Celebrated soprano Hope Briggs will return to the Bay Area for an intimate musical afternoon following rave reviews for starring roles in opera houses and recital halls throughout the U.S. and Europe. “A Musical Valentine” takes place on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. Tickets are $50, $40 and $25. Call City Box Office at (415)392-4400 or visit www.cityboxoffice.com.
For this special benefit performance, Briggs will be joined by Holly Stell, a 15-year-old Bay Area resident, for the “flower duet” from De-libes’ Lakme.
Dawn Harms, well-known local violinist, will also make a guest ap-pearance.
Then Jamie Davis, acclaimed baritone jazz vocalist, takes the stage with his quartet, and Hope sits in for some classic jazz including the duet “My Romance.”
The afternoon also features spirituals by vocalists from UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program for talented, low-income youth, and Ms. Briggs will also sing select spirituals. The concert is dedicated to the memory of two gifted African American classical artists, contralto Marian Anderson, the first black soloist to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, and Maestro Calvin Simmons, the first African American to conduct a major U.S. orchestra. Proceeds from the performance benefit two local non-profit organizations, Kids First in San Francisco and the education programs of the Oakland East Bay Symphony.
Briggs grew up in South San Francisco as part of a musical family and has sung lead roles with the San Francisco Opera, Houston Opera and Opera Frankfurt among others. She is also one of 18 African American classical artists selected to be a Marian Anderson Historical Society Scholar.