In addition to its regular symphony concerts, Vallejo Symphony Orchestra likes to highlight other talented composers and groups through its Vallejo Symphony Presents series. For its first production of the 2016-2017 season, Vallejo Symphony will be featuring the vocal and instrumental talents of Bella Sorella.
Bella Sorella are an award-winning soprano ensemble who have performed all over the world, given a live television performance on KNSD in San Diego and even performed the national anthem at a San Francisco Giants game.
The group was formed in 2005 by soprano vocalists Nova and Susanna Jimenez who met while roommates at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton. The name “Bella Sorella” is Italian for “beautiful sister,” a reference to the fact that they both married brothers from another family.
The pair eventually became a quartet, which now features Lindsey Huff Breitschaedel on piano and Joyce Lee, who also serves as VSO’s concert chairmaster, on violin.
“The music that we create makes me feel good when we perform,” Lee said.
Bella Sorella combine several different types of music, ranging from orchestral to opera to show tunes to more contemporary pieces.
“It’s hard to categorize (Bella Sorella) because we have a wide range of intimate genres,” Lee said.
Lee enjoys the camaraderie and chemistry of the performers as well as the intimacy of performing in a small group.
“There’s a lot of collaboration and input, and we all balance each other,” she said. “It’s a really welcoming experience for me.”
Lee has been performing with VSO for 15 years and had mentioned the group to Director Tim Zumwalt, and he offered to have them play as part of the Vallejo Symphony Presents series.
“I enjoy playing with a small orchestra, and everybody who plays there really wants to be there,” she said. “We put on good concerts and all come together and prepare well.”
In keeping with Bella Sorella’s musical variety, this concert will feature an eclectic mix of music from different genres. The setlist includes Leo Delibes’ “Flower Duet” from the opera “Lakme,” Andrea Boccelli’s “Con te partiro,” Victor Herbert’s “Italian Street Song,” Irving Berlin’s “Sisters” from the movie “White Christmas” and Queen’s classic rock-opera suite “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“We like to perform pieces that people really want to hear,” Lee said. “A lot of these pieces are popular requests and also things that we really love to play. There’s a good selection of what people want to hear and what we want to play.”
Nonetheless, Lee says the renditions will be different from how people are used to hearing them.
“We have special arrangements for certain things, we have medleys that we put together, and the presentation is going to be a bit unusual,” she said. “It may not be what they’re used to, but I think that it will be very enjoyable and very fun for everyone.”
Bella Sorella will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 9 at Vallejo’s First Presbyterian Church, located at 1350 Amador St. Tickets are $10 for students ages 13 and older, and $20 for adults. They can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com. For more information, visit VallejoSymphony.org.
The first symphony concert of the season with new conductor Marc Taddei will be held Sunday, Oct. 30.