Artistic Director

Conductor and lyric baritone Sven Edward Olbash began his musical career as a specialist in avant-garde and experimental vocal music, making his San Francisco professional recital debut at Old First Concerts in a program of all 20th century works as a tribute to his late mentor, composer and fellow Lynn, MA native Daniel Pinkham. During his four seasons as a member of new music ensemble Volti, Sven performed works by over 50 living composers—including 20 world premieres—and worked with Per Nørgård as soloist in his Wie ein Kind at the Other Minds Festival. He has also performed more traditional operatic roles with Longwood Opera, Lowell House Opera, and North Shore Light Opera. 

As organist and music director for San Francisco’s Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires (NDV) from 2005-2012, he established the concert series Music at the French National Church, applying his experience with new music to the performance of Renaissance polyphony, approaching this early repertoire not as historical artifact, but as it might have been experienced by the first interpreters of the then “new” music. His work with the choirs of NDV led them to be invited to perform music of Lassus and Gregorian chant at La Sainte Trinité in Paris.

In 2008, he recorded the Gregorian chant album Blessed is the Ordinary with the Vermont-based Stepping Stone Chant Project, sparking a two year intensive study of the pre-notational performance practice of Medieval music. This led to the formation of the vocal ensemble Euouae in 2010 and their sold-out inaugural performance of the Messe de Tournai, the oldest surviving polyphonic setting of the Mass to be collected under one cover. Euouae's debut album you who sow in tears will reap in joydirected and produced by Sven, features the earliest composed settings of the Requiem (Mass for the Dead) and of the sequence Dies irae.

As the yet unnamed Ensemble-in-Residence at NDV began to perform more and more concerts every year, and in the interest of bringing his work with Euouae to a wider community, Sven established the nonprofit organization Lacuna Arts in 2012 in order to “promote excellence in vocal music through performance, education, outreach, and community service.” From then on, the concert choir was known as the Lacuna Arts Ensemble. In 2014, Lacuna Arts was recognized as an independent 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Since then the organization has expanded to include the larger Lacuna Arts Chorale and the educational Lacuna Arts Workshop in addition to the original small Ensemble.

Sven pursued his baccalaureate studies at Boston University with a double-major in Music and Education. He holds a Master of Music from New England Conservatory where he completed coursework for degrees in Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy and taught Voice for undergraduate music majors. His stage directing credits include Handel’s Xerxes at NEC as well as assisting director Colin Graham in the East Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight at Boston Lyric Opera. He has been a clinician with SF Choral Society, Piedmont Choirs and SF Lyric Opera, leading sessions on music history, theory, singing technique, and French diction. He has been a Teaching Artist with San Francisco Opera’s ARIA program since its inception and has served on the Board of Directors of Circus Center, a nonprofit circus training school in San Francisco. He is currently Director of Music at Star of the Sea Church in San Francisco, where he conducts Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony for a Latin High Mass (Missa Cantata) every Sunday.

conducting Repertoire

Aiblinger
Meditabor

Aichinger
Factus est repente
Missa de Beata Virgine

Anerio
Christus factus est

Anonymous
Messe de Tournai

J.S. Bach
Ich lasse dich nicht
Jesu, meine Freude

Batten
When the Lord turned again

Berger, Jean
My true love hath my heart
The eyes of all

Billings
O praise the Lord

Boyce
Te Deum

Brahms
O schöne Nacht
3 Motetten op. 110

Britten
5 Flower Songs

Bruckner
Locus iste
Salvum fac populum tuum

Brumel
Requiem

Buxtehude
Missa brevis

Byrd
Mass for 3 voices Sing Joyfully

Campra
Missa Ad majorem Dei gloriam

Carissimi
Plorate filii Israel

du Caurroy
Du profond des maux à 6
Juge ma cause à 6

Charpentier
Messe de minuit pour Noël

Clément (Clemens non Papa)
Crux fidelis
O Souverain Pasteur & Maistre
Père éternelle
Tu es Petrus

Conte, David
Alleluia for 8 voices
Ave Maria
Silent Night
Tantum ergo

Couillart
Viri Galilæi

de Courbes
Du profond des maux

Corigliano
L’invitation au voyage

Croce
O triste spectaculum a 8

Debussy
3 chansons de Charles d’Orleans

Desprez
El grillo
Gaude virgo mater Christi
Gloria from Missa Pange lingua
Nymphes des bois
Salve Regina

Distler
3 Kleine Choralmotetten
Die Weihnachtsgeschichte

Dufay
Ave maris stella
Vexilla regis

Duruflé
4 motets sur des thèmes grégoriens
Notre Père

Eberlin
Bonum est confiteri
Christus factus est

Eccard
Maria wallt zum Heiligtum
Übers Gebirg Maria geht
Vom Himmel hoch

Elgar
Ave verum corpus
Ecce sacerdos
They Are At Rest

de l'Estocart
Il faut que de tout mes esprits

Finzi
7 Poems of Robert Bridges

Fauré
Ecce fidelis servus, Op. 54
Maria, Mater gratiæ
Messe basse
Requiem
Tantum ergo (no opus number)

Fux
Missa canonica

Gabrieli
O Domine Jesu Christe a 8

Gombert
Missa Quam pulchra es

Górecki
Totus tuus

Gounod
Seven last words of Christ

Guerrero
Alma redemptoris mater
Ave regina caelorum
Regina caeli a 4
Salve regina

Hassler
Angelus ad pastores ait
Cantate Domino
Dixit Maria
Missa Dixit Maria

Herzogenberg
4 Choral-Motetten, Op. 102
Die Nacht
Psalm 116
Wie schön hier zu verträumen

Hindemith
6 chansons

Howells
Mass in [the] Dorian Mode
Requiem

Isaac
Asperges
Ecce virgo
Ego sum pastor bonus
Gustate et videte
Hoc corpus
Innsbruck ich muss dich lassen
Jerusalem quae
Jerusalem surge
Judica me
Modicum
Pater, si non potest
Vovete

Ives
A Christmas Carol

de La Rue
Lauda anima
O salutaris

Langlais
Messe en style ancien

Lassus
Benedictus es
Exaltabo te
Expectans expectavi
Illumina oculos
Immittet angelus
Improperium
In te speravi
Magnificat, mode 8
Perfice gressus meos
Populum humilem
Precatus est Moyses
Prophetiae sibyllarum (cycle of madrigals)
Scapulis suis
Sperent in te
Standomi un giorno (cycle of madrigals)
Super flumina

Lauridsen
6 Fire Songs

Leonin
Assumpta est Maria

de Longueval
Benedicite Deum caeli

Lotti
Crucifixus a 8
Missa brevis in d minor

Martini
Dextera Domini

Mendelssohn
Jubilate Deo
Magnificat
Nunc dimittis

Messiaen
O sacrum convivium

Milhaud
Psaume 150

Monteverdi
Lamento d'Arianna (cycle of madrigals)
Mass for four voices (1641)

Morales
Inclina Domine
Vidi aquam

Mozart
Ave verum corpus
Jubilate Deo
Laudate Dominum
Veni Sancte Spiritus

Ockeghem
Requiem

Obrecht
Missa sub tuum praesidium
Salve regina a 6

Pachelbel
Singet dem Herrn

Palestrina
Canticum canticorum (cycle of motets)
Missa Hodie Christus natus est a 8
Missa Lauda Sion
Nos autem
Stabat mater a 8

Parry
Songs of Farewell

Pärt
Magnificat
Which was the son of...

Peeters
Entrata festiva

Pergolesi
O sacrum convivium

Perotin
Beata viscera

Persichetti
Mass

Pinkham
Gloria from Sinfonia sacra
Mandatum novum

Praetorius
Conditor alme siderum
En natus est Emmanuel
Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
In dulci jubilo for double choir

Poulenc
Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël

Pujol, Joan
In manus tuas

Ramsey
Jubliate Deo for double choir
Te Deum for double choir

Ravel
3 chansons

Rheinberger
9 Advent motets, Op. 176
Mass in Eb, Cantus missae, Op. 109

Rorem
Sing, my soul, his wondrous love
While all things were in quiet silence

Saint-Saens
2 Choruses, Op. 68
Christmas Oratorio, Op. 12

Salazar
Alma redemptoris mater
Ave regina caelorum
Regina caeli
Salve regina

D. Scarlatti
Ad te Domine levavi
Domine, in auxilium respice
Domine vivifica
Laetatus sum
Justitiae Domini
Stabat Mater a 10

Schoenberg
3 Folksongs, op. 49

Schutz
Die mit Tränen säen
Johannespassion
Oculi omnium

Stanford
Beati quorum
Justorum animae
Magnificat in B flat for 8 voices, Op. 164

Sweelinck
Chantez à Dieu chanson nouvelle

Thompson, Randall
The Peaceable Kingdom

Thomson, Virgil
3 Antiphonal Psalms
My shepherd will supply my need

Titcomb
I will not leave you comfortless

Vaughan Williams
O mistress mine
O taste and see

Victoria
Asperges me
Missa Ave maris stella
Requiem a 4
Tenebrae

Vierne
Messe solennelle
Tantum ergo

Villette
Hymne à la Vierge

Waldbroel
Dignus est Agnus
Exaudi Domine
Missa Choralis
Viri Galilaei

Walter
Joseph, lieber Joseph mein
Nun komm der Heiden Heiland
Verbum caro factum est

Wesley
Jubilate Deo

Willaert
Veni Creator Spiritus
Videns Dominus

Willan
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed
Create in me a clean heart

Wood, Charles
Nunc dimittis in B flat