“All of Sacramento Becomes the Stage” During Year-long Community Center Theater Renovation

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SACRAMENTO, CALIF.   For the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera’s 2019-2020 season, all of Sacramento will become the Orchestra’s stage.  With the Orchestra’s home, the Sacramento Community Center Theater beginning a year-long renovation, the seven concert series will feature symphonic and operatic programs in three magnificent venues: Memorial Auditorium, Fremont Presbyterian Church, and Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.  The Orchestra will return to the renovated Community Center Theater in Fall of 2020.

“We took a tour of the city in search of venues that would beautifully illustrate the interplay of music and Sacramento culture. The venues we selected will showcase music programmed specifically to the acoustic of each,” said Executive Director Alice Sauro. “Of course as our concerts have been serving so many community members, it was important to us to find spaces where we could accommodate everybody, so for the first time there will be some programs with two nights of concerts.”

SP&O’s fifth season will open on Saturday, October 19, 2019 with Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” in the historic Memorial Auditorium—the same location where Sacramento’s first orchestra appeared.  The season opener will feature returning conductor Andrew Grams and violin prodigy William Hagen, who made his professional debut at age 9. Another homage to Sacramento, the concert begins with Wagner’s March from Tannhauser, which inaugurated Memorial in 1927.

Also performing in Memorial Auditorium are Christopher Rountree making his SP&O debut, and Christoph Campestrini, returning to curate another exciting opera production. Rountree will lead the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s rousing “1812 Overture” and the newly premiered commission by living Grammy-nominated composer Zhou Tian, celebrating a Sacramento milestone: the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Operas have consistently been the SP&O’s sensational season closers, and the 19-20 season will be no different. “To have the opportunity to produce an opera in this Memorial Auditorium excites the imagination. We’re taking our time to get all of the elements in place to assure success, but we can say we’re thrilled for conductor Christoph Campestrini to make his return to Sacramento for this production,” said Sauro. The opera will be announced in Fall 2019.

Fremont Presbyterian Church, with its grand and powerful pipe organ, will thunder in Saint-Saens’ roaring “Organ Symphony,” led by Robert Moody, Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra — plus symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart.   “In our venue search, we were thrilled by the sound that emerged from the pipe organ and through every corner of the stained glass filled church.  It became apparent that it was imperative to highlight the instrument, so this unique three-part concert will begin with a recital by sensational organist, James Jones,” said Sauro.  The church will also see the return of Grammy award winner Michael Christie conducting the popular Opera Favorites program.

One of Sacramento’s downtown jewels, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament will cradle Faure’s tender Requiem, and intimate works of Vaughn-Williams and Tallis in a way that transports patrons out of the hustle and bustle of the city into the Renaissance.

“It’s a transformative space that allows for fluid acoustics which brilliantly sets the stage for Maestro Douglas Boyd and the orchestra to perform ‘Music of the Spirit’, ” added Sauro.

The Thanksgiving weekend tradition continues with a special holiday season kick-off concert conducted by Sean O’Laughlin. He and the orchestra are joined by Marcus Scott, the current lead singer of famed Oakland funk and soul band, Tower of Power. His spirited energy will put a new spin on the classic holiday concert.

Pricing remains patron-centric and has not increased for the 19-20 Season. Subscription packages start at $156. Subscription information for renewing subscribers has just been released.  Patrons seeking to become subscribers are encouraged to order now to guarantee the best seating.  Single tickets may be purchased in late August, following Subscriber Courtesy Week when subscribers will be able to purchase additional single tickets in advance of public release. Subscriptions may be purchased by calling our box office at 916-476-5975 or by visiting SacPhilOpera.org.

Season at a Glance


What began as the Sacramento Symphony in 1927 is now combined into the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, returning with authority as a melded organization in 2015. The organization is now entering its fifth season under the executive leadership of Alice Sauro, and once again offers musical power, beauty, and innovation. As one of the Central Valley’s premier arts ensembles, the organization continues to bring the very best artistic talent to audiences throughout the region.

Press Contact:
Jamie Padilla