Opera Ball and Opening Night Concert Inaugurate San Francisco Opera's Second Century
Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak; Eun Sun Kim with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra; Opera Ball 2022
Photos (l to r): Lukasz Rajchert, Kristen Loken, Drew Altizer Photography
Opera’s Dazzling Couple, Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak,
Open Company's 101st Season on Sep. 8 with an Opening Night Concert
Conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim
Opera Ball: The Elixir of Opera Festivities Take Place in
San Francisco City Hall and the Opera House
Opening Weekend Celebrations Include Free Opera in the Park, Sep. 10
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 30, 2023) — To inaugurate San Francisco Opera’s second century, the Company and San Francisco Opera Guild jointly present Opera Ball on Friday, September 8, 2023. This festive evening, titled The Elixir of Opera, includes a reception, dinner and after-party in San Francisco’s City Hall along with a celebratory Opening Night Concert in the War Memorial Opera House. As the evening’s musical centerpiece, the concert features Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus with star soloists Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak. Opera Ball 2023 is co-chaired by Francesca Gutierrez Amann and Sue Graham Johnston and proceeds from the benefit gala support the artistic and educational initiatives of San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Guild.
Known throughout the world of opera for his “commitment and brightly shining tone” (New York Times) in an artistic resume encompassing the art form’s greatest stage heroes, superstar tenor Roberto Alagna makes his first appearance with the Company in the Opening Night Concert. The 101st season-opening event marks the return of soprano Aleksandra Kurzak to the War Memorial Opera House following her 2012 Company debut as Gilda in Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto which the San Francisco Chronicle hailed as “nothing short of remarkable.” The husband-and-wife duo, who have been touted opera’s “power couple,” will perform a program of operatic arias and duets with selections from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Puccini’s Tosca and Manon Lescaut, along with popular songs and other favorites. San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Olivia Smith will join the couple for an excerpt from Cavalleria Rusticana.
Beginning at 5 p.m., Opera Ball guests arrive on the red carpet and promenade to a festive cocktail reception in the Beaux-Arts rotunda of San Francisco’s City Hall, transformed by event designer J. Riccardo Benavides. A lavish culinary experience created by the local chefs of McCalls Catering & Events will follow at 6 p.m. Guests then make their way across Van Ness Avenue to the War Memorial Opera House for the 8 p.m. 101st season Opening Night Concert with Roberto Alagna, Aleksandra Kurzak, Music Director Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. After the last calls of “bravi!” ring out in the auditorium, the after-party at City Hall awaits. Attendees can dance the night away to live music or lounge with their elixir of choice, sweet and savory bites and enjoy the revelry.
This year, a special Cocktail Dinner Celebration will be offered in partnership with the BRAVO! Club that includes the dinner reception, concert and after-party (BRAVO! Club membership is not required for the Cocktail Dinner Celebration package).
Tickets packages for the Opening Night Concert with After-Party, as well as concert-only tickets, are also available.
LIVESTREAM: Opening Night Concert, September 8 at 8 p.m. PT
The Opening Night Concert will be livestreamed (no on-demand access is available for this concert). Livestream tickets are available now for $27.50. For more information visit sfopera.com/digital/livestream.
OPENING WEEKEND OF THE 2023–24 SEASON
The opening weekend festivities of San Francisco Opera’s 101st season continue after the Opera Ball and Opening Night Concert on Friday, September 8:
OPERA IN THE PARK: Sunday, September 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Opera in the Park. Photos: Drew Altizer Photography
On Sunday, September 10, Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park is the alfresco setting for San Francisco Chronicle Presents Opera in the Park. The annual free concert is conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim and features the San Francisco Opera Orchestra with soloists from the fall season. Bring a picnic and enjoy a musical day in the park at this beloved Bay Area tradition.
FLOWER PIANO, Saturday, September 9
San Francisco Opera will participate at Flower Piano, the popular outdoor event featuring 12 pianos at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. On Saturday, September 9 from 3-4 p.m., San Francisco Opera pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg will perform virtuosic piano arrangements of grand opera and operetta, paired with Impressionistic works that capture the serenity of the garden. Presented by Gardens of Golden Gate Park and Sunset Piano, Flower Piano is free with a ticket to the San Francisco Botanical Garden (1199 9th Avenue). For complete program and ticket information, visit sfbg.org/flowerpiano.
*For the complete press release, including full program and calendar listing, open the PDF version above.