FALL SEASON 2021

Sunday, November 14  |  4:00PM

Goodbye, Mr. Chips Opera Film World Premiere Music and libretto by Gordon Getty

Gordon Getty's new opera, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, receives its world premiere — as an opera re-imagined for film — in a special screening presented by Festival Napa Valley in partnership with the California Film Institute and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Getty’s fourth opera is based on the popular 1934 book Goodbye, Mr. Chips and other stories by James Hilton. Goodbye, Mr. Chips tells the heart-warming story of a teacher at Brookfield, an all-boys English boarding school to which “Chips” has dedicated most of his adult life, and chronicles Chips’ story of love, loss and learning over his decades-long tenure at Brookfield.

Directed by Brian Staufenbiel, the film features tenor Nathan Granner in the titular role of Mr. Chips, soprano Marnie Breckenridge singing Kathie and Linford, baritone Lester Lynch as Merrivale, and bass-baritone Kevin Short as Ralston and Rivers. The orchestra of stellar Bay Area players is conducted by Nicole Paiement. Members of The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, conducted by Francisco J. Núñez, represent the boarding school’s students.

Watch Trailer

The premiere was originally planned as a fully-staged, live opera performance, but COVID-19 cancellations gave the team an opportunity to try something new. Rather than put the project on hold, the team re-imagined the work as a film. This new medium allowed for seamless storytelling, with Chips moving fluidly between his later life and flashbacks of his early years at Brookfield.

As a result of pandemic safety protocols, the main cast, orchestra, and chorus were all recorded separately. The cast then filmed on a live set in San Francisco, while the boys were captured as projections in New York City, vividly appearing in the film as Chips remembers them.

Q & A session with the film’s creators will follow this one night only screening
at the Smith Rafael Film Center in downtown San Rafael.

$15 tickets available October 7 through the Smith Rafael Film Center box office.
For more information about the evening's program, please contact the Festival Napa Valley box office.

Presented in association with the California Film Institute/Mill Valley Film Festival

Artists

Gordon Getty
Gordon Getty

American composer Gordon Getty has made a lifetime of contributions to the world of classical music. He was awarded the prestigious European Culture Prize in 2019 recognizing his extraordinary legacy.

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Nathan Granner
Nathan Granner

Nathan Granner is a world-renowned leading tenor, headliner, and solo and collaborative artist, specializing in contemporary opera and late bel canto repertoire.

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Lester Lynch
Lester Lynch

Acclaimed by opera and concertgoers worldwide, Lester Lynch is regarded not only as a true Verdi baritone, but also as one of today’s foremost interpreters of American spirituals and contemporary opera.

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Nicole Paiement
Nicole Paiement

Conductor Nicole Paiement is widely acclaimed for her interpretations of contemporary operas. As Founder and Artistic Director of Opera Parallèle (OP) in San Francisco, Ms. Paiement has conducted many new productions, commissions, and world premieres.

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Kevin Short
Kevin Short

Versatile bass-baritone Kevin Short is thrilling audiences around the globe in repertoire ranging from Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail to Escamillo in Carmen.

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Brian Staufenbiel
Brian Staufenbiel

Director Brian Staufenbiel is the creative director for Opera Parallèle, where he has directed and spearheaded the conceptual designs of the company’s productions since it was founded in 2010.

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Young People's Chorus of New York City
Young People's Chorus of New York City

The Young People's Chorus of New York City is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, this groundbreaking program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child.

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Venue

Smith Rafael Film Center

Located in downtown San Rafael, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is owned and operated by the California Film Institute, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the annual Mill Valley Film Festival and ongoing CFI Education programs. Ample public parking is available in numerous city-owned garages nearby.

Smith Rafael Film Center