Welcome to St. Paul’s Concert Series, providing world-class performances at a donation-based family-friendly admission price.
All performances are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Walnut Creek.
Our Next Concert
Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for a “winningly liquid” voice as well as for her “dramatic vividness and vocal flourish,” Santa Fe native Rena Harms has recently brought her signature role of Cio-Cio-San to Madame Butterfly productions at English National Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera San Luis Obispo, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Rena’s “breathtaking intensity” (NDR Kultur) was on display in her recent French debut as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra at Opéra National de Bordeaux, and in her returns to Florentine Opera for her role debuts as Beatrice in Heggie’s Three Decembers and Nell Gwynn in Floyd’s Prince of Players, which was recorded live for international release. She also brought her celebrated Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Seattle Opera, Theater Basel, Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.
Rena made her English National Opera debut as Amelia in a new production of Simon Boccanegra and joined Theater Basel for Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, the High Priestess in Calixto Bieito’s Aida, and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. She sang Mimì in La bohème with Los Angeles Opera, where she was a member of the company’s prestigious Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program.
On the concert stage, Rena recently joined the Seattle Symphony as the soprano soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and OperaAmerica for their New Works Sampler. She made her Mexican debut with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica Simón Bolívar with a program of opera arias, and has sung Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Burbank Philharmonic and Santa Fe Community Orchestra.
Rena was a 2010 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the winner of the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Competition, received second prize in the Marcello Viotti International Vocal Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, and received an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and attended the Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded a merit fellowship.
Raised in Sacramento and based in the UK, pianist Anyssa Neumann has been praised for the “clarity, charm, and equipoise” of her performances, which span solo and collaborative repertoire from the Baroque to the 21st century. Recent highlights include recitals in Rome, Paris, Montreal, Ottawa, Denver, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. A dedicated contrapuntalist, she has given all-Bach recitals at The Banff Centre, the Sacramento Bach Festival, and London’s St James Piccadilly. Her solo debut album was featured on David Dubal’s radio program The Piano Matters in New York and Chicago, and a new solo disc of works by Bach, Bach-Busoni, and Dallapiccola is scheduled for release this coming year.
Anyssa performs regularly in the UK with bass-baritone Timothy Dickinson, their current project exploring Don Quixote-inspired songs and arias. Other recent collaborations have included concerts with soprano Emma Tring and the Alexandra Ensemble, recitals of American art song with mezzo-soprano Katherine Nicholson, and duo recitals with violinist Yolanda Bruno at London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields and Toronto’s Mazzoleni Hall. Anyssa has also appeared as recital partner with Grammy Award-winning cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio (Eroica Trio), as guest pianist with the Sheba Ensemble, and on NPR’s Performance Today and Sirius Satellite Radio. She has held artist residencies at the Banff Centre (Canada), Avaloch Farm (USA), and the Bergman Estate (Sweden).
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and University of Oxford, Anyssa continued advanced studies with Fabio Bidini in Berlin and Paul Stewart at Université de Montréal, and has additionally worked with Thomas Adès at IMS Prussia Cove. In 2017, she completed a PhD in musicology at King’s College London, focusing on classical music in the films of Ingmar Bergman. She has since toured a lecture-recital based on this work in the UK, Sweden, Spain, Canada, and the United States. Highlights of her 2019-20 season include appearing as soloist with the Bridgewater Sinfonia (UK), giving recitals of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and touring New Mexico and California with American soprano Rena Harms.