AÏDA – Verdi’s Masterpiece To Open SF Opera, September 10th

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Opera opens its 2010–11 Season on Friday, September 10th at the War Memorial Opera House with Giuseppe Verdi’s AÏDA, featuring Micaela Carosi, Dolora Zajick, Marcello Giordani and Marco Vratogna. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a magnificent production by British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. The major highlight of The City’s fall cultural season, San Francisco Opera’s opening-night festivities include the Opera Guild’s Opera Ball 2010 and BRAVO! CLUB’s Opening Night Gala. The opening week celebration continues on Sunday, September 12th with a popular Bay Area tradition – Opera in the Park at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park. This free concert features singers from the Fall 2010 Opera Season with the SF Opera Orchestra conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

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Production photos – Tristram Kenton

The opening of the Fall Opera Season is also highlighted by Opera at the Ballpark on Friday, September 24th. San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants and Webcor Builders once again to bring grand opera to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. One of the Bay Area’s most anticipated community events, this unique admission-free evening of entertainment features the Company’s production of Aïda, conducted by Maestro Luisotti and broadcast live in high definition (HD) from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House to the 103-feet wide scoreboard over the outfield of AT&T Park.

AÏDA is the compelling tale of conflicting loyalties and forbidden passions. This spectacular production, previously seen at Houston Grand Opera and English National Opera, is designed by renowned fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and directed by Jo Davies. “Zandra’s work is pure theater,” says General Director David Gockley, “just like she is. It’s bigger than life and full of fantasy. It’s perfect for making a big impact in a venue the size of ours”. The cast features Italian soprano Micaela Carosi making her Company debut in the title role, Verdian mezzo-soprano and former Adler Fellow Dolora Zajick as “Amneris” and Marcello Giordani making his role debut as “Radames”. Returning after his highly-praised performance in last season’s Otello is Marco Vratogna as “Amonasro”; baritone Hao Jiang Tian returns to San Francisco Opera as “Ramfis” after his 2008 Company debut as “Chang the Coffinmaker” in The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Music Director Nicola Luisotti leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Click here to purchase single tickets on-line: AÏDA

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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA GUILD kicks off The City’s philanthropic season on Friday, September 10th with Opera Ball 2010, co-chaired by Charlot Malin and Mary Poland. Hailed as one of the City’s most glamorous cultural events, Opera Ball raises funds for SF Opera and SF Opera Guild’s education programs while treating guests to an exceptional evening of food, beverages and world-class entertainment. The event begins at 5:00 pm with an elegant cocktail reception and sumptuous dinner created by renowned Chef Lucas Schoemaker of McCall Associates served in the elegant Beaux-Arts style rotunda of San Francisco City Hall. After dinner, guests will enjoy the season-opening performance of Verdi’s Aïda at the War Memorial Opera House at 8:00 pm. The evening culminates with desserts and dancing under the rotunda at City Hall to live musical entertainment. This entire evening will be designed by VanWyck & VanWyck, a leading event production firm based in New York City that is famous for incorporating whimsical details and stunning theatrical elements to their designs.

BRAVO! CLUB, San Francisco Opera’s group of young professionals dedicated to building a new audience for opera, presents its 19th Annual Opening Night Gala on Friday, September 10, co-chaired by Jane Burkhard and Anjelika Koulebakina. BRAVO! CLUB begins the evening at 5:00 pm with a pre-performance hors d’oeuvres and sparkling wine reception under the soaring arched windows on the 4th floor of San Francisco City Hall. Dinner will follow featuring an exotic menu created by McCall Associates and paired with local wines. After dinner, guests will enjoy Verdi’s dazzling Egyptian love story, Aïda, then on to the party at City Hall with dancing to both a live band and the music of DJ Aykut, with delectable desserts by McCall Associates and spirits from SKYY Vodka.

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San Francisco Opera’s opening weekend festivities continue with Opera in the Park on Sunday, September 12th at 1:30 pm in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow. A popular tradition of San Francisco Opera’s season opening, the annual Opera in the Park concert features singers from the Company’s Fall 2010 Season and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by Maestro Luisotti. The concert draws thousands of music lovers each year, many of whom enjoy the occasion with elaborate picnics on the lawn. Artists will be announced at a later date.

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Photo, Cory Weaver

San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants and Webcor Builders once again to bring grand opera to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team on Friday, September 24th at 8:00 pm. This free live simulcast of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aïda features Micaela Carosi, Dolora Zajick, Marcello Giordani and Marco Vratogna and is conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. Conceived by David Gockley as a way to further the Company’s community involvement, San Francisco Opera’s four previous simulcasts at AT&T Park have allowed nearly 100,000 music lovers to experience grand opera for free in one of San Francisco’s most beautiful locations. Through state-of-the-art technology made possible by the Koret-Taube Media Suite, these simulcasts are transmitted in high definition (HD) to AT&T Park’s 103-feet wide scoreboard—one of the highest quality outdoor scoreboards in the nation—live from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. Concert quality audio combined with AT&T Park’s huge screen creates an unmatched operatic experience for attendees sitting in the stands and on the baseball field. Traditional baseball game concessions are available, providing audiences the rare opportunity to eat hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn while enjoying glorious opera.
Click here to register for free tickets on-line: OPERA AT THE BALLPARK

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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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