Overture Society

An Exploration and Journey
For Grand Patrons of
Livermore Valley Opera

Overture members connect with friends and companions for enjoyment of opera, food and wine, the arts, and each other.

Nick Liang of Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard in Livermore delighting with a wine tasting at Overture event
Photo by Lulu del Rosario

Overture Society events provide opportunities to learn more about opera and share enjoyment in this enduring art form.

Members also participate in special activities to enrich our schools and support opera in the community.

Opera comes to life with Overture; members enjoy “up close and personal” access and relationships with artists, designers, musicians, and directors as part of the Overture experience. Overture members are also always first choice for the honor of hosting visiting artists.

The connection between savoring the arts and savoring life is undeniable. Add to that - savoring gourmet delights and wine. Overture members share in the enjoyment of wining and dining together, increasing a healthy appreciation of gustatorial as well as cultural arts.

Grand patrons, who contribute $1,000 per year to our opera, are invited to join Overture.

Overture Activities
Overture issues summary invitations by email (and snail mail to those of more classical operatic eras) to Upcoming Activities. All Overture members are invited to join in these events either on their own or by working through T J Gilmartin (925-449-3170 or gilmartintj@comcast.net). Members are encouraged to suggest activities, which we might enjoy. Over the past three years we have done these things:

Our Opera
Four performances, spring and fall are our pride and our gift to the Bay Area. We are fiscally sound and produce an artistic product that astounds our audiences. This is due to our donors and our volunteers and our artists. You can participate in or observe all aspects of our adventures: building and painting sets, singing in our chorus, being a supernumerary, or even playing in the orchestra, making and managing costumes and props, being a stage hand, attending auditions and practices and sitzprobe at the Bothwell Arts Center, planning and attending musical, social, and fund raising dinners, musical evenings, and special performances. And then you can bring your friends to our glorious opera offerings.

Galas
Every opening night starts with a feast at Uncle Yu's in the Vineyard, with amazing food and Nick's wine collection, maybe an opera song from Nick, and some insights into the opera from our artistic director and conductor, Alex Katasman. We had a grand 20th Anniversary Gala at Ruby Hills and are planning another such opera phantasmagoric event in January 2014.

Soirees
Intimate musical events at the gorgeous estate homes of our valley include gourmet food, valley wines, moderately interesting company, opera voices, and instrumental performance fall, winter, and spring. These sell out well in advance and are the most fun, next to our operas.

Our Special Performances
Opera concerts at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, Opera in the Vineyard at our Retzlaff Vineyard on a warm July afternoon, Amahl and the Night Visitors at a local church, all offer casual and close musical and culinary festivities. And you can attend one of our operatic visits to the Valley schools, a thrill for the young which we hope they will cherish.

The Met
Several times each year, we eat at one of the Hacienda restaurants and then take in a Metropolitan Opera screening at the Hacienda Regal Cinema in Dublin. Over the past three years we have seen the complete Wagner Ring Cycle with its incredible computer controlled machine staging, Parsifal, Rigoleto set in Las Vegas, Anna Bolena with Anna Netrebko, Philip Glass's Satyagraha, and John Adam's Nixon in China. You are not there, but the intimacy, interviews, and staging operations of these performances surpass the real thing.

Unique Opportunities
We ate at Ruby's in San Francisco and then heard the Ensemble Parallele perform the opera The Great Gatsby at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. We watched Eugene Brancoveanu practice Orphee at the San Francisco Conservatory, including 3 Cirque d' Solee performers. We hear the Merola scholars when they perform for some branch of the San Francisco Opera Guild in the East Bay, as well as sharing promotions with the East Bay Chapter.

No Rules
The goal of Overture is to enjoy local opera and build an opera community of those who love this art form. We are up for any amazing operatic event and would appreciate your ideas. We love the Livermore Valley Opera.

 
If you would like to join in any of the activities listed above, just drop a note to gilmartintj@comcast.net or 925-449-3170, and we will give you the details and make the arrangements. You are a grand patron of one of the finest opera companies in the Bay Area and are building an opera tradition in Livermore. We hope that you are enjoying doing so.