Celebrating Maupin’s “TALES OF OUR CITY” at Davies Symphony Hall
This post is brought to you by the internationally celebrated San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, bringing activism, community, and beautiful performances to San Francisco for over 40 years. www.sfgmc.org
300 voices are about to fill San Francisco’s greatest sounding building with an amazing collection of programming. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is performing two Spring concerts at Davies Symphony Hall with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. And that is just the beginning of this incredible marquee. Armistead Maupin will be on hand to read from his iconic “Tales of The City“ series, and the Chorus will celebrate Maupin’s history as a literary trailblazer and LGBT activist with music and stories woven together.
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.” On the nights of April 14th and 15th, in San Francisco’s grandest hall, Maupin will share memories of the city, while the Chorus presents a breathtaking adaptation of “Michael’s Letter to Mama,” taken directly from Maupin’s renowned literary series.
The performance art of the SFGMC is cherished as a part of San Francisco’s own history. There could not be a more suitable group to lead a celebration of Maupin’s classic prose. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus are a symbol of community and social equality, they started a movement that now resonates around the word in 250 distinct LGBT choruses. They were the world’s first openly gay and lesbian performing arts group, and they continues to bring great Pride to San Francisco and wherever else they may perform.
What an exiting confluence of civic pride and creative exuberance, these will be special nights.
“Tales of Our City will take the listener on a journey that spans over four decades,”
writes Artistic Director 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.”
“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.”
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.”