The Lamplighters Student Night at the opera Performance date is May 4th at 7:30 p.m.

The Show

Lamplighters Student Night at the Opera for By Georges!

Lamplighters Student Night at the Opera presents BY GEORGES! A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE LEGENDARY CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES: a world premiere operetta centering the untold story of one of the most important figures in classical music of the 18th century, a Black virtuoso violinist, composer, conductor, and renowned swordsman.


Music and Lyrics by Charles Vincent Burwell and James D. Sasser

Venue: Presidio Theatre Performing Arts Center, 99 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129

Date & Time: May 4, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. with door opening at 6:30 – NO late seating.


Omari Tau (Chevalier de Saint-Georges), Martin T. Bell (Alexandre Dumas), Krista Wigle (Mme de Sac d’Argent), Amy Foote (Mlle de Pompeuse Blanche), Leslie Katter (Mlle Lilette Sauverfaire), Deborah Martínez Rosengaus (Marie Antoinette), Eric Mellum (Jean Un), Jonathan Spencer (Jean Deux)

Ensemble: Ronan Beltracchi, Natalie Buck-Bauer, Audrey Cartensen, Elena Cowan, Jayne Dilberto, Minju Jeong, Timothy Lynch, Michele Pavlova, Pete Shoemaker, Paul Zawilski

Dancers from Urban Jazz Dance Company

Conducted by: Mary Chun Directed by: Céline Ricci

Choreography: Antoine Hunter

In commissioning By Georges!, Lamplighters saw the potential to represent Black singers in a way that centers Black excellence. By telling the story of a ground-breaking historical figure who should be more widely known, with sparkling wit in the grand tradition of Gilbert and Sullivan, By Georges! draws a compelling line between gifted Black musicians of the past and present — and according to composer Charles Vincent Burwell, one that is long overdue.

“The Chevalier was an extraordinary figure — and the backend of his life was difficult. But speaking specifically as a person of African descent, I did not want to focus on that trauma — especially for a person that had so many triumphs. So now the triumph is, we are giving that legacy its due, hundreds of years later.”

By Georges! features a highly in-demand BIPOC creative team, including Charles Vincent Burwell, deaf choreographer Antoine Hunter and his mixed-hearing dancers from the Urban Jazz Dance Company, and music director Mary Chun.

Writing duo Burwell & Sasser of BOTTLE SHOCK! The Musical, bring a particular understanding to the similarities between the dynamic patter of Gilbert & Sullivan and the lyrical layers and wordplay traditions found in modern hip-hop. Charles Vincent Burwell is a Professor of Theatre at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and lyricist James D. Sasser brings a comprehensive star power to the work, having written award-winning pilots for television, as well as having appeared in co-starring roles in CBS’ The Good Fight and Madame Secretary.

Director Céline Ricci, founder of innovative Baroque opera company Ars Minerva, brings a highly specialized background and vision to the piece. In her words, “A witty, moving, charming opera — it’s an honor to be part of the creative team on the first opera about Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges.”
THE PLOT: The Chevalier seeks funding for his composition and approval to run the Paris Opera from a wealthy patron, whilst being maligned by the company diva. He proceeds to fight three duels with gentlemen who claim he’s offended them before finally being introduced to the Queen, a possible savior from his plight. Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword? Just a day in the life…of Chevalier.