Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Single (non-subscription) tickets for San Francisco Opera’s 2011–12 Season, running from September 9 through December 4, 2011 and June 8 through July 3, 2012 at the historic War Memorial Opera House, will go on sale to the public on Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 10 a.m. Single tickets will be available for David Hockney’s beloved production of Puccini’s Turandot, the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier by Christopher Theofanidis and Donna Di Novelli, the Company premiere of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia starring Renée Fleming, a new production premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the Company premiere of Handel’s Xerxes, Bizet’s Carmen, the Bay Area stage premiere of Philip Glass’ Nixon in China, a new co-production of Verdi’s Attila with Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, and a new production premiere of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The San Francisco Opera Box Office, located at 301 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 10 for in-person sales or by phone at (415) 864-3330.
Click here to order tickets on-line: SFOpera
— TURANDOT —
10 Performances: September 9th through November 25th
Iréne Theorin (Turandot) and Marco Berti (Calaf)
Giacomo Puccini’s final masterpiece opens the 2011–12 Season under the baton of Music Director Nicola Luisotti, who conducted this melodically rich, colorfully orchestrated work to great acclaim at London’s Royal Opera House in 2009. This passionate tale of a princess whose cruelty masks her fear of love features some of the composer’s most glorious music, including the stirring anthem “Nessun dorma.” Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin, internationally acclaimed for her interpretation of the vengeful Princess Turandot, is making her Company debut. Tenor Marco Berti – hero of SF Opera’s Il Trovatore, 2009 – sings “Calaf” and Adler Fellow Leah Crocetto appears as the pathetic “Liu”. and and “one of the preeminent Italian singers of his generation” (MusicalCriticism.com). The striking San Francisco Opera/Lyric Opera of Chicago co-production, featuring David Hockney’s dazzling sets and directed by Garnett Bruce, returns in November led by Giuseppe Finzi with an equally impressive ensemble led by American dramatic soprano Susan Foster and Italian tenor Walter Fraccaro.
The September 9th opening-night celebrations include Opera Ball 2011 and BRAVO! CLUB’s Opening Night Gala. Hailed as one of the City’s premier philanthropic cultural events, Opera Ball raises funds to benefit San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Guild’s education and outreach programs. On Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., the Company’s annual free San Francisco Chronicle Presents San Francisco Opera in the Park concert at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park will be a special program commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. Complete program information will be announced at a later date. Also in celebration of the new season, San Francisco Opera presents a free live simulcast of Turandot to AT&T Park, home of the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants, at Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark on Sunday, September 25th at 2:00 p.m.
— HEART OF A SOLDIER —
7 Performances: September 10th through September 27th
Thomas Hampson — Melody Moore
San Francisco Opera presents the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier, a new opera by composer Christopher Theofanidis with a libretto by Donna Di Novelli, based on the critically acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart and the life stories of Susan Rescorla, Rick Rescorla and Daniel J. Hill. Exploring the themes of war, love, friendship and heroism, Heart of a Soldier reflects on the extraordinary true story of Rick Rescorla, a man trained to be a consummate soldier who gave up his own life saving thousands in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. Starring baritone Thomas Hampson (Rick Rescorla), tenor William Burden (Daniel J. Hill) and soprano Melody Moore (Susan Rescorla), Heart of a Soldier is directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers. The production team also includes set designer Peter J. Davison, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Mark McCullough, projection designer S. Katy Tucker and movement director Rick Sordelet. Commissioned by San Francisco Opera, Heart of a Soldier will premiere on Saturday, September 10, 2011—the eve of the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.
— LUCREZIA BORGIA —
7 Performances: September 23rd through October 11th
RENÉE FLEMING — As “Lucrezia Borgia”
Vitalij Kowaljow — Elizabeth DeShong — Michael Fabiano
Soprano Renée Fleming, one of the most acclaimed artists and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, returns to San Francisco Opera after an absence of ten years for the Company premiere of Donizetti’s melodically rich bel canto masterpiece Lucrezia Borgia. Borgia, a femme fatale renowned for her ruthless pursuit of power, reveals poignant vulnerability when she comes face to face with her long-lost son. Fleming, who sings this signature title role will be joined by mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong (Maffio Orsini), tenor Michael Fabiano (Gennaro) and bass Vitalij Kowaljow (Alfonso d’Este), led by conductor Riccardo Frizza. Michael Fabiano, a grand prize winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, makes his Company debut and replaces the originally scheduled Francesco Meli, who has withdrawn. This Washington National Opera production, created for Fleming, marks the Company directorial debut of John Pascoe.
— DON GIOVANNI —
9 Performances: October 15th through November 10th
Nicola Luisotti — Ellie Dehn — Lucas Meachem
In Don Giovanni, Mozart uses a bold, beguiling blend of comedy and drama to tell the tale of a proud, predatory nobleman and the women who are drawn to him. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts a cast of exciting young singers led by former Adler Fellow Lucas Meachem, who starred as Count Almaviva in last fall’s Le Nozze di Figaro, in the title role. Soprano Ellie Dehn, who made her Company debut last year as Countess Almaviva opposite Meachem, is Donna Anna. The cast also features the Company debuts of soprano Serena Farnocchia (Donna Elvira), mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey (Zerlina), tenor Topi Lehtipuu (Don Ottavio) and bass Marco Vinco (Leporello). Noted Italian film and theater director Gabriele Lavia makes his U.S. debut and set designer Alessandro Camera and costume designer Andrea Viotti make their Company debuts in this new San Francisco Opera production premiere.
— XERXES —
6 Performances: October 30th through November 19th
Susan Graham — David Daniels — Sonia Prina
Widely acclaimed as one of the greatest Handel productions of our time, this visually stunning Olivier Award–winning staging of Xerxes by famed film and theater director Nicholas Hytner (The Madness of King George) marks the Company premiere of one of the best-loved Baroque operas. Clever comedy is intertwined with tender poignancy in a tale of unrequited love and intrigue at a royal court. Patrick Summers leads an outstanding cast featuring mezzo-soprano Susan Graham (Xerxes), countertenor David Daniels (Arsamenes), soprano Lisette Oropesa (Romilda), soprano Heidi Stober (Atalanta), contralto Sonia Prina (Amastris) and bass-baritone Wayne Tigges (Ariodates). Michael Walling directs Hytner’s English National Opera production.
— CARMEN —
11 Performances: November 6th through December 4th
Thiago Arancam — Kate Aldrich — Paulo Szot
Thrilling but dangerous, the captivating, capricious Carmen is one of the most vivid characters in all of opera. Mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich stars in the title role in this classic San Francisco Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Tenor Thiago Arancam, fresh from his success in last fall’s Cyrano de Bergerac, is Don José, the man who unwisely falls under Carmen’s spell. Baritone Paulo Szot, a Tony Award–winner for South Pacific and highly regarded for his role in the Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of Shostakovich’s The Nose, makes his Company debut as Escamillo. Jose Maria Condemi directs and Assistant Music Director Giuseppe Finzi leads the final two performances.
— NIXON IN CHINA —
7 Performances: June 8th through July 3rd, 2012
Brian Mulligan – Maria Kanyova – Simon O’Neill
Nixon in China, John Adams’ rhythmically rich recreation of a presidential trip to Beijing has established itself as a great American opera and a work of “clarity, simplicity, and shocking elegance” (The New York Times). A quarter-century after its premiere at Houston Grand Opera under the leadership of David Gockley, this seminal work receives its long-awaited Bay Area stage premiere. In a Vancouver Opera production directed by Michael Cavanagh, the cast features Brian Mulligan, whose rich baritone thrilled audiences in San Francisco Opera’s Faust (2010) and Werther (2010), in the title role. The cast also includes Maria Kanyova (Pat Nixon), Simon O’Neill (Mao Tse-tung), Hye Jung Lee (Madame Mao Tse-tung), Chen-Ye Yuan (Chou En-lai) and Patrick Carfizzi (Henry Kissinger). Lawrence Renes, whose conducting of Adams’ Doctor Atomic won praise from London critics, will lead the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.
ATTILA THE HUN – 12 June 2012 through 1 July 2012
In popular imagination, Attila the Hun was a ruthless barbarian, but to Giuseppe Verdi he was a far more complex and compelling figure: a brave, ambitious warrior tormented by fierce internal doubts. This new San Francisco Opera/Teatro alla Scala co-production of Attila, which premiered in Italy in June 2011 led by Nicola Luisotti in his La Scala conducting debut, is staged by Gabriele Lavia with sets by Alessandro Camera and costumes by Andrea Viotti. The distinguished cast features legendary Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto in the title role; the Company debuts of soprano Lucrezia Garcia (Odabella) and tenor Fabio Sartori (Foresto)—a role shared by Diego Torre for two performances; baritone Quinn Kelsey (Ezio) and renowned bass Samuel Ramey (Pope Leo I). Maestro Luisotti will also lead the San Francisco performances. Lucrezia Garcia and Fabio Sartori replace the previously announced Oksana Dyka and Ramón Vargas, who have both had to withdraw from this production.
THE MAGIC FLUTE – 13 June 2012 – 8 July 2012
Nathan Gunn as “Papageno”
Endlessly inventive, charmingly fantastical and utterly unique, Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a profound yet lighthearted tale of romantic love, spiritual transcendence and the beguiling art of birdcatching. The internationally acclaimed ensemble cast is led by dynamic young conductor Rory Macdonald and includes lyric tenor and former Adler Fellow Alek Shrader as Tamino (shared with Nathaniel Peake for two performances), soprano Heidi Stober (Pamina), acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn (Papageno), bass Kristinn Sigmundsson (Sarastro), and in the opera’s most virtuosic role, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova. Sung in English, this new San Francisco Opera co-production is created by renowned Japanese-American visual artist Jun Kaneko and directed by Harry Silverstein.
San Francisco Opera presents Carmen for Families, a two-and-a-half hour version of this season’s exciting production, in two afternoon performances sung in English on November 27th and December 4th, 2011. Opera newcomers will thrill to the captivating music of this ever-popular work featuring the alluring Gypsy girl Carmen, the Spanish soldier who loves her and the brave bullfighter who wins her heart. This production is the perfect introduction to opera for children aged 10 and up. Conducted by Giuseppe Finzi, the engaging young cast of San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows includes mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani (Carmen) and tenor Brian Jagde (Don José).
Brian Jagde — Maya Lahyani
See related material:
SF JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL – July 21st through August 8th
ARTIST JEFF LONG – At the Toomey Tourell Gallery – The Birds of California: Beyond Audubon
“When Harry Met Sally” – SF Jewish Film Festival presents FREE screening in Union Square, July 16th
MEROLA OPERA SEASON – Free Concert – Sunday, July 24th at Yerba Buena Gardens
THE CASTRO AMBASSADORS – Got questions? Have answers!
MARY GIBBONEY – An Interview with the star of “ABSOLUTELY SAN FRANCISCO”
“BILLY ELLIOT” – A high flying hit at the Orpheum
FRAMELINE35 — LGBT Film Festival Winners Announced
HEIDI MELTON – An Interview with “Sieglinde” in San Francisco Opera’s DIE WALKÜRE, 6/29
“MANGUS!” – FRAMELINE35 – Great comedy at the Castro Theatre
UNTIL THERE’S A CURE FOUNDATION – meets “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City”
LUCY WOODWARD – Replaces China Forbes in Pink Martini concerts with SF Symphony
AUDITIONS – San Francisco Opera holding auditions for boys
“WISH WE WERE HERE”, Genie-ous Comedy at NCTC
GÖTTERDAMMERÜNG — A World Premiere, At San Francisco Opera
FRAMELINE35 — Sunday, 6/19 – The Muppets Take Manhattan, Spork, Hit So Hard, Cho Dependent, and Ausente
“DAS RHEINGOLD” – The slippery steps to Valhalla
“BILLY ELLIOT” – Leaps Into the Orpheum June 27th
PICASSO — Now at the de Young Museum
SANDRA BERNHARD – “I Love Being Me, Don’t You?”
JOHNNY MATHIS and “CASABLANCA” – In the Summer Line-up with SF Symphony
SONDHEIM’S “ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre is right-on target
“TALES OF THE CITY” – Totally Sensational, Totally San Francisco
“THE STOPS” – At NCTC – Come On and Get A Faith Lift
BRENDEN GUY — British Clarinetist In Concert, June 2nd
BLUE MAN GROUP — Best show in town!
SILENT FILM FESTIVAL – Opens July 14th with re-discovered film by John Ford
THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
Seán Martinfield YouTube with Janet Roitz – ‘Marked Woman’ (1937) and the song that gave it pizzazz – ‘My Silver Dollar Man’
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)
SFMOMA — The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde
THE 2011 FRESH MEAT TOUR — 4 Festive Days of Everything Transgender and Queer
“ASSASSINS” – Ray of Light Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim’s controversial musical, June 2–25
VICE PALACE – All Singing! All Dancing! All Hedonism!!!
SEEING GERTRUDE STEIN: FIVE STORIES
THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS – Coming to A.C.T.
THE MAGNA CARTA — Now on view at the Legion of Honor
PICASSO: At the de Young Museum, Tickets on sale 5/11
BETH WILMURT – A stunning “Alma” in The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, at the Aurora Theatre
TENOR JAY HUNTER MORRIS – Replaces Ian Storey as “Siegfried” at SF Opera
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER – Les yawns, les sighs
CD: ZUILL BAILEY, Cellist – Brahms Works for Cello and Piano
TIIT HELIMETS – An Interview with “Prince Edvard” of SF Ballet’s THE LITTLE MERMAID
NO EXIT: A Helluva Great Time at the American Conservatory Theatre
KIRK DOUGLAS – On stage at the Castro Theatre, July 24th
SF BALLET – Program 6, A Power-Packed Triple Feature
CD: DAVID RUSSELL — Isaac Albéniz: Spanish Music on Guitar
NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER – Announces 2011-12 Pride Season
NEW PUBLICATIONS: PUBLIC TRUST BETRAYED. An Interview with author and real estate appraiser, James E. Manning
MARVELOUS MENAGERIE: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel – At the Legion of Honor
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & CHORALE – Announces 2011-2012 Season
VICE PALACE: The Last Cockettes Musical – Opens April 29th
JOAN and SANFORD I. WEILL – Contribute $12 Million Dollars to Sonoma State University for Green Music Center
COPPÉLIA – A Gorgeous New Production at San Francisco Ballet
NEW ON CD – Icicle Creek Piano Trio: Haydn, Turina, Shostakovich
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore
“THE HOMECOMING” – A Home Run at A.C.T.
FLORAL DESIGNER NATASHA LISITSA – Creating the Fantastical in the Wilsey Court for “Bouquets To Art 2011″
EDITOR’S CHOICE — HÉLÈNE RENAUT, Vinyl Release Celebration at Cafe du Nord, 3/9
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
AVENUE Q – A Totally Fabulous Place To Be
EDITORIAL – A confession about ballerina Lorena Feijóo
YURI POSSOKHOV’S RAkU — Stunning World Premiere At San Francisco Ballet
CAMERON CARPENTER – Organist signs with CAMI Music and Konzertdirektion Schmid
THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS – Opening Celebration, January 14th
GISELLE – Opens SF Ballet’s 78th Season, 1/29/11
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
THE BLACK SWAN – Don’t Save The Drippings
HEART OF A SOLDIER – SF Opera Commissions New Work
SF SYMPHONY – Announces 2011/12 Centennial Celebration
SHREK THE MUSICAL – Ogres and Freaks and Spells, “Oh, my!”
CD: MAHLER’S “Songs With Orchestra” – SF Symphony Completes Mahler Recording Project
KARITA MATTILA – “Viva To The Diva!”
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
WEST SIDE STORY – Most of it, anyway
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – My Visit with the President
TENOR RAMÓN VARGAS – A Worthy “Werther” At San Francisco Opera
AÏDA – Spectacular Opening Night At San Francisco Opera
OPENING NIGHT AT SF SYMPHONY – A Mixed Bag
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
DOLORA ZAJICK – Internationally Acclaimed Mezzo To Receive Merola Distinguished Alumni Award
DEBORAH VOIGT – A Captivating “Fanciulla del West”
JEANETTE MacDONALD – Hollywood Diva Remembered at the War Memorial Opera House
CD/DVD Release: CAMERON LIVE! – Organist Cameron Carpenter
THE RUFFATTI ORGAN & CAMERON CARPENTER at DAVIES HALL
PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – An Interview with Russell Blackwood
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
CAMERON CARPENTER – Up Close and Very Personal
RUBÉN MARTIN CINTAS – Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
CHRISTINE ANDREAS – A Conversation with Beautiful Broadway and Cabaret Star
CD Review – REVOLUTIONARY, Cameron Carpenter, Organist
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, 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”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post 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.