SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Summer Season Opens Tuesday, June 3rd

Das Rheingold, Ariodante, and Lucia di Lammermoor

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera’s 2008 SUMMER SEASON opens Tuesday, June 3rd with Wagner’s DAS RHEINGOLD – a new co-production with Washington National Opera. It is the first installment in the complete American Ring cycle directed by renowned stage director and San Francisco Opera Artistic Adviser Francesca Zambello. She and set designer Michael Yeargan create an arena where Wagnerian mythology is projected upon American history utilizing associated imagery of the California Gold Rush and Roaring ’20s.

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DONALD RUNNICLES, Conductor & FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO, Director

Led by conductor Donald Runnicles, the cast features former Adler Fellow and baritone Mark Delavan as “Wotan”, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore as “Fricka”, Merola Opera Program alumni baritone Richard Paul Fink as “Alberich”, mezzo-soprano Jill Grove as “Erda”, tenor Stefan Margita as “Loge”, tenor David Cangelosi as “Mime”, bass Andrea Silvestrelli as “Fasolt”, and the debut of artists bass Günter Groissböck as “Fafner” and current Adler Fellow soprano Tamara Wapinsky as “Freia”.

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JENNIFER LARMORE & MARK DELAVAN

Second on the bill and opening with a matinee performance Sunday, June 15th is the Dallas Opera’s production of George Frideric Handel’s ARIODANTE. Debuting at London’s Covent Garden Theatre a week after New Year’s Day 1735, it is the first time Adiodante has been staged at the War Memorial Opera House. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is in the title role, with soprano Ruth Ann Swenson as “Ginevra”. Acclaimed contralto Ewa Podleś marks her San Francisco opera debut in the role of “Polinesso”. Houston Grand Opera Music Director Patrick Summers will conduct. Following the final performance on Sunday, July 6th, Ms. Swenson will receive the San Francisco Opera Medal, the highest honor awarded by the Company to an artistic professional.

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ARIODANTE, by George Frideric Handel. Photo, George Landis

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NATALIE DESSAY – as Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo, Dan Rest

The third production marks the San Francisco Opera debut of internationally acclaimed coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay in the title role of Gaetano Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. Conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce also makes his Company debut. The opera is directed by Graham Vick. Giuseppe Filianoti makes his Company debut as “Edgardo”, a role which brought him critical acclaim in his 2007 debut at the Metropolitan Opera opposite Dessay. There will be seven performances, beginning Tuesday, June 17th.

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GAETANO DONIZETTI, Composer & JEAN-YVES OSSONCE, Conductor

Click here to purchase tickets to: DAS RHEINGOLD
Tue June 3, 2008 8 pm
Fri June 6, 2008 8 pm
Sat June 14, 2008 8 pm
Thu June 19, 2008 7:30 pm
Sun June 22, 2008 2 pm
Sat June 28, 2008 8 pm

Click here to purchase tickets to: ARIODANTE
Sun June 15, 2008 2 pm
Wed June 18, 2008 7:30 pm
Sat June 21, 2008 8 pm
Tue June 24, 2008 8 pm
Fri June 27, 2008 8 pm
Tue July 1, 2008 7:30 pm
Sun July 6, 2008 2 pm

Click here to purchase tickets to: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
Tue June 17, 2008 8 pm
Fri June 20, 2008 8 pm
Mon June 23, 2008 7:30 pm
Thu June 26, 2008 7:30 pm
Sun June 29, 2008 2 pm HDTV
Wed July 2, 2008 7:30 pm HDTV
Sat July 5, 2008 8 pm HDTV

To purchase a subscription: SF OPERA, SUMMER 2008

Visit Seán on YouTube
Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
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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. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com.

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