Last year I hosted the first SF house party for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity which over the years raised millions for children’s health care and has introduced Polish people to charitable giving.
This year the Polish Club of San Francisco opened its doors to the event and we invite all those who are in the are to come, enjoy the free concert, the food and drink, meet lots of cool people and bid on attractive auction items!
Admission is free, you donate by buying food, bidding on auction items and throwing cash into the boxes. No checks this year, but credit cards are welcome.
Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity
Here’s an English language Facebook video describing the history of the Orchestra. It’s been playing for 26 years now and this year it got nominated to Nobel Peace Prize.
If you cannot make it consider donating online using the link on the SF Committee website.
We enjoy the support of many local businesses – donation boxes can be found all over Bay Area including Seakor Polish Deli, Polam Federal Credit Union, Union Square Salon
Bernal Opera will be there at 6.40 PM with a mix of musical theatre and opera favorites.
Where: Polish Club of San Francisco, 3040 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110
When: Sunday January 14th 4-9 PM
David Dobrzynski, 13-year old rock guitarist – a prodigy1
Voice of Poland star Magdalena Bałdych!
Street folk band Kuzyni
The Slavic Strutter Duo – Dance
Kids folk ensembles Orliki and Sokoly:
See you there!
I don’t know which was the best part – the auction of donations (books by me and Bay Area author Marta Zucker), the dancing or the food… A few people got introduced to opera and seemed to like it! Sang the usual suspects (Queen of the Night) plus my beloved La danza by Rossini. All for a good cause! (Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity)
The costume is always popular
Sebastian was the highest bidder on “Hela”!
Divine poppyseed cheesecake brought by Gregory.
A night to remember and to revisit next year!
Let’s support the good people – this Sunday is the 25th Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity – a wonderful event initiated by a rock-and-roll enthusiast where bands play free concerts all over Poland and volunteers collect donation for life saving children hospital equipment and programs for seniors. Lives get saved, community spirit gets built, culture of sharing is introduced especially to young people. The Orchestra plays mostly in Poland, but begins to spread world wide. Last year the Chicago group collected over 100K in donations!
Tomorrow’s concert is a 4 pm potluck party at the Bernal Opera headquarters in San Francisco, with some arias, show tunes and dancing to the music of recently deceased greats: George Michael, Prince, Bowie and Leonard Cohen. A last minute idea but good for a start. Let me know if you want to stop by!
Recent performance at my daughter’s school – San Francisco teenagers love Polish opera!
Last week Bernal Opera sang in Mendocino County, this weekend we will be performing – and entertaining – closer to home, at the Infinite Koncepts Gallery, 3844 Mission St, San Francisco. Program includes arias by Catalani, Puccini, Massenet, Boito and art songs by Karłowicz, Różycki, Dell’Acqua. Starting at 8 PM, Nov. 22nd, 20 bucks a ticket with some delicious food and wine included. If interested, call Alejandro at 415 595 8054 – see you there!
I think we had a full house on Saturday – opera singing for many lovely, interesting people plus wine, snacks and cake. Of all the pieces performed the most commented one was my beloved “Aria with Chimes” from The Haunted Manor by Moniuszko. If I can get Rob from England to orchestrate more material my dream of staging this wonderful opera in San Francisco will come true! Apart from that, the recipe for a good evening is: two Verdis, three Puccinis, Handel, Rameau, Mozart and Wagner. Oh, and yes, Spohr. Kudos to Justyna for joining in and sight reading some of it on the fly.
As a true Pole I am not able to say at this point what the rest of the season will look like, things will happen as they happen. If I can get Our Producer to open the house on a regular basis, let’s say once a month, we will plan the program in a more detailed way so that pieces don’t get repeated. I liked that some guests found out about the concert an hour in advance, confirmed, came in and had a good time. That’s pretty much how I go to shows – sometime during the day I realize I have a free evening, look around, see something on and try for it.
I am also considering creating a separate Bay Area Classical House Concert Meetup group for promoting our events. It seems daunting to starts something like that from scratch, since through the established groups it is easy to reach many people at once. On the other hand it would put out a clearer idea what kind of music to expect. So watch out for it!
Thanks to those who attended and see you again!
Vacation is over! Bernal Opera made funny noises in Chania, Crete, Skipton Castle, England, Falenica, Poland (on multiple evenings!) and is now back in San Francisco, ready to pick up where we left off.
We’ve had great luck making new connections via Meetup, so now we will use the Bay Area House Concert subgroup to organize new events coming in September. More information will be posted here:
The weather cooperated just enough to make this happen. Thanks Dave, Sasha, Valerie, Ellen, Richard, Joshua, Geddes, Dawn of El Rio and all the neighbors and friends who came for jamming, singalong and opera!
The power of paper media! Earlier today we went along Coleridge and we already have interested neighbors calling in! I had help from with some underage individuals who said putting out fliers was was great fun, “just like Halloween!”
I learned to appreciate the job of our mailman. Some of those mail boxes are pretty high up. Our dog was very confused, as she expected to actually enter every house we passed and she dug in her paws when I wanted to move on. Definitely a people’s dog!
Bernal Opera is co-organizing a music event in Bernal Heights. A few weeks ago a disturbing event happened in our street, reported here on our local blog Bernalwood. Shaken by the event in our normally quiet and friendly part of the world, some of us neighbors decided to give Coleridge street back its good name by making music. Which plays here anyway thanks to Sasha! Last Monday the organizing committee convened and set the date for Sunday May 18th, 12-3, rain or shine, at the Minipark; barbecue, mimosas, the works! So far we have a guitarist, an accordionist, a ukelele player and a singer. Wanna join in – get in touch!