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2018 Holiday Concert with the San Francisco Boys Chorus

The Concert Chorus, the Intermediate Chorus, the Men’s Chorus of the acclaimed San Francisco Boys Chorus with special guest, soprano Ellen Leslie join forces in a special holiday concert extravaganza.

Date & Time: Sunday December 9, 2018 at  7 pm
Venue: 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students
Buy tickets online

A free reception will follow the concert.


Magnificat in B flat     Francesco Durante
Domine Deus from Mass in G     Johann Sebastian Bach
Ich jauchze, ich lache from Cantata 15     Johann Ludwig Bach
At the Mid Hour of Night     Benjamin Britten
What good would the moon be? from Street Scene     Kurt Weill
How can I keep from singing?     American folk Song, arr. Gwyneth Walker
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing     (Audience sing-along) arr. David Willcocks
Go Tell it on the Mountain     arr. David Willcocks
Christmas on Broadway     arr. John Higgins
It’s Christmas!     arr. Andy Beck

Ellen Leslie, soprano
Ian Robertson – conductor
Franz Zhao – piano
Matthew Walsh – organ

About the San Francisco Boys Chorus


The San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) is comprised of the Grammy award-winning Concert Chorus, the Graduate Chorale, the Hand Bell Program and the four-level Chorus School, which includes the Preparatory Chorus.

The CONCERT CHORUS is the SFBC’s premiere performing ensemble and is comprised of choristers who exhibit vocal excellence, performance flair, and exceptional musicianship skills. Led by Artistic Director, Ian Robertson, the committed Concert Chorus members, ages 10 to 13, present a full concert series in the San Francisco Bay Area, tour nationally and internationally, record often and appear annually with renowned artistic partners, such as the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet, the Robert Moses Kin Dance Company and other Bay Area arts organizations such as George Cleve’s Midsummer Mozart Festival and Stanford Live.

The Concert Chorus is the level to which Chorus School singers aspire. Under the guidance of our Associate Artistic Director, the San Francisco Boys Chorus faculty team train youngsters through four CHORUS SCHOOL levels, beginning as early as kindergarten in the Preparatory Chorus (Level I) and up through the Junior (Level II), Apprentice (Level III), and in time to the Intermediate Choruses. (Level IV).

Ellen Leslie

Two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in the San Francisco District (2018 and 2016), Ellen Leslie is quickly becoming a sought-after singer both in the United States and abroad.  Critics have lauded her “absolutely beautiful” (Opus Colorado), “bright, clear” (The Berkeley Daily Planet) and “radiant…lovely trilling soprano” (San Jose Mercury News), and her “sweet, strong tone and earnest demeanor” (San Francisco Classical Voice).

Upcoming highlights in the 2018-19 season include a role debut as Adina with San Francisco Opera Guild’s outreach production of The Elixir of Love; premiering the role of Jane Bennet in Kirke Mechem’s Pride & Prejudice; a European tour as the soprano solo in Brahms’ Requiem; the soprano solo in Faure’s Requiem in San Franciscoa song cycle premiere in recital with celebrated cellist Emil Miland; and the Western Region Finals of the Met National Council Auditions in Los Angeles.

This summer, as a resident Young Artist with Opera Saratoga for the 2018 season, Ellen sang roles in The Consul, The Merry Widow, the American premiere of Rocking Horse Winner and the world premiere of Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera.  In 2017, Ellen made her German stage debut as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in Schloss Merode, and as Rosane (Vivaldi La verità in cimento) in Leipzig.  Recent engagements in the Bay Area include Micaëla (La Tragédie de Carmen) and Lady Billows (Albert Herring) at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Damigella and Amore (L’Incoronazione di Poppea) with the SFCM Baroque Ensemble, and Iris (Semele) with Pocket Opera. A skilled interpreter of the lyric soprano roles in the Gilbert & Sullivan canon, Ellen has most recently sung Josephine (HMS Pinafore) and the title role in Patience with San Francisco’s acclaimed Lamplighters Music Theatre.

A lover of new music in all forms, Ellen sang in the 2015 and 2016 workshops for Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 production of The (r)Evolution of Steve Jobs, with music by Mason Bates and conducted by Michael Christie.  She has also premiered songs and opera roles by several emerging Bay Area composers, and received a grant to commission a full song cycle, “Charmes,” by Eric Choate, which premiered in 2015.

Having made her oratorio debut at age 19 as the soprano solo in Carmina Burana with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Ellen is also an accomplished choral and orchestral singer and soloist.  Since the 2012-2013 season, she has made frequent appearances singing with the Colorado Ballet in their production of The Nutcracker.  Recent concert engagements also have included Porgy and Bess in Concert (2012) and a Fourth of July extravaganza (2014) with the Dallas Symphony, and The Planets (2013) with the New York Philharmonic, all at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.  She also sang backup for Josh Groban in his 2013 performance with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Red Rocks Ampitheatre.

Ellen grew up on an Irwin 37 sailboat in the San Francisco Bay and spent her childhood sailing around the world with her family.  She earned concurrent undergraduate degrees from the University of Denver–a BM in Voice Performance and a BA in French, both summa cum laude.  She returned to California to for her MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under acclaimed soprano Sylvia Anderson.

In 2016, Ellen split her time between San Francisco and Leipzig, Germany, where she completed her studies with soprano Caroline Stein on full scholarship at the Hochschule für Musik “Feliz Mendelssohn Bartholdy,” earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Voice in conjunction with SFCM.  She has also lived in Strasbourg, France, where she researched a thesis on the sociopolitical climate surrounding Bizet’s Carmen; while there, she was also invited to sing Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time with conductor Carlo Rizzi and the Orchèstre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.

Ian Robertson, Artistic Director

IAN ROBERTSON, Artistic Director and Concert Chorus Director since 1996, has been responsible for the San Francisco Boys Chorus’ phenomenal growth and artistic renaissance as one of nation’s premiere youth choral performance and educational organizations. He has led the Chorus on numerous international tours and in their several acclaimed recording projects. He continues to enhance the collaborative reputation of the SFBC with San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony and many other music groups. Since 1987 Maestro Robertson has also been Chorus Director with the San Francisco Opera for whom he has conducted many performances and prepared more than 350 productions. He was awarded the Olivier Messiaen Foundation Prize in 2003 for his artistic contribution to the preparation of the SF Opera’s production of Saint François dʼAssise and in 2012 was awarded the SF Opera Medal in recognition of his outstanding achievement as an artistic professional. Robertson made his San Francisco Opera conducting debut with Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and has since led performances of Falstaff, Lohengrin, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Don Carlo, Turandot, Il Trovatore, and La Bohème. He has led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in many concerts, and he has conducted Così fan tutte and La Périchole for San Francisco Opera Center and frequently led Merola Opera Programʼs Grand Finale concerts. Other North American opera credits include productions with Sarasota Opera, Edmonton Opera, and Philadelphiaʼs Curtis Opera Theatre. Before joining San Francisco Opera, Robertson was head of music and chorus director with Scottish Opera, where he led numerous productions, including Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Pearl Fishers, The Secret of Susanna, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. A Scotland native trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and the University of Glasgow, Robertson studied conducting under Scotland’s revered maestro, Sir Alexander Gibson.



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