San Francisco Opera Series

Saturday at 12 noon
  • Hosted by Dianne Nicolini

A leader among international opera companies for nine decades, San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953) and incorporated in 1923. The Company's first performance took place on September 26, 1923 in the City's Civic Auditorium (La Bohème, with Queena Mario and Giovanni Martinelli, conducted by Merola). Originally presented over two weeks, San Francisco Opera's season now contains approximately 75 performances of ten operas between September and July.

San Francisco Opera inaugurated its current home, the War Memorial Opera House, with a performance of Tosca on October 15, 1932 (Claudia Muzio, Dino Borgioli, and Alfredo Gandolfi sang the principal roles in a production conducted by Merola). The venerable beaux arts building holds the distinction of being the first American opera house that was not built by and for a small group of wealthy patrons; the funding came thanks to a group of private citizens who encouraged thousands of San Franciscans to subscribe.

Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera

Airs Saturday, August 27, at 12 noon. This week the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus are featured in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor, staring Nadine Sierra in the title roll with Piotr Beczala as Edgardo, Brian Mulligan as Enrico, and Nicolas Testé as Raimondo. This performance also features Zanda Švēde as Alisa, AJ Glueckert as Normanno, and Chong Wang as Arturo. The San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus are under the direction of Nicola Luisotti with stage direction from Michael Cavanagh and Ian Robertson as chorus master.

Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera

Airs Saturday, August 20, at 12 noon. This week the WFMT Fine Arts Network begin a series featuring the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorusunder Nicola Luisotti with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Luisa Miller. The cast features Leah Crocetto in the title roll with Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo, Vitaliy Bilyy as Miller, and Daniel Sumegi as Count Walter. This producion will also feature Ekaterina Semenchuk as Federica, Andrea Silvestrelli as Wurm, Jacqueline Piccolino as Laura, and Christopher Jackson as Peasant.

Airs Saturday, October 31, at 12 noon. This week the San Francisco Opera present's Hector Berlioz's Les Troyens starring Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra, Susan Graham as Dido, Bryan Hymel as Aeneas, and Sasha Cooke as Anna, with Brian Mulligan as Chorebus, Christian Van Horn as Narbal, and René Barbera as Iopas. David McVicar directs this production with Ian Robertson as chorus master and San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of David Runnicles.

Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera

Airs Saturday, October 24, at 12 noon. This week on the San Francisco Opera we present the opera "Two Women" by Marco Tutino and Fabio Ceresa starring Anna San Francisco Opera Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cesira, Sarah Shafer as Rosetta, Dimitri Pitta as Michele, and Mark Delavan as Giovanni. Francesca Zambello directs with Ian Robertson as chorus master and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus will be under the direction of Nicola Luisotti. Dianne Nicolini will host.

Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera

Airs Saturday, October 17, at 12 noon. This week on the San Francisco Opera we feature one of the great masterpiece from Puccini's pen with La Bohème starring Alexia Voulgaridou as Mimi and Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo, with Nadine Sierra as Musetta, Alexey Markov as Marcello, Christian Van Horn as Colline, Hadleigh Adams as Schaunard, and Dale Travis in the roles of Benoit and Alcindoro. John Caird directs, Ian Robertson is the chorus master, and San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus is under the direction of Giuseppe Finzi. Dianne Nicolini hosts.

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