iOS app Android app

San Francisco Opera

Aida in San Francisco: Less Spectacle, More Emotion

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 11.23.2016 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Even people who aren't familiar with Verdi's masterwork Aida have a vague sense of this opera, something to do with grand-scale, exotic spectacle and ...

Leah Crocetto Debuts as Aïda in New Production at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 11.20.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Leah Crocetto met with me after the final dress rehearsal for Aïda now at San Francisco Opera through December 6. This marks her debut in the title r...

Nadja Michael - A Brilliant 'Emilia Marty', Now at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 10.23.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Soprano Nadja Michael made her San Francisco Opera debut exactly seven years ago in the title role of Richard Strauss' Salome. Directed and choreograp...

Heidi Stober: A Break-Through Performance as 'Norina' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 10.11.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Soprano Heidi Stober springs to new heights as Norina in Don Pasquale at San Francisco Opera. With her opening night performance Stober marked a smashing entrance into bel canto opera and sparked what looks like a long-term association with composer Gaetano Donizetti and friends. Who around here knew she could sing like that?

A Brilliant Production of Don Pasquale in San Francisco

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 10.04.2016 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Donizetti's Don Pasquale has been called the last of the great Italian opera buffa, and it's easy to see why. The music is beautiful and the libretto ...

Baritone George Gagnidze Debuts in 'Andrea Chénier' at San Francisco Opera - Now Through 9/30

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.15.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, the production by director David McVicar features tenor Yonghoon Lee in the title role, Anna Pirozzi as Maddalena, J'Nai Bridges as Bersi, and George Gagnidze as Carlo Gérard. Stylish sets by Robert Jones and period costumes by Jenny Tiramani capture the tension and disparity between the Haves and the Have Nots.

Tenor Brian Jagde Is Don José In 'Carmen' -- Opera At The Ballpark, July 2

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.30.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Brian Jagde is Don José in San Francisco Opera's presentation of Calixto Bieito's Carmen through July 3. The Saturday performance, July 2 at 7:30 wil...

Malin Byström is 'Jenůfa' - Now at San Francisco Opera Through 7/1

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.24.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

For San Francisco audiences, Czech composer Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa is (as Gershwin would put it) "a sometime thing" - last appearance being fifteen...

"Don Carlo" - Star-Studded Night at the Opera

Renate Stendhal, Ph.D. | Posted 06.20.2016 | Entertainment
Renate Stendhal, Ph.D.

Luckily SFO offered the complete, 5-act Italian version that begins in the park of Fontainebleau where Carlo and his intended Elisabetta fall in love, only to learn that her father, King of France, has given her to Carlo's father, King Phillip II, as a pawn to end a war.

'Celebrating David!' - San Francisco Opera Presents a Farewell Salute to General Director David Gockley

Sean Martinfield | Posted 06.09.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

David Gockley's tenure as General Director of San Francisco Opera ends this coming July. On Thursday, June 16, a gala farewell concert, Celebrating Da...

Relationship Status: It's Complicated

George Heymont | Posted 06.02.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

It used to be so simple. You'd be filling out some kind of form (probably for tax purposes) and come to the line that asked for your marital status. T...

Up to Their Old Tricks

George Heymont | Posted 02.17.2017 | Arts
George Heymont

The trickster is an archetype whose presence is not limited to mythology. While there will always be a shape shifter like Loki lurking around, fast-thinking humans have always had a talent for distracting onlookers in times of crisis.

Home Is Where the Heart Was (a Long Time Ago)

George Heymont | Posted 02.04.2017 | Arts
George Heymont

Childhood memories of the homes in which we grew up can become distorted over time.

Swept Away

George Heymont | Posted 01.31.2017 | Arts
George Heymont

What do you learn when you experience something for the first time and feel like you've been launched out of your seat on a rocket? Those are moments to be treasured. Late in 2015 (a year filled with artistic highs), two performances sent me through the ceiling when I least expected it.

The Fickle Finger of Faith

George Heymont | Posted 01.14.2017 | Arts
George Heymont

From one-night stands to marriages that have lasted six or seven decades, romance has always been a curious ingredient in relationships. Primitive cultures that relied on agriculture for survival often practiced fertility rites designed to please the gods in the hope of being blessed with abundant crops.

Damsels in Distress

George Heymont | Posted 12.10.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

Much of the dramatic conflict in two recent Bay area productions was caused by the fallout from an arranged marriage that seemed destined to please a lot of people. Unfortunately, the bride was not one of them.

Baritone Brian Mulligan - Bracing Up for 'The Fall of the House of Usher' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 12.02.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Opening Tuesday, December 8 at San Francisco Opera is the U.S. premiere of a double-bill of Gothic horror - two versions of Edgar Allan Poe's classic ...

Sing Out, Luisa!

George Heymont | Posted 11.29.2016 | Arts
George Heymont

For several decades, a debate has raged over whether the voices of opera singers should be used to sing the musical theatre repertory. San Francisco Opera's General Director, David Gockley, was at the forefront of including musical theatre when he was General Director of the Houston Grand Opera.

In Conversation with Tenor Paul Appleby - A Smart Debut at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 11.10.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera presents designer Jun Kaneko's extraordinary production of Mozart's The Magic Flute now through November 20. Tenor Paul Appleby ma...

San Francisco Opera's Magical Magic Flute, With Cool Animals, in English

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 10.28.2016 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

Any opera (novel, movie, play) with the word magic in the title sets you up to expect just that in the story or staging. Those expectations are certainly met in the production of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, currently at the War Memorial Opera House.

Baritone Efraín Solís on 'Papageno' -- Now at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 10.22.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera's revival of designer Jun Kaneko's The Magic Flute is simply the best show in town.

Song Over Story (But That's OK): San Francisco Opera's Luisa Miller and Lucia di Lammermoor

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 10.02.2016 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

The vocal writing calls for everything a singer can do, and soprano Leah Crocetto, as Luisa, an innocent young village girl, and tenor Michael Fabiano, as Rodolfo, the son of the ruling count, with whom she falls in love when she thinks he is simply "Carlo," are completely up to the task.

Soprano Leah Crocetto -- On 'Luisa Miller' at San Francisco Opera

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.24.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

San Francisco Opera opened its 2015/16 last week with Giuseppi Verdi's Luisa Miller. Leah Crocetto is cast in the title role, tenor Michael Fabiano portrays her conflicted lover, Rodolfo.

Stephanie Blythe on 'Mrs. Lovett' - Now at San Francisco Opera through 9/29

Sean Martinfield | Posted 09.18.2016 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

Is Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd an opera -- or what? The work has been around for thirty-six years and known all around the world -- challenging labels, accommodating professional and academic venues, always a kaleidoscope of actors who sing and singers who act.

San Francisco Opera's Meaty and Delicious Sweeney Todd

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 09.22.2016 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

So there's music for mind and ear here, as one would expect from Sondheim. Many consider Sweeney Todd his masterpiece. The songs certainly suit operatic voices, although not every opera singer could move so nimbly from ballad to music-hall bawdiness and back again.