SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Announces Repertory and Casting for 2010/11

Giuseppi Verdi’s Aïda opens the 88th Season on September 10th

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley has announced repertory and casting for the Company’s 88th season to begin Friday, September 10th with Music Director Nicola Luisotti leading a gala opening performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s grand Egyptian opera, Aida. Highlights of the 2010–11 Season include the return of legendary tenor Plácido Domingo in the title role of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac and Karita Mattila’s role debut as “Emilia Marty” in Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. The season will culminate with three complete cycles of Richard Wagner’s magnum opus for the lyric stage, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), as conceived by director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Donald Runnicles. Sixty-six performances of ten opera productions – seven of which are new to San Francisco audiences – are planned for the 2010–11 Season, bringing internationally renowned opera singers, conductors and directors together with the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the latter directed by Ian Robertson.

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DAVID GOCKLEY and NICOLA LUISOTTI

The operas are Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida; a new production of Jules Massenet’s Werther; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro); Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly; the Company premiere of Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac; a new production of Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case; and Richard Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, comprised of Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. The season runs September 10th through December 5th, 2010 and May 29th through July 3rd, 2011. Subscriptions are now on sale to renewing subscribers. Click here to renew: SF Opera, 2010/11

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MICAELA CAROSI (“Aida”) and DOLORA ZAJICK (“Amneris”)

SF Opera’s acclaimed and quickly loved Music Director Nicola Luisotti will conduct Aida, Le Nozze di Figaro and Madama Butterfly. Former Company music director and acknowledged Wagner authority Donald Runnicles will return for the complete Ring cycle in the summer of 2011. Making their San Francisco Opera debuts will be conductors Jiří Bĕlohlávek, a renowned Janáček specialist, for The Makropulos Case; French conductor Patrick Fournillier for Cyrano de Bergerac; and Julian Kovatchev conducting the November performances of Madama Butterfly. San Francisco Opera welcomes back Emmanuel Villaume to lead Werther and the Company’s Assistant Music Director Giuseppe Finzi to conduct encore performances of Aida in November and December.

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PLACIDO DOMINGO – as “Cyrano de Bergerac”

SF Opera Artistic Adviser Francesca Zambello continues her relationship with the Company by directing the first complete performances of her new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in 2011. Acclaimed directors Jo Davies (Aida), Petrika Ionesco (Cyrano de Bergerac) and Francisco Negrin (Werther) make their San Francisco Opera debuts, and the Company welcomes back John Copley (Le Nozze di Figaro), Jose Maria Condemi (Madama Butterfly) and Olivier Tambosi (The Makropulos Case).

“Despite the challenging economy, I believe the timing is right to move ahead with our plans to present the complete Ring next year directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Donald Runnicles,” said David Gockley. “With the Ring requiring so many of our resources, I’m excited that we could offer such quality and quantity in the balance of the fall season. In fact, I’m proud to say that five of our six fall season productions will be new to San Francisco audiences. We also look forward to the return of Plácido Domingo, who returns to the War Memorial Opera House to perform on the stage that he identifies with so many of his earlier successes. As I have said many times during this challenging financial period, I remain committed to presenting some of the world’s leading artists and next year is no exception, especially with the Company debuts of Micaela Carosi, Elīna Garanča, Anja Kampe, Danielle de Niese, Ian Storey and conductor Jiří Bĕlohlávek among so many others. And finally, I am very happy to welcome back our new music director Nicola Luisotti, who will be at the helm of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.”

“I am very honored to return to San Francisco Opera next season and for the opportunity to conduct Aida, Figaro and Butterfly, three extraordinary operas that will feature some of the most important singers of today,” said Nicola Luisotti. “I love this company, the city and the whole Bay Area community, and want to encourage everyone to take pride in their opera company and to attend a performance. Music, and opera in particular, is truly one of the great universal gifts that we can all enjoy. I believe we have created a very attractive opera season that will inspire all of us and offer many unforgettable evenings in this great theater.”

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LUCA PISARONI – “Figaro” in Le Nozze di Fiogaro

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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”, which is being prepared for publication. 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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