Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Interludes with Beverly Hills National Auditions Winners

The Los Angeles Ensemble: l-r Bingxia Lu, Sung Chang, Joanna Lee, Tanner Menees.


The Los Angeles Ensemble, “The Interludes”, First Lutheran Church, Torrance

Sung Chang and Esther Lee.
This year’s first “Interludes” program—exceptionally packed with music for this series—pulled together winners in the 2018-19 Beverly Hills National Auditions categories for piano quartet, piano duo, and piano solo. In addition it was somewhat of a family affair. First on were the husband-and-wife team of Sung Chang and Esther Lee playing Bach and Poulenc, then Mr. Chang tout seul in Chopin and Kreisler; finally he was joined by colleagues of The Los Angeles Ensemble, including Ms. Lee’s sister Joanna, in Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet.

The “three popular pieces” of J. S. Bach could hardly have been more so—“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, “Sheep May Safely Graze”, and “Sleepers Awake”—but I confess to finding, on this occasion at least, the arrangements by Leonard Duck for piano four hands to be (literally) a little heavy-handed, despite the best efforts of the two players. And being a dyed-in-the-wool old purist I guess that, if push came to shove, I would always prefer to hear them in their original cantata contexts (BWV 147, BWV 208, and BWV 140 respectively).

The youthful Francis Poulenc.
In contrast to the (to my ears) rather soupy mellifluousness of the Bach arrangements, the cleansing effect of Poulenc’s alternately astringent and amiable six-minute Sonata for Piano 4 Hands FP8, composed in 1918 and shot through with Stravinskian influence, was vividly conveyed by the duo, who brought propulsive energy and steel fingers to the outer movements and equally appropriate clarity and simplicity to the Rustique central slow movement, as naïf as the then 19-year-old composer could have desired.

More contrast came with Fritz Kreisler’s Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow), where Mr. Chang held back on overt sentimentality to give a performance that made neither too much nor too little of this bitter-sweet salon morsel. He then unleashed his full firepower for Chopin’s Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20 B65. So familiar for its use to label movements of relatively simple design and uncomplicated emotion, even light relief, in countless multi-movement works from solo sonatas to symphonies, this title of “scherzo” entirely belies the work’s scale, complexity, and darkness of mood.

Its Presto con fuoco opening is one of the most oppressive and catastrophic of any of Chopin’s works, and Mr. Chang hurled himself into it with breathtaking vehemence, with something of an “abandon hope all ye who enter here” quality. So, when the central Molto più lento arrived, something like Tchaikovsky’s Dante-inspired Francesca da Rimini came to mind, with the sense of this “trio” section of the Scherzo being an interlude of lost happiness, given an improvisatory tenderness by Mr. Chang. 

Schubert, drawn by Josef Kupelwieser
 in 1821, two years after the
composition of the “Trout” Quintet.

Finally, the “Trout”. Though Schubert’s Quintet in A major for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double-bass D.667 was not the first work to combine these particular instruments, it remains the only piece for that line-up that's held a place in the repertory, unlike the many examples of “piano quintet” for the more usual combination of piano, two violins, viola, and ‘cello. 

Schubert seemingly compensates for any treble thinness in the texture, due to the inclusion of only one violin, by placing much of the piano writing above the treble stave—in fact right from its opening Allegro vivace flourishes. Mr. Chang’s pianistic athleticism duly led his colleagues through a vibrantly alive performance of the work, which had been played locally as recently as February last year, by “USC Stars of Tomorrow” in the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church’s “Second Sundays at Two” series (reviewed here, with more background on the piece). 

Nicholas Arredondo.
The first movement (exposition repeat intact) was appropriately fleet, with double-bassist Nicholas Arredondo making the most of those passages where that instrument underpins the work’s wide timbral range. The Andante was an easy-going stroll, its mood of gemütlichkeit to be bracingly blow away by the Presto third movement, whose Trio section in turn was introduced with exceptionally Romantic spaciousness by the violin and viola of Joanna Lee and Tanner Menees. 

Then of course came the titular set of variations on that tune. In keeping with the overall scale of the piece, Schubert only has five, but all are quite spacious and though sharply differentiated, do not stray far from their origin (definitely not one of those variation sets where you rapidly come to feel that the melody has been mislaid somewhere!). The standout for me was Variation III, led by ‘cellist Bingxia Lu to soulful and somber effect. 

As is almost always the case with this work, The Los Angeles Ensemble did not observe the main marked repeat in the Finale, which really was no loss as even without it the movement contains a good deal of literal repetition. As it was, they kept it bounding exuberantly to the end, a performance that fully justified their win in the Beverly Hills National Auditions. Another time it might be nice to hear them in Hummel’s arrangement of his Septet for these same forces, said to have been one inspiration for the creation of the "Trout." 


“The Interludes”: First Lutheran Church, Torrance, 3.00pm, Saturday, January 19, 2019.
Photos: The Los Angeles Ensemble: artists’ website; Poulenc: Courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica; Sung Chang and Esther Lee: Courtesy Classics Alive Artists; Kreisler: Courtesy ClassicalMPR; Schubert: Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Last and First Thoughts at the Pacific Symphony

The demon Chernabog, from the Night on Bald Mountain sequence in Disney's Fantasia (1940).


Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

The Pacific Symphony’s intelligently planned first concert of 2019—Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, Chopin’s First Piano Concerto, and Prokofiev’s Seventh Symphony—was the perfect cleanser for any lingering holiday staleness. It was vividly played, insightfully conducted by guest David Danzmayr, and in Gabriela Martinez showcased a soloist who drew from the Segerstrom’s Steinway sounds that were an ideal blend of clarity and warmth.

Mussorgsky in 1865.
Still ineradicably associated, after nearly 80 years, with the Disney Fantasia animators’ vision of Chernabog the demon unfurling his wings atop the titular “Bald Mountain”, the music that formed an unholy alliance with that image went through several metamorphoses before it reached cinemas in 1940.

For it, conductor Leopold Stokowski heavily re-orchestrated and made considerable cuts to the version of Night on Bald Mountain edited in 1886 by Rimsky-Korsakov, which itself drew from both the original 1867 tone-poem and Mussorgsky’s late insertion of parts of it into Act One of the unfinished opera The Fair at Sorochyntsi (1874-1880).

Portrait of Rimsky-Korsakov
by Ilya Repin (1893).
It would have been instructive to hear the startlingly different Mussorgsky original, not to say fun to get the sliced, diced, and beefed-up Stokowski version with a Blu-ray® projection via the Hall’s deluxe a/v system, but I had no issue with the familiar and consummately orchestrated and structured Rimsky version.

Its initial Allegro feroce has no metronome mark (Vivace in the original, at a virtually unplayable quarter note=184!), but Mr. Danzmayr’s fairly measured way with the opening violin oscillations made space for a truly ferocious digging-in to the dotted strings-and-woodwind chords that introduce the heavy brass’s baying out of the ominous main theme. Couple that with whiplash-sharp skirls and emphatically punched-out sforzandi for the full forces, and this performance was clearly going to be one to remember. 

Perhaps the most telling moments came with the eloquent playing by section principals Joseph Morris (clarinet) and Benjamin Smolen (flute) of their solos in the consolatory “dawn” conclusion (entirely missing from Mussorgsky’s original, where the demonic revels continue unabated to the end). Maybe it would have added even more atmosphere to have the bell offstage, but who’s complaining?

It might seem a bit perverse to start talking about the performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 with the orchestra’s contribution, but it does have the first movement exposition all to itself before the piano enters, and Mr. Danzmayr and his forces certainly made the maestoso most of it. The employment of the PSO’s full string complement added to the almost Brahmsian heft, though without any exaggerated slowing when the violins introduced the beautiful cantabile second subject.

Gabriela Martinez.
When Ms. Martinez finally entered I did feel her opening solo statement in octaves of the first subject (Chopin in 1830 sticking to the Classical precedent of a second exposition led by the soloist) to be slightly underpowered—not quite the fortissimo he asks for. But then the crystalline beauty of her fingerwork was immediately in such exquisite contrast to the richness of the preceding orchestral tutti that to object would be churlish.

Portrait of Chopin (1829),
by Ambroży Mieroszewski.
Throughout the performance, indeed, the most notable characteristic of her playing was a mellifluous songfulness that in the first movement really came into its own in the long passages where Chopin dwells on his second subject so much that it seems as if he cannot bear to leave it. Fine playing from first horn Keith Popejoy and principal bassoon Rose Corrigan of the passages where they counterpoint the piano line underlined how skillfully and sensitively Chopin could write for other instruments, and indeed the many felicities in the PSO’s fine account made me regret that Chopin composed so few works for orchestra.

His pp string writing at the start of the Romanze is exquisite, and the successive overlapping entries of each section, muted, were conducted and played with hushed concentration; Ms. Martinez’s entry was the perfect continuation of the same musing thoughtfulness. By contrast, after a relatively measured take by Mr. Danzmayr and the PSO on the Vivace opening of the finale, she bounded cleanly away with the main rondo theme into an account of the movement that abounded in delicious give-and-take with the PSO, both individually and collectively.

David Danzmayr with the Pacific Symphony.
Before the concert began, Mr. Danzmayr had picked up the microphone for a few introductory words, almost entirely about Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, which filled the second half and was, he said, by far his favorite of Prokofiev's symphonies. Composed in 1952 and thus one of his last works, written in poor health amidst financial insecurity, it is anything but the simple, tuneful piece that many commentators describe (a notable exception is a talk by the English musicologist Stephen Johnson, which can be heard on the BBC here.) 

Prokofiev in 1952, with the 'cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
It began life as a piece for Soviet children’s radio, but grew into much more, and the very opening belies any unambiguously benign impression. A single bell-like unison C-sharp on piano, harp, and brass releases the main theme on first violins, an indelibly memorable inspiration that manages to combine both aspiration and a sense of resignation in its wide-spanning arc. Mr. Danzmayr played this quite straight, letting the music speak for itself, as he also did when the second main theme—radiant, almost painfully optimistic—arrived. 

Prokofiev, however, proceeds to undermine this with sharply accented ironies plucked and dotted all over the orchestra, led by high woodwinds, and played here with impeccable point by the PSO. Eventually the radiant second theme reappears in the movement’s recapitulation, but this time Mr. Danzmayr conducted it very slowly, and even quieter than the specified piano dynamic, with the effect of further emphasizing a sense of uncertainty about the work’s direction.

The remaining three movements, each in its different way, embody a subverting or undermining of the initial mood, and in every case Mr. Danzmayr meticulously, almost mercilessly, revealed and emphasized the underlying darkness. In his hands the second movement Allegretto metamorphosed from its relatively benign opening into a sharp-edged nightmare, a waltz as recklessly driven and haunted as Ravel’s La Valse, while the chill that eventually overtakes the slow movement’s initial nostalgic beauty (played much more slowly than the Andante espressivo marking would suggest), was similarly given full weight, with plangent English horn coloring and deep brass chords echoing into the depths.

Prokofiev's grave in
Novodevicij Cemetery, Moscow.
At the conductor’s very fast tempo, the hectic gallop that dominates the first half of the finale had a hysterical tinge, a “bound-to-end-in-tears” quality that gave the eventual return of the first movement’s aspiring second theme an overwhelming emotional impact, accentuated by the dissonances Prokofiev now inserts into its fabric. From this tragic peak the movement winds down through a long ostinato on glockenspiel, xylophone, and piano, punctuated by ominous brass chords—every stroke made to count like faltering heartbeats by the PSO players under Mr. Danzmayr’s baton—to a single final quiet string pizzicato.

Perhaps to clarify the program note’s unfortunately misleading reference to a “vigorous, optimistic resolution”, Mr. Danzmayr had noted in his introductory remarks that this symphony has two endings. It was suggested to Prokofiev by the conductor of the first performance that a more upbeat conclusion would aid the work’s chances in the Soviet climate, and so as an alternative he marked the final pizzicato to be omitted and added a quick build-up of the galloping theme to end with a bang. Amazingly, most early performances of the symphony included it, but this fervently committed account demonstrated conclusively that first thoughts were best, as can be seen and heard from the PSO's blog here.


Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Thursday, January 10, 2018, 8 p.m.
Images: Chernabog: Courtesy Disney Fandom Wiki; Mussorgsky: Wikimedia Commons; Rimsky-Korsakov: Wikimedia Commons; Gabriela Martinez; Artist website; Chopin: Wikimedia Commons; David Danzmayr: Matt Masin, courtesy Orange County Register; Prokofiev: Wikimedia Commons; Prokofiev's grave: Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Schubert and Saint-Saëns at Rolling Hills

Schubert at the piano, by Gustav Klimt (1899).


Steven Vanhauwaert, Second Sundays at Two, Rolling Hills United Methodist Church

If the score of Schubert’s penultimate piano sonata had come down to us with no indication of who’d written it, or when, or even whether it was its author’s only work, there could still be no doubt that he or she was one of the greats. Now add in what we do know—that Schubert was still a young man (but already dying of syphilis), that this was just the centerpiece in a trio of mighty sonatas conceived concurrently, and that even these were but three amongst many masterpieces that he produced in what Benjamin Britten called arguably the “richest and most productive 18 months in our music history.”

While requiring consummate pianism to make their full effect, Schubert’s piano sonatas are not virtuoso showpieces per se. Rather, and in particular these last three, they are spacious tonal structures that can be regarded metaphorically as landscapes comprising many kinds of terrain, or as emotional journeys that encompass everything from unbuttoned joy to anger, anguish, and black pits of depression. To embrace all this, and maintain a steady vision of the whole, is no mean challenge for a performer.

Steven Vanhauwaert.
The Belgian-born pianist Steven Vanhauwaert—a frequent and welcome visitor to the RHUMC “Second Sundays at Two” series (indeed he was last there only in November, partnering violinist Varty Manouelian in sonatas by Mozart and Brahms, reviewed here)—not only has the necessary technical chops but also an Olympian ability to take the long view needed for this music, as his splendid account of Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major D.959—the near three-quarter hour piece played entirely from memory—demonstrated.

Despite appearances, this is more
likely to have been a life mask
than a death mask.
Though the first of the sonata's four movements  is extensive, Mr. Vanhauwaert nonetheless observed the all-important exposition repeat, subtly varying his pacing and dynamics the second time around. Here and later, his careful observance of Schubert’s dynamic gradations was a joy, for instance differentiating to just the right degree between fortissimi (ff) and sforzandi (fz).

Many of Schubert’s late slow movements (the Ninth Symphony and Second Piano Trio come particularly to mind) have the overall shape of a calm or contemplative opening that leads to a central crisis and then by degrees back again. What happens in this sonata’s slow movement (deceptively headed Andantino) is the most extreme of them all: “for a few moments it is almost incoherent in its wild intensity,” as the BBC Music Guide says, while for the pianist Mitsuko Uchida it is “the greatest mad scene ever written.” The composer’s despairing rage seems to threaten tonality itself, and defy the ability of his chosen instrument to express it. Mr. Vanhauwaert was as vivid and skilled as any pianist I have heard in the way he stormed up to the edge of the pit, peered into the void, and then drew back slowly to safer ground.

After an incisive account of Schubert’s somewhat spiky Scherzo and brief Trio (no Schubertian “heavenly lengths” here), he gave the expansive Rondo finale all the space that it needs. Perhaps it was the impact of listening to such a fine performance live and with score in hand, but I have never before been so struck by the extent to which this movement’s development section comes quite close to matching that of the slow movement in power, albeit without that almost unhinged intensity. With the final return of the rondo theme, and full value given to the six one-measure rests that punctuate its phrases before the presto conclusion, there was the palpable sense of a long voyage safely brought to harbor. A memorable performance indeed.

Saint-Saëns at the piano, 1908.
Mr. Vanhauwaert topped and tailed his performance of the Schubert sonata with the first two of Saint-Saëns’ three Mazurkas, both in the key of G minor and composed in 1862 and 1871 respectively.

Before playing No. 1, Op. 21 as a bonne bouche to precede the main item, he remarked on how little-played and little-known Saint-Saëns’ solo piano music still is, and affirmed his love and esteem for it with a most affectionate performance, quite languid and with plenty of rubato in its opening and close, and smiling mock-severity for its central section. 

Mazurka No. 2, Op. 24, as encore after a brief chat with RHUMC Music Director Charles Dickerson, proved more dramatic and epigrammatic than its predecessor, punctuated with trills and crisp dotted rhythms, and just a touch of quasi-“oriental” harmony here and there. Maybe these mazurkas are chips off of a master’s workbench, but what a workbench, and what a master! 


Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, Sunday, January 13 2019, 2.00 p.m.
Images: Schubert by Klimt: Wikimedia Commons; Steven Vanhauwaert: artist website; Schubert "death mask": Goethe Society; Saint-Saëns: Interlude.

Shearer's and Stevens' Operatic, American 'Howards End'

Claudia Stevens, Allen Shearer
Photo David Becker

INTERVIEW: Howards End, America 

Z Space, San Francisco 

The much anticipated new opera, Howards End, America, from composer Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens, the creative team behind 2015's Middlemarch in Spring, will premiere in San Francisco on Feb. 22, 2019. The city’s RealOpera will co-produce with forward-looking chamber music ensemble Earplay. Mary Chun conducts and Philip Lowery directs the cast led by acclaimed singers Nikki Einfeld, Philip Skinner, and Michael Dailey. 

Exploring issues of race equality, love, and betrayal, Howards End, America updates E. M. Forster's famous novel from Edwardian England to McCarthy-era Boston. Shearer and Stevens weigh in on the opera’s compelling themes. 

Erica Miner: Claudia and Allen, congratulations on the upcoming world premiere of your major new chamber opera Howards End, America

Allen Shearer and Claudia Stevens: Thank you, Erica. 

EM: Your opera has been described as “a story of betrayal, race and real estate.” What makes this a characteristically AMERICAN opera in its flavor and meaning? 

Claudia: I come from the Sacramento Valley, but I spent formative years in Boston, where the opera is set—I was in grad school at Boston University (which gets a mention in the opera). Martin Luther King had received his Doctor of Divinity degree there. While I was soaking up the atmosphere, the idealism, the physical places in New England where American history was forged, race hatred was rearing its ugly head in South Boston and school buses carrying black children were being stoned. This made a deep impression. I then made my home for nearly thirty years in Richmond, Virginia—the capital of the Confederacy. Riding the buses there in the 70's I learned about the color barrier, how people still treated one another 120 years after emancipation. So, I came to understand that American attitudes and behaviors often have to do with race—much as British social structure still has to do with class barriers. The flavor of this opera, and part of its meaning, was born out of my varied experience of the nation over decades. But the opera is far more than a polemic about race. It is also a love story about deception and betrayal.

Sara Duchovnay, Michael Dailey
Allen: I would add that our characters seem typically American: the arrogant wealthy industrialist Henry and the radical young activist Helen; the African-American Leonard as a self-made man hoping to break out of his confines. The sheer energy of Leonard's embrace of high culture has a kind of pioneer spirit that we associate with America. And the character of his wife Jacky, a former night-club singer, gave me an opportunity to introduce a jazz element that plays a big role in the opera. 

EM: I look forward to hearing that jazz component, which I think works well in opera. What made you decide to tell this particular story, to adapt the classic E.M. Forster novel to an American setting? 

Claudia: I have always loved Forster. His novels are full of music and musical references, as is Howards End. I love how he tells us that position and wealth create barriers between us and in the end feelings are what matter. I also was drawn to this book by its great charm and wit, its colorful, sympathetic characters and the intensity of the story. And I saw that, by the simple choice of transforming the characters of Leonard and Jacky from working class unfortunates in England, to African-American characters in Boston a whole new dynamic would emerge. I saw pretty quickly that it would make a fantastic opera set a generation or two later right here on our own shores. 

Allen: Opera can transport you anywhere; my first attempt was set in India. My biggest collaborative effort with Claudia, Middlemarch in Spring, adapted another British novel, set in England. Both of us were excited at the prospect of an American Howards End—the idea to put it in Boston was part of the project from the outset. We welcomed the opportunity to create a piece set in the audience’s own country, and in a time that at least some of us remember, the fifties. Our Middlemarch opera has resonated with audiences in three different productions. But still, we wanted Howards End, America to avoid being perceived as a costume drama set in some remote time and place. 

EM: It’s an interesting choice of periods for your two operas. Could you detail the musical and textual choices you’ve made that makes this opera your story? 

Allen: It’s a story I felt prepared to tell without having to do a lot of research. Although it is not my own story, parts of it line up with my own experience—fascination as a teenager with a level of culture far beyond my own; and the racism I saw all around me. The choice to incorporate excerpts from Beethoven comes out of the novel, in which an inspiring lecture about Beethoven sets the plot in motion (though we use Beethoven’s Ninth rather than the Fifth). It is a strong unifying element and symbol in the first half of the opera, and it even makes a parting appearance in the final scene. I also borrow liberally from the jazz repertoire, having Jacky sing jazz standards by Fats Waller and Gershwin as she puts on a display for Leonard in their shabby lodgings. Juxtaposing classical and jazz elements helps to create tension and underscores the social and cultural divide.

Claudia: I can't say that this is my story, although much—I would say most—of the text is original. The opera does come from a deep place for me, and the text was somehow waiting to be written. I was raised in rural America, surrounded by farmers and mill workers who had just served in WWII. I took in their ways of speaking, their attitudes and aspirations, which still typify rural white America. Some of the language and slang spoken by Charles Wilcox and his father mirror that speech and those mannerisms. The more "elevated" language of Helen and Margaret—that of "privilege"—is familiar to me, mostly from extensive reading of the period. I was concerned whether the language spoken by the African-American Jacky and Leonard would come across as authentic, but our performers reassured me that it works and sounds right for their characters.

Philip Skinner
EM: The parallels between the McCarthy era and our troubled contemporary times seem quite evident to most of us. How does the atmosphere of Howards End, America link to the political situation in our country today? 

Claudia: The parallels are painfully obvious: wide disparities between rich and poor, the lack of empathy, the prevalence of greed and selfishness at the highest levels. Add to this, that in our opera the wealthy and greedy Wilcox family is suspicious of the educated, idealistic, art-loving Schlegel sisters, whom they disparage as being "elites," too European, even Communists. This was at a time when the McCarthy witch hunts were targeting social activists—or even just political opponents on the left—for destruction. In today's America one does not have to look beyond tweets and cable news for similar hate-filled speech and threatening messages. 

EM: Social activism is more than ever a huge part of our lives today. How does the interplay between your characters heighten our social and political awareness? 

Claudia: I think we are already pretty aware socially and politically. The opera emphasizes how trying to "do good," without sufficient understanding of the true meaning and extent of racism, can lead to calamity—that's what happens when Helen and Margaret try to improve the life of a black man. I think it underscores the need for real and deep solutions to poverty and discrimination. But it also suggests the possibility for reconciliation and a way forward—both as individuals and as a society. 

EM: How do the scenic design and imagery portray the character arcs and changing face of the house itself? 

Allen: In Claudia’s libretto the character of Helen, the younger Schlegel sister, is an avid photographer. In the fifties, amateur photography became very popular—everyone seemed to have a camera of some sort. Helen uses hers both as an artistic outlet and a means of chronicling the injustices happening around her. Projections will play a large role in this production, and they will include projections of Helen’s photographs. 

Claudia: The use of doorways—where people are allowed to enter and where they are prohibited from entering—will be a recurring symbol, as well as a design element. 

EM: In what ways do your cast choices intensify the impact of the story? 

Allen: Fortunately, a couple of the performers of Middlemarch in Spring—Sara Duchovnay and Philip Skinner—are returning to take leading roles, Helen Schlegel and Henry Wilcox respectively. We know their acting and singing ability, and that of Nikki Einfeld, who will play Margaret Schlegel. The part of Ruth Wilcox will be taken by Erin Neff, who performed in an earlier opera of ours. Leonard and Jacky Bast are played by Michael Dailey and Candace Johnson, both accomplished African-American opera singers. Since the opera is partly about race, casting had to follow racial lines; color-blind casting could not apply here. With this cast I am confident that there will be plenty of synergy to help drive the story home. 

EM: Thank you both for your insights. I’m looking forward to seeing the premiere of Howards End, America in San Francisco!

Michael Dailey, Nikki Enfield

Howards End, America takes place on Feb. 22-24 at Z_Space

Photo credits: David Becker, Jasmine Van T 
Erica can be reached at: [email protected]