SAN FRANCISCO (February 17, 2016) – Today, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) and Dr. Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director, announced the spring concert for Season 38: Expect The Unexpected - “Tales of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes” on April 14 – 15 at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall (201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco).
Performances are Thursday, April 14 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from $25-75 and are available now on www.SFGMC.org or by calling City Box Office at (415) 392-4400.
“Tales of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes” features the 300 men of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, along with special guest artist Armistead Maupin and the 50-piece Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, under the direction of Dawn Harms.
“Tales of Our City will take the listener on a journey that spans over four decades,” writes Dr. Timothy Seelig. “The concert will be filled with milestones from SFGMC’s history, like NakedMan, the major work commissioned by the Chorus 20 years ago, to excerpts from the 2013 blockbuster, I Am Harvey Milk, as well as a brand-new piece by SFGMC composer-in-residence James Eakin. We celebrate heroes such as Harvey and Armistead and sing music about our lives.”
40 years ago, Armistead Maupin began chronicling the magical world of San Francisco in what would become the worldwide phenomenon known as “Tales of the City.” The Chorus celebrates Maupin’s history as a literary trailblazer and LGBT activist with an evening of music and stories woven together. As Maupin shares memories of the city, the Chorus presents a breathtaking adaptation of “Michael’s Letter to Mama,” taken directly from Maupin’s renowned literary series.
“It is an absolute thrill to share the stage with a man that, with his pen and wit and gift of story-telling, brought the entire world to San Francisco’s doorstep,” continues Dr. Seelig. “For the last 40 years, Armistead Maupin has chronicled our lives – and now we get to sing his powerful and moving words set to beautiful music. The message is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.”
“Tales of Our City” includes highlights from two of SFGMC’s most significant worldpremiere commissions. Act I features the 20th anniversary of NakedMan (music by Robert Seeley, words by Philip Littell), the groundbreaking multi-movement piece originally commissioned and performed by the Chorus in 1996, which chronicled the lives and loves of the men of SFGMC against the backdrop of the AIDS pandemic.
Act II includes excerpts from the wildly popular commissioned work I Am Harvey Milk by composer Andrew Lippa, which SFGMC premiered at the Nourse Theater in 2013, on the day the Defense of Marriage Act was repealed and marriage equality became the law of the land. The oratorio I Am Harvey Milk presents the life and legacy of Supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the LGBT civil rights movement’s greatest heroes, with vivid intensity. The work continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, and recently debuted at New York’s Lincoln Center.
“I have watched the singers rehearse this music paying homage to our heroes,” notes Dr. Seelig. “Some are famous, some are men who sang in the Chorus who are no longer here. I have shared in their joy and their tears commemorating these lives and the indelible impact they have all had on us. I know, having seen the singers' response to this repertoire, that this set of concerts will so down as some of the most moving experiences of our time.”