By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel
DON GIOVANNI – San Francisco Opera, Summer 2007
This summer’s fare at the San Francisco Opera is all about endurance, endearment, and endangerment – of mythological proportions. The 2007 Summer Series opens this Saturday, June 2, with a new production of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI featuring baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role. Kwiecien returns to San Francisco Opera for the first time since his stunning debut as Marcello in the Company’s 2004 production of La Bohème.
HOPE BRIGGS (Donna Anna) and MARIUSZ KWIECIEN (Don Giovanni)
San Francisco Opera Music Director and Principal Conductor Donald Runnicles will lead seven of the eight performances; San Francisco Opera Associate Conductor Donato Cabrera will conduct on June 28. The cast of returning artists also includes soprano Hope Briggs (Donna Anna), soprano Twyla Robinson (Donna Elvira), mezzo-soprano Claudia Mahnke (Zerlina), tenor Charles Castronovo (Don Ottavio), bass Oren Gradus (Leporello), and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson (Commendatore); bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Masetto) makes his San Francisco Opera debut.
CHARLES CASTRONOVO (Don Ottavio) and TWYLA ROBINSON (Donna Elvira)
This visually dramatic production by David McVicar (his first production to be presented by the Company) features the set and costume designs of John Macfarlane and will be directed by Leah Hausman in her San Francisco Opera debut. Don Giovanni is a co-production with Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
To purchase tickets on-line: DON GIOVANNI
DER ROSENKAVALIER by Richard Strauss opens Saturday, June 9th. Merola Opera Program alumna mezzo-soprano Joyce Di Donato marks her debut in the trouser-role of Octavian. Ms. Di Donato is the recipient of the 2007 Beverly Sills Award
JOYCE Di DONATO, Mezzo-Soprano and DONALD RUNNICLES, Conductor
Led by San Francisco Opera Music Director and Principal Conductor Donald Runnicles, the cast also features acclaimed sopranos Soile Isokoski and Martina Serafin in their San Francisco Opera debuts as they share the role of the Marschallin. Soprano Miah Persson makes her Company debut as Sophie; and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson returns to San Francisco Opera as Baron Ochs. Thierry Bosquet designs Lotfi Mansouri’s opulent period production of the popular Strauss work, with lighting design by Christopher Maravich; Sandra Bernhard will direct.
DER ROSENKAVALIER – San Francisco Opera, 2007. Photo by Ken Friedman
To purchase tickets on-line: DER ROSENKAVALIER
IPHIGÉNIE & GLUCK
On Thursday, June 14th the Company premieres Christoph Willibald Gluck’s final masterpiece, IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE. Mezzo-soprano and Merola Opera Program alumna Susan Graham stars in the title role, with Danish baritone Bo Skovhus in his role debut as Iphigénie’s brother Orestes and tenor Paul Groves as Pylades. Led by Merola Opera Program alumnus and Houston Grand Opera Music Director Patrick Summers, the cast also features bass-baritone Mark S. Doss as Thoas; Adler Fellow and soprano Heidi Melton in her Company debut as Diana; Adler Fellow and soprano Melody Moore as A Greek woman; and Adler Fellow and bass-baritone Jeremy Galyon as A Minister. A co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Royal Opera, Covent Garden, this striking production by Robert Carsen features design by Tobias Hoheisel, lighting design by Robert Carsen and Peter van Praet, choreography by Phillipe Giraudeau, and direction by Jean Michel Criqui. Van Praet, Giraudeau, and Criqui are making their Company debuts.
To purchase tickets on-line: IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE
See Seán’s recent articles and reviews::
JERSEY BOYS – Earth Angels invade San Francisco
TAKE ME OUT – At NCTC, San Francisco
LA VIE EN ROSE (La Môme) – Biography of Edith Piaf A Sensation at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival
SPIDER-MAN 3, An All-American Cinematic Marvel
RIGOLETTO – SF OPERA Broadcasts on Classical 102.1 KDFC
JERSEY BOYS – Smashing Records in SAN FRANCISCO
NORMA SHEARER – Headlines the 12th ANNUAL SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
DON QUIXOTE – An Impossible Dream at SF Ballet
THE DAMNATION OF FAUST – Absolute Heaven at Davies Symphony Hall
JEANETTE MacDONALD – First Lady of “San Francisco”
An Interview with PASCAL MOLAT – Principal Soloist, San Francisco Ballet
TERRA HAUTE – An Interview with The Stars, John Hutchinson and Elias Escobedo
San Francisco Sentinel’s Fine Arts Critic Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Ask him a question on AllExperts.com . If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.