Grand spectaculars of opera and musical theater are on tap for the San Francisco Opera’s 2013-14
General director David Gockley announced Monday that the season will open Sept. 6 with Arrigo Boito’s 1868 mighty, ultra-romantic, Wagner-scale “Mefistofele” in Robert Carsen’s sensational production last seen here in 1994.
The work fits well into 2013’s Verdi-Wagner bicentennial in that it was composed by Verdi librettist Boito and admired by Verdi. Read More
“Lohengrin,” Richard Wagner’s ultra-romantic 1850 work, has returned to the War Memorial Opera House with a production that illustrates the very idea of “grand opera.”
At Saturday’s premiere, an outstanding cast, Nicola Luisotti’s orchestra and Ian Robertson’s chorus filled the big hall with music of the kind of intensity usually experienced at rock concerts. Read More
With megawatts of renewable energy, the San Francisco Opera orchestra and chorus gave a memorably robust performance on the company's 90th season opening Friday. Read More
The San Francisco Opera’s 90th season opens Friday with a romantic crowd-pleaser so popular that General Director David Gockley has scheduled 12 performances. The production of Verdi’s 1851 “Rigoletto,” a sweeping melodrama of love and betrayal, is a revival of a Michael Yeargan-designed work. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti (“who makes every Verdi opera he conducts into an event,” Gockley says) leads the orchestra. Read More
The musical definition of “grand opera” is a work sung, not spoken. That’s not the case with the original opéra-comique version of Bizet’s “Carmen,” which returned Sunday to San Francisco Opera for the 168th time. (Only “La Boheme” and “Madama Butterfly” have been presented more in the company’s history.)While “Carmen” has so much dialogue (kudos to French language coach Patricia Kristof Moy) it remains a very grand — or, at least big — opera. Read More
Nicola Luisotti answers interview questions quickly, enthusiastically and completely — except one.Where do he and his wife Rita find porcini in the wild on their mushroom hunts in and around The City? Known for his generosity to colleagues and audiences, the maestro draws the line at giving away that secret. Read More
If it be “Turandot,” let there be a surfeit of it. Strangely, there was a sense of continuity between the San Francisco Opera’s summer-season “Ring” cycle and the fall season opening’s “Turandot” Friday night. Both times, the walls of the War Memorial Opera House shook with the power, not excessive volume — then it was Wagner, now Puccini. This San Francisco Opera Orchestra was whipped into a frenzy, then under the baton of Donald Runnicles, on Friday by Nicola Luisotti. Read More
The San Francisco Opera kicked off its 2011-12 season Friday at the War Memorial Opera House with Puccini’s “Turandot” featuring Iréne Theorin in the title role and Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting, as well as preparations for Saturday’s world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ “Heart of a Soldier.”
Click on the photo at right to see a slideshow of the San Francisco Opera gala opening. Read More
Ask San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley what is new about the upcoming season and he answers that it is the fact there is a season at all.Under pressure from the continuing negative impact of the recession, Gockley is fighting to uphold the opera’s tradition of varied repertory, new works and world-renowned singers. Read More
Hans Christian Andersen was convinced he will be remembered as a playwright. Giacomo Puccini – of “La Boheme,” “Tosca,” “Turandot” and “Madama Butterfly” fame – believed “The Girl of the Golden West” was his best opera.
As poet Robert Burns wrote, “O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.” Read More