LUCAS MEACHEM – Former Adler Fellow to sing “Don Giovanni” at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI in a new production premiere at the War Memorial Opera House. Opening on Saturday, October 15th with eight subsequent performances through November 10th, Mozart’s exhilarating comic drama features an exciting cast of singers, including Lucas Meachem, Ellie Dehn, Serena Farnocchia, Kate Lindsey, Topi Lehtipuu and Marco Vinco. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and Italian film and theater director Gabriele Lavia directs this new San Francisco Opera production with sets designed by Alessandro Camera and costumes by Andrea Viotti.


Leading the ensemble cast in the title role is former Adler Fellow Lucas Meachem who has appeared at San Francisco Opera in the title role of Eugene Onegin, Papageno (The Magic Flute for Kids), in the dual role of Fritz and Frank in Die Tote Stadt, and in productions of La Forza del Destino, Billy Budd, and Doktor Faust. The former Adler Fellow and Merola Opera Program alumnus was last seen as Count Almaviva in 2010’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Soprano Ellie Dehn, who made her Company debut last year as Countess Almaviva opposite Meachem, is Donna Anna. The American soprano has previously appeared as Countess Almaviva with Houston Grand Opera and as Donna Anna with Opera Pacific and at the Ravinia Festival. Among her recent engagements are Musetta in La Bohème with the Metropolitan Opera and Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and Mimì in La Bohème with the San Diego Opera and Minnesota Opera. Dehn will return to the Metropolitan Opera this season as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and will appear at La Scala as Musetta and Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.


Italian soprano Serena Farnocchia appears at San Francisco Opera for the first time in a role she has previously performed in Geneva – Don Giovanni’s scorned lover, Donna Elvira. Farnocchia’s career highlights include Mimì in La Bohème at La Scala, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, the Santa Fe Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Leonora in Il Trovatore in Lausanne, Parma, and Dresden; and Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice and in Trieste and Seville.

American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Zerlina, a role she recently performed opposite Lucas Meachem at the Santa Fe Opera. Recent engagements include returns to both the Metropolitan Opera as Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Seattle Opera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, as well as performances as Zaida in Il Turco in Italia with Los Angeles Opera and Idamante in Idomeneo at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.

Italian bass Marco Vinco makes his United States debut as Leporello in this production. Performing regularly with many of Europe’s most prestigious opera houses, Vinco has appeared with Milan’s La Scala; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Madrid’s Teatro Real; Deutsche Oper Berlin; and Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice. Recent engagements include Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri with Paris Opera, the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro at Paris’s Théatre des Champs-Elysées; Colline in La Bohème in Seville; and Escamillo in Carmen in Lisbon.


Tenor Topi Lehtipuu, a native of Finland, has gained an international reputation as one of Finland’s highly regarded artists. The tenor makes his San Francisco Opera debut in a role he has performed in Toulouse. He made his stage debut in the title role of Britten’s Albert Herring at the Finnish National Opera and then appeared as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Recent career highlights include Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Pylade (Iphigénie en Tauride) in Brussels, Ferrando (Così fan tutte) at the Salzburg Festival and in Las Palmas, Frankfurt, and Blibao; Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice) in Paris; Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with Lyric Opera of Chicago and in Dresden; and Tamino in Turin.


San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this production. Additionally this season he leads Puccini’s Turandot, Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Attila, and two special performances with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in concert co-presented with Cal Performances in Berkeley. Luisotti’s outside engagements during the 2011–12 season include Tosca at La Scala and the rarely performed I Masnadieri with Teatro di San Carlo in addition to many orchestral engagements, including the Berlin Philharmonic and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Celebrated Italian film and theater director Gabriele Lavia makes his United States directorial debut this season with this new production of Don Giovanni. He returns in June 2012 to direct a new co-production of Attila, which received its premiere at Teatro alla Scala in June 2011. Lavia partners with set designer Alessandro Camera and costume designer Andrea Viotti for both productions. Maintaining an active career as a theater director, Gabriele Lavia formerly held positions as the artistic co-director of the Eliseo Theatre of Rome, artistic director of the Stable Theatre of Turin and artistic director of the Festival of Taormina Art. Lavia’s diverse opera credits include Luisa Miller in Naples; Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci in Verona; several productions at Milan’s La Scala, including Maria Stuarda, I Masnadieri, and I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata; and Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.


Click on the date to order tickets on-line:

Sat. October 15th, 8 pm
Tues. October 18th, 8 pm
Fri. October 21st, 8 pm
Sun. October 23rd, 2 pm
Sun. October 23rd, 2 pm
Wed. October 26th, 7:30 pm
Sat. October 29th, 8 pm
Wed. November 2nd, 7:30 pm
Sat. November 5th, 2 pm
Thurs. November 10, 7:30 pm

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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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