MEET MAESTRO NICOLA LUISOTTI – San Francisco Opera opens 2011/12 season with Puccini’s “Turandot”

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Called “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition” by Opera News, which featured him on the cover of the July special issue on conductors, Italian maestro Nicola Luisotti begins his 2011-2012 performance season at San Francisco Opera with Turandot, tonight, September 9th. This will be followed by a special performance on September 11th of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Chorus and acclaimed soloists from the Company’s Fall 2011 Season in a free concert in Golden Gate Park, recognized as San Francisco’s official civic observance in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Now in his third season as music director, Maestro Luisotti also leads performances of Carmen, Don Giovanni and Attila, the latter two in new productions by noted Italian film and theater director Gabriele Lavia.

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Nicola Luisotti Photo, Roger Steen

Luisotti recently made his La Scala debut in Milan with the premiere of Lavia’s new production of Attila to great critical acclaim. Il Giornale della Musica commented that “Luisotti splendidly drew out the difficult balance between lyricism and larger-than-life epic poetry which made the orchestra play in way that rarely happens at La Scala” and Corriere della Sera called him “fearless of the raw and rough present in this music.” He will conduct the Lavia production of ATTILA, a co-production between La Scala and the San Francisco Opera, in the summer of 2012, the first performances of this early Verdi masterpiece on the San Francisco Opera stage in twenty years. Luisotti’s operatic engagements for the 2011-2012 season also include a return visit to La Scala for Tosca and appearances with Teatro di San Carlo in the rarely performed Verdi opera, I Masnadieri.

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Nicola Luisotti. Photo, Marco Rossi

Maestro Luisotti was honored during the Metropolitan Opera’s recent performances of La fanciulla del West in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of its world premiere. At a special reception following the performance on December 10th, The Puccini Foundazione honored him with its Premio Puccini Award to recognize his important contributions to the composer’s legacy.

Luisotti made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2005 conducting La Forza del Destino and has served as Music Director since the Fall of 2009. He has led performances of La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Salome, Otello, La Tanciulla del West, Aïda, Le nozze di Figaro and Madama Butterfly with the company. His critically acclaimed international debut leading a new production at the Stuttgart State Opera led to performances with nearly every major opera company across the globe, including the Bavarian State Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Dresden Staatskapelle, Frankfurt Opera, La Scala, Los Angeles Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Royal Opera House, Seattle Opera, Teatro Carlo Felice, Teatro Communale, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Real, Teatro di San Carlo, and Vienna State Opera. He has also led operatic productions in Japan’s Suntory Hall, where he serves as Principal Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony.

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Nicola Luisotti Photo, Terrence McCarthy

TURANDOT
10 Performances: September 9th through November 25th
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Iréne Theorin (Turandot) and Marco Berti (Calaf)

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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 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: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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