San Francisco Opera opens 2013 season with huge ‘Mefistofele’

Courtesy PhotoReally big show: San Francisco Opera will open its 2013-14 season in September with Arrigo Boito’s magnificent 1868 work “Mefistofele.”

Courtesy PhotoReally big show: San Francisco Opera will open its 2013-14 season in September with Arrigo Boito’s magnificent 1868 work “Mefistofele.”

Grand spectaculars of opera and musical theater are on tap for the San Francisco Opera’s 2013-14 ?season.

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.

The opera will celebrate Verdi’s 200th birthday generously. Music director Nicola Luisotti, who will conduct much of the season, is enthusiastic about the prospect: “I’m honored to lead the company’s recognition of Italy’s finest opera composer with his final masterpiece, ‘Falstaff,’ set to a libretto by Boito, followed by his soul-stirring ‘Requiem Mass,’ and later with the great romantic drama, ‘La Traviata.’”

In observation of Wagner’s birthday, the opera presents “The Flying Dutchman” in a new co-production with Opéra Royal de Wallonie of Belgium and Patrick Summers conducting.

A rare excursion into Broadway comes with Jerome Kern’s “Show Boat.” The production by Francesca Zambello will be the first musical in the Opera House since the 2008-09 “Porgy and Bess.”

The promised world premiere is “Dolores Claiborne” by Tobias Picker and J. D. McClatchy,  based on Stephen King’s novel. Featuring a cast led by Dolora Zajick and Elizabeth Futral, the piece will be Gockley’s sixth commissioned work since he took the reins of the company in 2006.

Previous commissions include “Appomattox” (2007), “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” (2008), “Heart of a Soldier” (2011) and the upcoming “The Secret Garden” in March and “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene” in June.

Old, reliable audience favorites are Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” in 11 performances and Puccini’s seemingly ever-present “Madama Butterfly” in eight performances.

Gockley said a “financial lockdown” continues in light of the ongoing recession. Budgeting sparingly, and presenting crowd-pleasers to bring in audiences, he plans to eliminate the $5 million annual deficit carried during each of the past three seasons. Budgets for the next two fiscal years will be in the $68-$70 million range.

2013 schedule

  • Mefistofele (Boito) — Sept. 6-Oct. 2
  • Dolores Claiborne (Picker) — Sept. 18-Oct. 4
  • Falstaff (Verdi) — Oct. 8-Nov. 2
  • The Flying Dutchman (Wagner) — Oct. 22-?Nov. 15
  • Requiem (Verdi) — Oct. 25
  • The Barber of Seville (Rossini) — Nov. 13-Dec. 1

2014 schedule

  • Show Boat (Kern) — June 1-July 2
  • La Traviata (Verdi) — June 11-13
  • Madama Butterfly (Puccini) — June 15-July 9

artsentertainmentOther ArtsSan Francisco OperaWagner

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

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read