Friday, November 1, 2013

Window on the World

May I introduce myself?  I am Harriet March Page, born Harriet Ellen March in Oakland, CA in 1939 (but they took me home to Berkeley, as I was fond of saying - knowing from the beginning that there was no there there as Gertrude Stein declared and no one ever forgot no matter what). My mother was raised in a two-story brown-shingled house on Rose Street in Berkeley, so I was telling the truth about my home.  I however was not raised on Rose Street or in Berkeley after I was 2 years old.....but that's another story and I have already written it somewhere else.

In 1994 I had a live/work storefront on outer Mission in SF near Daly City.  I was making dried flower arrangements and painted masks.  I loved it.  And I especially loved having a Window on the World: two big windows on either side of the door which were full of decorations.which I could change whenever I wanted.  Foot traffic was scarce and no money was made but I was obsessed with collecting plant material wherever I went and I had a very close relationship with my glue gun.

Soon my passion withered and in 1996 I found myself in a new Window on the World:  GOAT HALL on Potrero Hill, 19th and Missouri, in SF.  Another live/work situation, this time in a converted church which had been bought by my musical friends, Miriam Lewis and Douglas Mandell.  They live in the attached house. With a few other musical friends from St. Gregory's Episcopalian Church, also on Potrero Hill, we formed GOAT HALL PRODUCTIONS and presented our first show in the rather funky Goat Hall (short for Goat Hill Music Hall...though nobody knows this but me).  It suited us just fine.  It was perfect for cabaret tables which was fortunate because it turns out all you need is several small tables with glasses of wine and lit candles, and a dusty abandoned church is transformed into an intimate cabaret style performing space..

It happened that Dave Hurlbert, pianist, and myself discovered that not only were we both left-handed Pisces but were mad about Menotti, and so Goat Hall Productions began its new life with Menotti's The Medium, a great melodrama, and Barber's A Hand of Bridge, a ten-minute masterpiece, as a curtain raiser.  During our first three years we put on Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, and an annual Christmas celebration, Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors.  We also began our relationship with Kurt Weill (Threepenny Opera) and Mozart.(Cosi fan tutte and The Magic Flute).

So 15 years later, in 2013, it was no accident that, in a fit of nostalgia, we conceived of  Anywhere But Here, an amazingly unique cabaret show created by Michelle Jasso, which featured the three Strange Bedfellows Menotti, Weill and Mozart. It was a great performing experience (I was actually in it), and the audiences were wonderfully responsive.  A good time was had by all, I am happy to say.

Our windows have gotten a little blurry since April 2003, when Goat Hall was effectively shut down as a performing venue by the Fire Department after a woman fainted and they were called to an overflowing house of happy patrons watching Poulenc's The Breasts of Tiresias and Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea.  For the last ten years we have been what Theatre Bay Area calls a Nomad company, wandering around from venue to venue, Oakland to San Francisco to Berkeley and back again and again, and back again, and then again.  Oh, for a home of our own!

Since I live in Vacaville (45 minutes to Berkeley, one hour to SF), I continually contemplate moving our operations to Solano County, but everyone else lives either in Contra Costa, Alameda or SF County and so do our audiences.  So I drive and drive and drive....and drive... over bridges and freeways full of cars and cars and people.   And my main Window on the World is out  my Windshield!

I am going to close for now and promise to be briefer and not so long in writing so you will not have to wait to keep abreast of our comings and goings, which continue unabated.

Stay well and be of good heart.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Opus Project: Opus 10, a Benefit for Goat Hall...


Opus 10

8pm, Saturday, October 26, 2013
Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA

Op. 10, No. 1

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 (1908)
          III.  Litanie (Litany) (Stephan George)

                    Sarita Cannon, Soprano
                    The Opus Project Quartet

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)   
Two Images, Op. 10 (1910)
          II.  Village Dance (Allegro) - Part I

                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)   
Petrushka (1911)
          I.  First Tableau / The Shrovetide Fair: Russian Dance

                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Anton Webern (1883-1945)   
Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10 (1913)
          I.  Sehr ruhig und zart (Very calmy and tenderly)
          IV.  Fliessend, ausserst zart (Flowing, extremely tenderly)

                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) 
Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 10 (1912)
         I.  Allegro brioso

                    Naomi Stine, Piano
                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Darius Milhaud (1892-1975)   
Three Poems of Lucile Chateaubriand, Op. 10 (1913)
          III. Innocence

                    Harriet March Page, Mezzo-Soprano
                    Melissa Smith, Piano

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)   
String Quartet No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 10 (1918)
          I.  Sehr lebhaft, straff im Rhythmus (Very lively, tautly in rhythm)

                    The Opus Project Quartet

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)   
Frauentanz, Op. 10 (1923)
          I.  Andantino, quasi Tempo di Menuetto
                    Harriet March Page, Mezzo-Soprano
                    The Opus Project Viola-Wind Quintet

Op. 10, No. 2

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 1, Op. 10 (1925)
          II. ... [Trio] Meno mosso

                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)   

Three Songs, Op. 10 (1936) (James Joyce)

           I.  Rain Has Fallen

                    Sarita Cannon, Soprano
                    Melissa Smith, Piano

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10, No. 1 (1937)
          Variation I

                    The Opus Project Strings

Oliver Knussen (b. 1952)
Ocean de Terre, Op. 10 (1973)
          I.  Misurato (Excerpt)


John Bilotta (b. 1948)

Electronic Composition No. 10 "The Lottery in Babylon" 
          (2000, Jorge Luis Borges)

                    John Bilotta, Electronics - Video

Mark Alburger (b. 1957)
Nocturnes for Insomniacs, Op. 10 (1978)
          III.  Night Music II

                    Mark Alburger, Voice
                    Carole Cloud, Violin
                    The Opus Project Orchestra

Michael Stubblefield (b. 1987)

Nightfall Dreams (2011)
          II.  Dream of the Sabbath

                    The Opus Project Piano Quintet

Austin Oz Graham (b. 1992)   

Arkantos, the Dark Father (2013)

          I.  Vrazhni Kalroz

                    The Opus Project Bassoon-Pierrot Ensemble


8pm, Saturday, November 30, 2013, Diablo Valley College Music Building, Pleasant Hill, CA
A Multi-Media Event, with Raphael Gold, Charith Premawardhana, and The Opus Project Orchestra

Scott Joplin (1867-1917)             Treemonisha: Overture (1911)
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)        Piano Piece, Op. 11, No 1 (1909)
Bela Bartok (1881-1945)            Duke Bluebeard's Castle, Op. 11: Doorway (1911)
Anton Webern (1883-1945)            Three Little Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op. 11 (1913)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)            Toccata, Op. 11 (1912)
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)            Viola Sonata, Op. 11, No. 4 (1918)
Kurt Weill (1900-1950)            Recordare, Op. 11 (1923)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)        Two Pieces for Octet, Op. 11 (1925)
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)            Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 (1936)
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)        On This Island (Auden), Op. 11 (1937)
Terry Riley (b. 1935)        In C (in an 11-minute performance) (1964)
John Bilotta (b. 1948)            Electronic Composition No. 11 "The Ikariad " (2000)
Mark Alburger (b. 1957)            Portraits of Three [Flute] Players, Op. 11 (1978)


Mark Alburger               
Music Director and Conductor

Rhina Reese
Martha Stoddard*

Ashley Ertz
Eva Langfeldt
Anthony Perry

Michael Kimbell*

Michael Garvey*

Daniel Bao
Sally Johnson
Emily Sanchez*

Emily Sanchez

Sarita Cannon

Harriet March Page

Michael Stubblefield

Samantha Garvey

Lo Chau*
Melissa Smith*
Naomi Stine

Ken Crawford

Violin I
Corey Johnson
Carole Mooney*

Violin II
Carol Earley*
Rozalia Valentine

Carol Earley
Kat Walsh*

Austin Graham*

Michael Stubblefield

*The Opus Project String Quartet,
and Piano, Viola-Wind, and Bassoon-Pierrot Quintets

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 (1908)
 III. Litanie (Litany)
(Stephan George, 1868-1933, from Der sibente Ring [The Seventh Ring], 1907)

Tief ist die trauer die mich umdüstert,
Ein tret ich wieder, Herr! in dein haus.
Lang war die reise, matt sind die glieder,
Leer sind die schreine, voll nur die qual.
Durstende zunge darbt nach dem weine.
Hart war gestritten, starr ist mein arm.
Gönne die ruhe schwankenden schritten,
Hungrigem gaume bröckle dein brot!
Schwach ist mein atem rufend dem traume,
Hohl sind die hände, fiebernd der mund.
Leih deine kühle, lösche der brände.
Tilge das hoffen, sende das licht!
Gluten im herzen lodern noch offen,
Innerst im grunde wacht noch ein schrei.
Töte das sehnen, schliesse die wunde!
Nimm mir die liebe, gib mir dein glück!

Deep is the sadness that gloomily comes over me,
Again I step, Lord, in your house.
Long was the ride, my limbs are weary,
The shrines are empty, only anguish is full.
My thirsty tongue desires wine.
The battle was hard, my arm is stiff.
Grudge peace to my staggering steps,
for my hungry gums break your bread!
Weak is my breath, bringing the dream,
my hands are hollow, my mouth fevers.
Lend your cool, douse the fires,
rub out hope, send the light!
Fires in my heart still glow, open,
inside my heart a cry wakes.
Kill the longing, close the wound!
Take my love away, give me your joy.

Darius Milhaud (1892-1975)   
Three Poems of Lucile Chateaubriand [1764-1804], Op. 10 (1913)
III. Innocence

Fille du ciel, aimable innocence,
Si j'osais de quelques-uns de tes traits
essayer une faible peinture,
Je dirais que tu tiens lieu de vertu à l'enfance,
De sagesse au printemps de la vie,
De beauté à la vieillesse
et de bonheur à l'infortune;
Qu'étrangère à nos erreurs,
tu ne verses que des larmes pures,
Et que ton sourire n'a rien que de céleste.
Belle innocence! Mais quoi! les dangers t'environnent,
L'envie t'adresse tous ses traits:
trembleras-tu, modeste innocence?
Chercheras-tu à te dérober
aux périls qui te menacent?
Non, je te vois debout, endormie,
la tête appuyée sur un autel.

Daughter of heaven, kind Innocence!
If I dared use some of your features
to attempt a weak portrait of you,
I would say that you substitute for virtue in childhood,
And for wisdom in the springtime of life;
For beauty in old age,
and for happiness in misfortune.
That, a stranger to our indiscretions,
you weep only pure tears,
And there is only divinity in your smile.
Beautiful Innocence! But wait! Dangers surround you;
Envy looks you full in the face.
Will you tremble, modest Innocence?
Will you seek to shy away
From the perils that threaten you?
No: I see you standing asleep,
your head resting upon an altar.

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)   
Frauentanz, Op. 10 (1923)
I. Andantino, quasi Tempo di Menuetto (Dietmar von Aist?, b. c. 1100)

Wir haben die winterlange Nacht
Mit Freuden wohl empfangen
Ich und ein Ritter wohlbedacht,
Sein Wille ist ergangen.

Wie wir es beide uns gedacht,
So hat ers an ein End gebracht,
Mit mancher Freude und Liebe viel,
Er ist wie ihn mein Herze will.

With joy did we bid welcome to
The lengthy winter's night
I and an admirable knight,
His will has fled from him.

His joy and mine did he foretell
In coming to an end
With certain gladness and much love
He's how I'd have him be.

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)   
Three Songs, Op. 10 (1936) (James Joyce, 1882-1941)
 I. Rain Has Fallen (Moderato) (Chamber Music: XXXI [1907])

Rain has fallen all the day.
O come along the laden trees:
The leaves lie thick upon the way
Of memories.
Staying a little by the way
Of memories shall we depart.
Come, my beloved, where I may
Speak to your heart.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Allison Lovejoy - The Seven Deadly Pleasures

The Seven Deadly Pleasures
A Cabaret Opera by
Allison Lovejoy and Geoff Ball
Community Music Center
544 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fresh Voices XIII: Mischief and Mayhem

Goat Hall Productions Presents

Fresh Voices XIII: Mischief and Mayhem

Allan Crossman


Where Are You? (John McGrew)

Supriya Sanjay
Richard Mix
Molly Mahoney

Allan Crossman
Border Songs

Molly Mahoney

Mark Alburger  
The Decameron - First Day, Op. 200 (2012) (after Giovanni Boccaccio)
      Novel I. Ser Ciappelletto Cheats a Holy Friar

      Novel II. Abraham Sees the Depravity of the Clergy

      Novel III. Melchizedek, with the Story of the Three Rings,
            Escapes a Perilous Snare Set by Saladin
      Novel IV. A Young Monk, Lapsing into Sin,
             Justly Censures the Same Fault in his Abbot,
             and thus Evades Penalty
      Novel V. The Marchioness of Monferrato,
             by a Banquet of Hens Seasoned with Wit,
             Checks the Mad Passion of the King of France

Novel VI. A Worthy Man, by an Apt Saying,

            Puts to Shame the Hypocrisy of a Friar Minor
     Novel VII. Bergamino, with a Story of Primasso and the Abbot of Cluny,
           Censures a Sudden Avarice in Messer Cane della Scala

Novel VIII. Guglielmo Borsiere, by a Neat Retort,
           Sharply Censures Avarice in Messer Ermino de' Grimaldi
     Novel IX. The Censure of a Gascon Lady Converts the King of Cyprus from a
           Churlish to an Honorable Temper
     Novel X. Master Alberto da Bologna Honourably Puts to Shame a Lady
           Who Sought Occasion to Put Him to Shame in that He Was in Love with Her

Kate Bautch
     Lady I, Moneylender I, Abraham, Melchizedek,
     Worthy Man, Primasso, Gascon Lady,
     Other Lady I
Sarita Cannon
     Lady II, Holy Friar, Saladin, Boon Companion I,
     The Abbot of Cluny, Guglielmo Borsiere,               
     Certain Ruffian I, Other Lady II
Cass Panuska
     Lady III, Monylender II, Jehannot,
     The Marchioness of Monferrato, Boon Companion II,
     Bergamino, Cypriot, Madonna Malgherida de' Ghisolieri
Jill Wagoner
     Lady IV, Young Monk, Knight, Friar Minor, Cluniate Monk,
     Messer Ermino de' Grimaldi, Certain Ruffian II, Other Lady III
Mark Alburger - Giovanni Boccaccio, Young Man, Ser Ciappelletto,
     Old Abbott, The King of France, Reporter, Messer Cane della Scala,
     The King of Cypress, Master Alberto da Bologna
Keisuke Nakagoshi
Harriet March Page

MARK ALBURGER (b. 1957, Upper Darby, PA) is an award-winning, eclectic ASCAP composer of postminimal, postpopular, and postcomedic sensibilities -- whose music is played around the world, and who has become the subject of articles in The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd ed.), Grove Online, and Wikipedia.  He began playing the oboe and composing in association with James and Dorothy Freeman, George Crumb, George Rochberg, and Richard Wernick.  His principal teachers were Gerald Levinson, Joan Panetti, and James Freeman (Swarthmore College, B.A.); Jules Langert (Dominican University, M.A.); Christopher Yavelow (Claremont University, Ph.D.); and Terry Riley.  He is Music Director of Goat Hall Productions, The Opus Project, and San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra; and Professor in Music Theory and Literature at Diablo Valley College.  Alburger serves as Editor-Publisher of 21st-Century Music, and New Music Publications and Recordings, which is issuing his complete works.  Other CD's of Alburger’s music are available on the North/South Consonance (Diversions / The Twelve Fingers and American Tapestry / Symphony No. 1) and I Kill Me Music (Camino Real) labels.  Composer of 215 major works, he is shooting for Op. 444, in his 93rd year.  Alburger's Interrupted Interludes, Op. 7 will be given on July 27 at DVC.

THE DECAMERON - FIRST DAY, Op. 200 (2012, after Giovanni Boccaccio), the first of an intended 10-opera cycle (through Fourth Day, Novel I to date), is an irreligious medieval sexual romp troped on Charles Ives's 114 Songs, with crusading invaders including 12-bar blues, the Gregorian chant Kyrie IV, swing and Latin-American rhythms, the Orkney Islands Hymn to St. Magnus, Maurice Jarre's Dr. Zhivago, Philip Glassian minimalism, Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Samuel Barber's Second Essay for Orchestra, and F.J. Haydn's Symphony No. 102 ("Clock").

John Bilotta

Quantum Mechanic (John McGrew)

Betina Smith
     Mrs. Schroedinger
Justin Marsh
     Quantum Mechanic
Sarita Cannon
Michelle Jasso
Molly Mahoney
     Quark Sisters

Mark Alburger

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fresh Voices XIII: Mischief and Mayhem

Goat Hall Productions


Fresh Voices XIII: Mischief and Mayhem

Allan Crossman


Where Are You? (John McGrew)

Supriya Sanjay
Richard Mix
Molly Mahoney

Mark Alburger

The Decameron - First Day  (after Giovanni Boccaccio)

Kate Bautch
Sarita Cannon
Cass Panuska
Jill Wagoner
Mark Alburger

John Bilotta

Quantum Mechanic (John McGrew)

Betina Smith
Justin Marsh
Sarita Cannon
Michelle Jasso
Molly Mahoney
Mark Alburger

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Anywhere But Here

Goat Hall Productions
San Francisco Cabaret Opera

Anywhere But Here -- selections from Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium and


W.A. Mozart's Magic Flute, and

Kurt Weill's Street Scene,

Threepenny Opera,

Marie Galante, and


in the