SF OPERA SCREENINGS AT SUNDANCE KABUKI

San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series in HD begins February 13th and 17th with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly starring soprano Patricia Racette, tenor Brandon Jovanovich, and mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera partners with Sundance Cinemas to present HD screenings of the Company’s acclaimed productions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and La Rondine, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco.  The monthly Saturday matinee at 10:00 am and Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm screenings begins February 13th with Madama Butterfly and continues through April 7th.  Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Opera’s cinema presentations are presented for the first time at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, one of the city’s premier movie theaters.  

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PATRICIA RACETTE (as Cio-Cio-San).
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

The series begins on February 13th and 17th with Madama Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini’s classic story of colliding hearts and cultures which features some of opera’s most beautiful and captivating music.  Madama Butterfly stars celebrated American soprano Patricia Racette in her signature role as the tragic heroine “Cio-Cio-San” opposite rising American tenor Brandon Jovanovich as “Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton” and mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao as “Suzuki”.  Former San Francisco Opera Music Director Donald Runnicles conducts this stirring San Francisco Opera production created by Ron Daniels and directed by Kathleen Belcher. 

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Brandon Jovanovich and Patricia Racette.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

The series continues on February 27th and March 3rd with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  The Don Juan legend crackles to life in the hands of one of the world’s most beloved composers.  Cannily balancing comedy and tragedy, Leah Hausman directs this riveting San Francisco Opera/Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie co-production by David McVicar, conducted by Donald Runnicles.  The cast features leading baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role, with soprano Elza van den Heever as “Donna Anna”, soprano Twyla Robinson as “Donna Elvira”, tenor Charles Castronovo as “Don Ottavio” and bass Oren Gradus as “Leporello”.

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MARIUSZ KWIECIEN. Don Giovanni.

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DON GIOVANNI. Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Camille Saint-Saëns’s sweeping biblical epic Samson and Delilah, presented on March 20th and 24th, stars mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as the seductive “Delilah” and tenor Clifton Forbis as the Old Testament hero who loses his heart, his hair and nearly his soul.  Sandra Bernhard directs the opulent San Francisco Opera production by Nicolas Joël.  Patrick Summers, San Francisco Opera’s principal guest conductor and Houston Grand Opera’s music director, conducts.

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Act I of Samson and Delilah.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy 

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OLGA BORODINA (as “Delilah”).
Photo by Larry Merkle

Giacomo Puccini’s rarely performed gem La Rondine, which played to sold-out houses at the War Memorial Opera House, screens on April 3rd and 7th.  Renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiu stars as the worldly “Magda de Civry” in this staging of Puccini’s elegant and poignant opera that tells the story of love between a kept woman from high society and a naïve younger man of moderate means.  The cast also features tenor Misha Didyk as “Ruggero”, soprano Anna Christy as “Lisette” and tenor Gerard Powers as “Prunier”.  Ion Marin conducts this dazzling Art Deco-inspired production conceived by Nicolas Joël and directed by Stephen Barlow.

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MISHA DIDYK and ANGELA GHEORGHIU.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

Recorded live in high definition at San Francisco’s historic War Memorial Opera House, all shows include English subtitles and a brief intermission featuring behind the scenes interviews.  All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Chorus (Ian Robertson, Chorus Director).
 
Tickets for San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas are priced at $14 and are available at SundanceCinemas.com.

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MISHA and ANGELA. La Rondine.
Photo, Terrence McCarthy

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Visit Seán on YouTube:
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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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