A Night of Art and Opera at the Library

Thursday, August 1, 7:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Free; refreshments courtesy of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library

ILLUSTRATION: Tales of Hoffman | © 2001 by John August Swanson

The South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Library are pleased to present a special evening of art and music featuring renowned artist John August Swanson discussing his artistic exploration of the Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) opera Tales of Hoffmann, and the resulting limited edition serigraph which was recently donated to the Library by former Library Board Trustee Andy Lippman.

Mr. Swanson will display his sketchbook along with color proofs and progressive proofs made during the printing in 2001.

Following Mr. Swanson’s talk an incredible trio of world-class musicians will perform pieces from Tales of Hoffmann. Pianist Hui Wu, tenor Jeff Greif, and soprano Hannah Waldman come together for this special night only to perform arias and piano transcriptions of the opera’s orchestral parts.

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Hoffmann’s aria – Kleinzach the Dwarf

Antonia’s aria – She has Fled, the Turtledove

Antonia/Hoffmann duet – Love is a Song

Hoffmann – What Intoxication Burns my Soul


ILLUSTRATION: Tales of Hoffman | © 2001 by John August Swanson

John August Swanson was born in Los Angeles, California in 1938 and paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs, etchings, and other prints.

His work is held in prestigious collections around the world, including The Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and in the Vatican Museum.

Hui Wu

Pianist Hui Wu has been praised as “sparkling” by The New York Times and “a rising star” by China Musical Weekly. Recent performance highlights include all-Beethoven recital programs and masterclasses in China, in addition to chamber music engagements with Rainer Honeck, Stefan Dohr and Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson.

Other highlights include opening night concert in the Tully Scope Festival in Lincoln Center, and celebration of the centennial of John Cage on the FOCUS! festival in Alice Tully Hall. She has appeared with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, New Juilliard Ensemble, and the Xia’men Symphony Orchestra. Hui has won top prizes including the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition in New York, the Beverly Hills National Auditions, the 65th Steinway International Piano Competition, the Ettlingen International Competition in Germany, and the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund Award, among others.

Hui is the founder of ensemble demitasse, trio E’Toile and Foiros Duo. Hui earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at USC Thornton School of Music. She is currently serving as piano faculty at Moorpark College and staff pianist at The Colburn School.

Hanna Waldman

Hannah Waldman has been acclaimed for her “committed artistry” and a voice that “soars with agility and power.” Equally at home in traditional opera, new music and the Baroque, she has performed in both the United States and Europe, including the roles of Juliette (Romeo et Juliette), Gilda (Rigoletto), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Fiordiligi in (Così fan tutte), Königin der Nacht in (Die Zauberflöte) and Duchess (Powder Her Face) conducted by the work’s composer.

An active choral singer, she has performed with the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera Chorus, and the Pacific Chorale, performing The Passion of Ramakrishna as part of Carnegie Hall’s 80th birthday celebration for Philip Glass. Ms. Waldman attended the USC Thornton School of Music where she earned her Master of Music degree in Vocal Arts. She is the soprano soloist at Sinai Temple and a regular with the choir of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles.

She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Voice Performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. Waldman resides in Long Beach. She is the Director of Development for the Long Beach Opera.

Jeff Grief

Jeff Greif is a recitalist specializing in Lieder and other art song, and a choral singer and soloist. He has performed all 3 major Schubert song cycles, most recently Winterreise in 2016, and works of Bach, Brahms, Britten, Strauss, Bridge, Schulhoff, Kahane, Mahler, Barber and others. In 2018, with pianist Hui Wu, he gave the first full performance on the West Coast of Matthew Aucoin’s Merrill Songs. As choral soloist, he has sung the Evangelist part in both JS Bach Passions, and premiered works by local composers David Avshalomov and Dale Jergensen. He sang for eight seasons under Grant Gershon in the LA Master Chorale, currently is a member of the Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble, the Los Robles Master Chorale, and the Contemporary Choral Collective of LA.

Thursday, August 1, 7:00 p.m.

Library Community Room

Free; refreshments courtesy of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library

Upon request made no later than four (4) business days before the event, the City will provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified person with a disability to have equal access to the event. Please contact ADA Coordinator and Human Resources Manager, Mariam Lee Ko, at (626) 403-7312 or fill out the City’s request form available at www.southpasadenaca.gov and email the form to Human Resources at HR@southpasadenaca.gov.







HOURS: MON 10AM-6PM | TUE-THU 11-9PM | FRI 10AM-6PM | SAT 10AM-5PM | SUN 1-5PM

PARKING: There is limited street parking. Free parking is available in the nearby Mission-Meridian Parking Garage (807 Meridian Avenue) Monday-Friday after 12:00 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. The Metro Gold Line Station is just two blocks from the Library.