Arts & Events
Remember that great Masterpiece series a few years back, "Jewel In the Crown?" Well, in my humble opinion, the Women's Faculty Club on the U.C. campus is a jewel in the crown of the University of California. Designed by John Galen Howard and completed in in 1923, this lovely building is a Berkeley treasure.
I was reminded of this fact when I attended Thursday's "Arts in the Afternoon", featuring Soprano Angela Arnold and Pianist Michael Seth Orland in a marvelous recital. Stepping into the Stebbins Lounge, I was warmly greeted by Mary Remy, the Club's gracious hostess, who suggested that I have a drink from the well stocked bar. I settled for a class of white wine and then made myself comfortable in an arm chair near the handsome Steinway piano.
Waiting for late arrivals, Christina Gillis offered brief backgrounds of the performers, mentioning their impressive musical achievements. We learned that Angela had the honor of singing the National Anthem at the 2010 San Francisco Opera at AT&T Park, having won the competition run by SFO and Radio Station KDFC. More impressive were her performances with the U.C. Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco City Chorus and the Philharmonic Baroque Chorale.
A svelte, striking beauty, this multi-talented artist treated the audience to an ambitious, varied program of music by composers Mozart, Debussy, Blech and others, ably accompanied by Michael Seth Orland, an equally accomplished chamber musician. The opening number, "Un motodi gioia" ("A Thrill of Joy") was vert appropriate since Angela sang with obvious joy throughout her inspired performance, conveying that joy to her listeners.
Following this splendid recital, guests were invited to partake of a tempting, altogether delectable buffet in the Club's Dining Room, where the musicians mingled with people offering congratulations for their wonderful performance.
If you missed this delightful program, take heart. You'll be pleased to hear that "Arts in the Afternoon" will offer another Concert on Tuesday, October 12th, 4:00 - 6:00 with Harpsichordist Melody Hung in a program of French music honoring Gaspard Le Roux, and additional music by Couperin, de la Guerre, LeBegue and de Loison.
Given all of the above alluring events, I think you'll agree that the Women's Faculty Club is, indeed, a "Jewel in the Crown."