La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, a longstanding festival in the seaside hills of San Diego, offers its first chamber opera venture: Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler, which follows a celebrated concert singer (mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson-Caro, above) as she develops early onset Alzheimer’s and, with the help of her pianist husband, uses music and singing to confront and cope with their new reality. The production is a West Coast premiere, directed by Doug Fitch and also features baritone Kelly Markgraf, clarinetist David Shifrin, and the FLUX Quartet. (This opera will travel to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival later in the month.)
Also still coming up in La Jolla, on Aug. 15, is the world premiere of The Silver Score, Aaron Zigman’s Rhapsody for Cello and Piano (world premiere). Zigman is a composer, pianist and conductor who has scored more than 60 major Hollywood films and influenced other musicians and songwriters.