COURTESY KENHOWARD/METROPOLITAN OPERAPatricia Racette portrays the title role the title role in “Susannah” in San Francisco Opera’s 92nd season.

COURTESY KENHOWARD/METROPOLITAN OPERAPatricia Racette portrays the title role the title role in “Susannah” in San Francisco Opera’s 92nd season.

Heroines sing out in SF Opera fall season

Heroines and divas have always been an essential component of opera's firmament, but San Francisco Opera's 92nd season, opening Friday, is unusual.

Five of the fall season's seven titles are names of heroines: Bellini's “Norma,” Floyd's “Susannah,” Handel's “Partenope,” Puccini's “Tosca” and Rossini's “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella”). The other two — with famed heroines, but not in the title — are Verdi's “A Masked Ball” and Puccini's “La Bohème.”

Noting how diverse the season’s iconic roles are – requiring “women who are unique, exceptional singers and gifted actresses” – Greg Henkel, the opera’s director of artistic and music planning, says, “I personally am very pleased to be presenting so many of today’s generation of leading ladies on our stage.”

Those leading ladies include Sondra Radvanovsky as Norma, Patricia Racette as Susannah, Danielle de Niese as Partenope, Lianna Haroutounian as Tosca, Karine Deshayes as Cinderella, Julianna Di Giacomo (replacing Krassimira Stoyanova) as Amelia and Heidi Stober as Oscar in “A Masked Ball”; and Alexia Voulgaridou and (Merolina/Adler Fellow) Leah Crocetto alternating as Mimi in La bohème.

SFO General Director David Gockley is particularly happy with the lineup and constellation of talent, pointing with pride to the engagement of Radvanovsky, who triumphed in the role at the Met last year – her first “Norma” – in a new production designed by David Korins.

The opposite is the case with SFO’s “Tosca.” The opera has been a staple in San Francisco since its 1932 opening, and the same three or four productions have been running for decades.

Of course, the season also boasts promiment men, with stars such as Brandon Jovanovich as Sam Polk in “Susannah,” Ramon Vargas as the king in “A Masked Ball,” David Daniels, the world's preeminent countertenor, as Arsace in “Partenope,” Mark Delavan as Scarpia in “Tosca” as well as talented young singers from San Francisco’s Adler Program.

IF YOU GO

San Francisco Opera 2014 Fall Season

Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.

When: Friday through Dec. 2

Tickets: $25 to $370 for single tickets

Contact: (415) 864-3330, www.sfopera.com

“Norma” – Friday through Sept. 5-30

“Susannah” – Saturday through Sept 21

“A Masked Ball” – Oct. 4-22

“Partenope” – Oct. 15-Nov. 2

“Tosca” – Oct. 23-Nov. 8

“La Cenerentola” – (Rossini) – Nov. 9-26

“La Boheme” – Nov. 14-Dec. 2

artsClassical Music & OperaDavid GockleyGreg HenkelSan Francisco Opera

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Organizer Jas Florentino, left, explains the figures which represent 350 kidnapped Africans first sold as slaves in the United States in 1619 in sculptor Dana King’s “Monumental Reckoning.” The installation is in the space of the former Francis Scott Key monument in Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What a reparations program would look like in The City

‘If there’s any place we can do it, it’s San Francisco’

Officer Joel Babbs at a protest outside the Hall of Justice in 2017 (Bay City News file photo)
The strange and troubling story of Joel Babbs: What it tells us about the SFPD

The bizarre and troubling career of a whistle-blowing San Francisco police officer… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a COVID-19 update at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Gavin Newsom under COVID: The governor dishes on his pandemic life

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters It was strange, after 15 months of watching… Continue reading

People fish at a dock at Islais Creek Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Islais Creek tells us about rising sea levels in San Francisco

Islais Creek is an unassuming waterway along San Francisco’s eastern industrial shoreline,… Continue reading

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Most Read