2961 16th Street Across from the 16th BART Station
San Francisco, California 94127

On May 5, 2006 (Cinco de Mayo), the world premiere showcase of Viva Concha! Rose of the PresidioŠ by Candace Forest will open for three performances at San Francisco's landmark opera house, The Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street. Tickets are from $20 - $30 and are available online are available at www.victoriatheatre.org.

Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio is based on a true story of the 1806 love affair between San Francisco's Concha (Concepción) Arguello and famous Russian explorer, Nikolai Rezanov. The staged musical event will showcase the talents of an international cast and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the celebrated lovers, who have been immortalized in anthologies and school textbooks for more than a century.

"In this special bicentennial year, we take pride in presenting a rich story in California's history - one that shows the beginnings of cross-cultural affairs, international relations, women's rights and most importantly, the documented story of the enduring power of love," says Candace Forest, writer, composer and producer of Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio.

Forest, a nationally known composer, lyricist and educator, developed the project over a ten year period which has led to this showcase event in San Francisco opening for 3 performances Cinco de Mayo weekend. The international cast of 23 professionals representing seven nations includes accomplished award-winning opera singers as well as several beloved Bay Area Cabaret performers.

Soprano, Aimeé Puentes will appear as Concha Arguello and Codrut Birsan, a tenor from Romania will appear as Nikolai Rezanov. Bass-baritone, Isaiah Musik-Ayala will portray Concha's Spanish suitor, Santiago de Aguilar, with soprano Sandra Rubalcava from Mexico in the role of Concha's best friend, Isabella Diaz. Jimmy Kansau, lyric tenor from Venezuela will be featured as the "go-between" Brother Diego and Anja Strauss from Germany will sing the role of the Virgin Mary.
"The Victoria Theatre is a perfect place of our premiere," says the show's stage director Victoria Holder. "It embodies San Francisco legend and lore in its 100-year old walls. As one of the great old American opera halls, it hosted some very interesting performers including Mae West and the Marx Brothers. Of course, I also like the name!"

Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio will be performed without any electronic amplification. "The Victoria Theatre has wonderful acoustics," says the show's composer, Candace Forest. "We will be happily unplugged presenting a chamber musical in the tradition of these types of music halls."

A 200 Year Heritage of Love in California

Viva Concha! Rose of the Presidio traces its history back to 1806 in San Francisco's now famous landmark Presidio when:

-Spain controlled the entire west coast and the Presidio at San Francisco (then Yerba Buena) was under the command of Don José Dario Arguello, Concha's father, who maintained the post with a very small contingent of soldiers. Foreign ships like Rezanov's were not allowed safe harbor. An exception was made for Rezanov.

-The Mission St. Francis (Dolores) was fully established with a small group of padres who commandeered (some might say "captured") and supervised the work of a community of Ohlone Indians.

-Rezanov, founder of the Russian American Fur Trading Company in Alaska, was on a voyage to find new hunting grounds for the Czar and food for his starving outpost in Alaska.

Official Website: http://www.victoriatheatre.org

Added by apolloslim on May 3, 2006

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