Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra step out of the pit and into the bright lights of center stage at Zellerbach Hall on Friday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m. The concert begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Capriccio sinfonico. Written during his time as a student at the Milan Conservatory, this was the last orchestral piece that Puccini ever wrote and expresses a musical style like that of the preambles of his famous operas. Next comes a more modern piece, Nino Rota’s Piano Concerto in C major (1959-1962). Rota was a contemporary Italian composer most famous for writing film scores for The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, the latter of which received an Academy Award. Johannes Brahms’ passionate and lyrical Symphony No. 3 in F major completes the program. San Francisco Chronicle praised the orchestra’s last appearance at Cal Performances in 2011 for its “robust and finely colored ensemble sound, [and] powerful sense of dramatic momentum.”
Mastro Nicola Luisotti has led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 2009. Luisotti has conducted with nearly every major opera company in the world, including La Scala, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, and the Vienna State Opera. He has also worked with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonik, London Philharmonia, NHK Symphony, Russian National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony. He was also previously the principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony for three years. In 2012, Luisotti was named the music director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy. In this position, he has led a performance of Verdi’s rarely performed Masnadieri and a concert of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. This season, he also produced a new production of Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala and Covent Garden. Praised by Opera Magazine for being “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition,” he is currently a finalist of their prestigious Conductor Award. To learn more about Luisotti, visit his official page at http://nicolaluisotti.com.
The San Francisco Opera Orchestra was founded in 1923. Today, the orchestra has nearly 70 professional musicians and plays a full season of opera and concert performances. In addition to performing with the opera orchestra, the orchestra’s members play in numerous Bay Area ensembles including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Artists also teach at local institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University and St. Mary’s College. Members also maintain active studio recording careers, are featured in music festivals and run private teaching studios. To learn more about the orchestra, visit their official page at http://sfopera.com/About/People/Orchestra.
Tickets for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra on May 17 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $20.00-$80.00 and are subject to change. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.