest stars.
   Are you already contributing $500 within a year? This could be the perfect time to step up to become a sustaining member of Festival Opera. If you are interested in becoming a Sostenuto member or learning more, please contact Sara Nealy, General Director by calling 925.944.9610  or by email.
Scott Bearden, Patrice Houston and members of Festival Opera Chorus 
in Verdi's Il Trovatore (2008) 
Patrice Houston - Ulrica
Patrice Houston as Ulrica in 2005 production of Verdi's
Un Ballo in Maschera
Oakland East Bay Symphony Concert
Hear Michael Morgan Conduct Haydn and Jazz from Mads
The Oakland East Bay Symphony proudly presents the world premiere of Begejstring (Excitement), composer Mads Tolling's new work for jazz violin and orchestra. This exciting composition is the Symphony's first collaboration with Tolling, an internationally renowned two-time Grammy winner and former member of the Turtle Island Quartet.

Music Director Michael Morgan conducts Haydn's powerful Mass in Time of War, featuring soloists from San Francisco Opera Center's Adler Fellowship program, the Oakland Symphony Chorus, and the Pacific Boychoir Academy. In addition, Assistant Conductor Bryan Nies will take the podium for Samuel Barber's dramatic First Symphony. The evening also includes an insightful 7:00 pm pre-concert talk with John Kendall Bailey and composer/violinist Mads Tolling.

Haydn and Jazz from Mads
Friday, February 20, 8:00 pm
Paramount Theatre, Oakland

To purchase tickets, please visit or call the Box Office at (510) 444-0802.
Contact Us

Festival Opera

1630 North Main Street, #61 

Walnut Creek, California 94596   



Sara Nealy - General Director

Dick Brundage, CBC - Marketing Director  



Board of Directors   

Susie Hanson, Chair

Peter Johnson, Vice Chair 

David Baer, Secretary      

Nina Bancroft Dickerson 

Jennifer Kwock-Lau     

Diane Heald    

2015 Calendar

SAT Feb 21   Annual Members Meeting
SUN June 21  Opera in the Park
Father's Day Tribute to Dads          Civic Park, Walnut Creek

FRI July 10    Opening Night Party
                    Prima Ristorante, Walnut Creek

FRI July 10     Ariadne auf Naxos
SUN July 12    Lesher Center for the Arts
Nov 13-14     Chamber operas:
                    Holst's Savitri and
                    Perla's River of Light
                    Shadelands Art Center

Nov 15          Chamber operas:
                    Performance in San Jose
                    Venue TBA

Dec 10          2015 Holiday Gala
6:30 p.m.      Round Hill Country Club                     Alamo, CA
Michael Morgan Honored as Champion of New Music 

Michael Morgan
photo by Marco Sanchez
   On February 20, 2015, Michael Morgan, Festival Opera conductor and music director of both the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, will receive the American Composers Forum (ACF) 2015 "Champion of New Music" award.

For more about the honor, please read Jason Victor Serinus' article in the San Francisco Classical Voice.
           Congratulations, Maestro Morgan!
Opera in the Park Scheduled for Father's Day - Sunday June 21
Picnic and Join the Tribute to Dads
Featured soprano Rebecca Garcia helps children make opera masks, sponsored by PG&E Corporation
The 2015 Opera in the Park is only months away, and major sponsors are being sought to partner with Festival Opera on this popular community event. Held in Walnut Creek's Civic Park, this free public concert and fair features acclaimed singers and music in a relaxed picnic environment.

   Opera in the Park sponsors are in the spotlight before a diverse and affluent base of patrons and community supporters.

   To become a sponsor, contact Sunshine Deffner, Community Fair Manager by email.

Shoppers can discover fresh treasures at sponsor and partner booths at Opera in the Park's Community Fair