“Opera in the Park” has meant one thing since the days of Kurt Herbert Adler, who established that hallowed institution 36 years ago: San Francisco Opera’s free presentations of top talent on the first Sunday of the fall season, at Golden Gate Park.
But now, David Gockley, Adler’s heir as general director (No. 6 in line, to Adler’s No. 2), mirrors the fall freebie as part of the summer season, with a major — and still free — concert on Sunday, in Dolores Park. Otherwise popular as home to political rallies, festivals, Aztec ceremonial dances, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Mime Troupe performances, Dolores Park has now become an operatic venue.
Singers this year include mezzo Susan Graham (here to sing the title role of “Iphigénie en Tauride,” June 14-29), baritone Mariusz Kwiecien (in a much-anticipated debut in the title role of “Don Giovanni,” June 2-30), soprano Twyla Robinson (the Donna Elvira of “Don Giovanni”).
Somebody is sure to show up from the cast of “Der Rosenkavalier,” due in the War Memorial June 9-July 1. They will be accompanied by the full SFO Orchestra, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
The free performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday in Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores streets, San Francisco. Call (415) 861-4008 or www.sfopera.com.