SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Opens with Puccini’s “Turandot”, September 9th

Free simulcast of Turandot at AT&T Ballpark, Sunday, September 25th

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera launches the Company’s 89th season with Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot at the War Memorial Opera House. Opening on Friday, September 9th with six subsequent performances through Tuesday, October 4th, Puccini’s masterpiece will be brought to life by David Hockney’s glorious and fanciful production with costumes by Ian Falconer. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts a cast of renowned singers with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

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TURANDOT — Set design by David Hockney

The celebrated cast of principal singers features Swedish soprano Iréne Theorin in the title role, tenor Marco Berti as “Calaf” and Adler Fellow Leah Crocetto as “Liù”. Iréne Theorin marks her first appearances with San Francisco Opera as the legendary Chinese princess. Regarded as one of today’s finest interpreters of “Turandot”, the Swedish soprano has previously performed the role at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and in Copenhagen, Dresden, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Her other career highlights include “Brünnhilde” in Die Walküre and Siegfried with the Metropolitan Opera; “Isolde” in Tristan und Isolde in Bayreuth, Brussels and Essen; “Brünnhilde” in Der Ring des Nibelungen in Köln and Dresden; and the title role of “Elektra” at the Salzburg Festival. This season she will appear as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre with Berlin State Opera and Milan’s La Scala.

Iréne Theorin (Turandot) and Marco Berti (Calaf)

Italian tenor Marco Berti returns to San Francisco Opera as “Calaf”, the prince who bravely risks his life in order to win Turandot’s love. Berti has previously appeared as Calaf at Milan’s La Scala, the Deutsch Oper Berlin, the Arena di Verona and in Seville, Barcelona and Valencia; he will reprise the role this season in Berlin and Munich. The tenor made his San Francisco Opera debut as “Don José” in Carmen in 2006 and most recently appeared with the Company in the title role of Il Trovatore in 2009.

A winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Leah Crocetto makes her role debut as the slave girl “Liù”. The third-year Adler Fellow has previously appeared with San Francisco Opera in Suor Angelica, Aida and Cyrano de Bergerac. Earlier this year, Crocetto made her role debut as “Leonora” in Il Trovatore with the Bordeaux National Opera and represented the United States in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.


Maestro Nicola Luisotti begins the third season of his tenure as San Francisco Opera’s music director with this production. Called “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition” by Opera News, which featured him on the cover of the July 2011 special issue on conductors, Luisotti recently conducted Turandot at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. This season he also leads Don Giovanni, Carmen, a new co-production with Milan’s La Scala of Attila with the Company and two special concerts with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra co-presented with Cal Performances in Berkeley.

TURANDOT — Set design by David Hockney

Puccini’s final opera, Turandot features some of the composer’s most glorious music, including the stirring anthem “Nessun dorma”. This colorful production, San Francisco Opera’s much-beloved co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago, brings to life the passionate tale of a princess whose cruelty masks her fear of love. Directed by Garnett Bruce, this production is designed by renowned painter, photographer and print-maker David Hockney, who has also created stage designs for the Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.


Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark
Sunday, September 25th, 2:00 Matinee

Continuing what has become a beloved Bay Area tradition, San Francisco Opera partners with Webcor Builders and the San Francisco Giants to present the Company’s sixth free live simulcast at AT&T Park and its first matinee simulcast. Presented at one of the nation’s most beautiful baseball stadiums and home of the 2010 World Series champions the San Francisco Giants, on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., the simulcast of Puccini’s Turandot will take full advantage of the daytime capability of the Giants’ powerful high-definition video screen.

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Free family activities will be offered before and during the simulcast in the Coca-Cola Fan Lot and Scoreboard Plaza. Activities will include face painting, art projects, singing, storytelling and appearances by Giants mascot Lou Seal. Simulcast live from the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Park’s high-definition scoreboard, last year’s Opera at the Ballpark simulcast of Aida drew an unprecedented crowd of 32,000 people, many experiencing opera for the first time. Instituted by General Director David Gockley as one of his first innovations toward bringing opera into the community, this event marks the ninth free simulcast presented by San Francisco Opera, which to date have drawn more than 150,000 people of all ages.


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Seán Martinfield
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 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:

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