Historically, over 150 supporters of the arts come together for “Sparkle,” a glamorous evening that includes wine, dinner, and a silent and live auction. However, due to COVID-19 and its associated restrictions, ABS is moving our 2020 event online. This year, you will be able spend a week from the comfort of your home—September 6-12— bidding (or outbidding) other patrons on a varied list of auction items including wine, art, and jewelry, as well as Zoom classes with some of ABS’s musicians, board members, and friends. Our virtual event—September 12—will include pre-event cocktail Zoom rooms with ABS Musicians, and then our live event featuring Jeffrey Thomas and others.
Our annual tradition of performances of Handel’s Messiah in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral perennially provide a treasured December holiday event to capacity audiences. The finely tuned voices of the American Bach Choir and the polished sheen of sonorities brought by ABS’s period-instrument orchestra soar within the majestic interior of San Francisco’s Nob Hill landmark.
And—again back by popular demand—we will usher in the new year with “A Baroque New Year’s Eve at the Opera” in San Francisco’s beautiful Herbst Theatre. Start an early night on the town at 4:00 p.m. with a delightful program of arias, duets, and instrumental music from Baroque opera and concert, with plenty of time left for more celebrations in the evening or an early return home for a peaceful night. Bring your family and friends to celebrate a New Year full of wonderful music.
Auction & Gala
September 6–12 2020
in Grace Cathedral
December 16–18 2020
A Baroque New Year's Eve
at the Opera
December 31 2020
Our annual Subscription Series follows January through April 2021, providing opportunities for our audiences to delve deeper into the amazing repertoire of the Baroque era. This year brings several American Bach Soloists premieres of works being performed for the first time by the vocalists and instrumentalists of ABS.
The Early Baroque era of Italian music brought a zenith of dramatic and technical display in the hands of new generations of virtuoso singers and instrumentalists. Pious & Profane presents an ensemble of evocative ABS artists to bring this theatrical and captivating music to light in a program featuring vocal and violinistic fireworks.
Passion is a program of soulful and moving compositions by three of the German Baroque’s most masterful composers. The main work is a mesmerizing setting of the Passion story in a truly hypnotic and almost trance-inducing version by Johann Theile. Bach’s delicate and heavenly cantata for Palm Sunday is paired with an exquisite setting of the famous “Jesu, meine Freude” chorale composed by Bach's favorite composer, Dieterich Buxtehude.
The subscription season finale, Peace, Discord, & Contentment, presents a first performance by ABS of Bach’s solo cantata “I am content in myself” which is a poignant moral commentary on humility and self-contentment in the face of economic inequities. Paired with Bach’s work is a one-act allegorical chamber opera by Parisian composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier, rarely performed but with a familiar title, “Les arts florissants” or “The Flourishing Arts.” Over the course of five scenes characters representing Music, Poetry, Painting, and Architecture enter into a dispute between Peace and Discord. Jupiter intervenes, Discord is chased away, and Peace takes hold.
Pious & Profane
January 29 – February 1 2021
March 19 – 22 2021
Peace, Discord, & Contentment
April 23 – 26 2021