AÏDA – Returns to San Francisco Opera, 11/23—12/5

Encore cast includes Michelle Capalbo, Guang Yang, Carlo Ventre, Quinn Kelsey, and Eric Owens

By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA presents five additional performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s AÏDA at the War Memorial Opera House from November 23rd through December 5th. Verdi’s Egyptian masterpiece, which opened the Company’s 88th Season in September, will feature a new principal cast including Michele Capalbo, Guang Yang, Carlo Ventre, Quinn Kelsey and Eric Owens. British fashion icon Zandra Rhodes’ colorful and fanciful production, originally directed by Jo Davies, is directed by Jose Maria Condemi and Assistant Music Director Giuseppe Finzi is on the podium conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: AÏDA


Soprano Michele Capalbo makes her San Francisco Opera debut as “Aida”, a role she has previously performed in Nice, Toulon, Mexico City, Houston, Santiago and Toulouse. Other recent credits include “Leonora” in Il Trovatore in Madrid, Winnipeg and Santiago; Tosca in Calgary, Seattle, Québec and New York; and Macbeth in Dublin, Montreal and Dayton. Chinese mezzo-soprano Guang Yang appears with San Francisco Opera for the first time as “Amneris”.  Yang has previously sung the role of Amneris at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bregenz Festival Opera. Other recent credits include “Santuzza” in Cavalleria Rusticana at Lyric Opera Chicago and Deutsche Oper Berlin; “Suzuki” in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera Chicago and Dallas Opera; and “Eboli” in Don Carlos at Canadian Opera Company and Welsh National Opera.

Italian tenor Carlo Ventre appears in one of his signature roles—”Radames”, the hero warrior at the heart of a tumultuous love triangle. Ventre has performed Radames in Rome, Verona, Leipzig, Salerno, Berlin and San Diego, and in spring will re-create the role at Royal Opera, Covent Garden. His roles with SF Opera include “Cavaradossi” (Tosca, 2009), “Alfredo” (La Traviata), and “Gabriele Adorno” (Simon Boccanegra). Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey returns to SF Opera as “Amonasro”, a role he recently debuted in Bregenz. Kelsey made his Company debut in 2008 as “Marcello” in La Bohème and has since appeared as “Count di Luna” (Il Trovatore) and “Sharpless” in (Madama Butterfly), a role he has also performed at Hawaii Opera Theater and New York City Opera.

CARLO VENTRE (Radames) — QUINN KELSEY (Amonasro)

Following his unanimously-praised performances as “Alberich” in Das Rheingold at the Metropolitan Opera this fall, American bass-baritone Eric Owens returns to San Francisco Opera in Aida as the high priest “Ramfis”. In addition to his celebrated performances in the title role of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in 2009, Owens’ previous appearances at San Francisco Opera include “Lodovico” (Otello), “Don Fernando” (Fidelio) and the “King of Scotland” (Ariodante). He also created the role of “General Leslie Groves” here in the world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, a role he subsequently sang at Netherlands Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera. Bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, is repeating his role as Amneris’ father, the King of Egypt, a role which marked his debut with SF Opera earlier this season. He was also seen as the “Bailiff” in Massenet’s Werther and the “Bonze” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Adler Fellow Leah Crocetto reprises her role as the “Priestess” and Adler Fellow Brian Jagde is the “Messenger”.

A 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 Jose Maria Condemi. Speaking about the production, General Director David Gockley explains that “Zandra’s work is pure theater, 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.”
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the five performances of Aïda are scheduled for November 23 (8 p.m.), November 26 (8 p.m.), November 29 (8 p.m.), December 2 (7:30 p.m.) and December 5 (2 p.m.) 2010.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: AÏDA

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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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