San Francisco Opera's 2023 Summer Season at the War Memorial Opera House, June 3–July 1
- New Co-Production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly
- Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten in David Hockney Production
- Bay Area Premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego by Composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Librettist Nilo Cruz
- 100th Anniversary Concert and Dinner with the Artist
First-Year Adler Fellow Moisés Salazar will perform B.F. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly on July 1
Tickets available at (415) 864-3330 and sfopera.com
Virtual Tickets for Livestreams on Sale Now
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 23, 2023) — San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season continues at the War Memorial Opera House from June 3–July 1, beginning with Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducting a new co-production of Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly by director Amon Miyamoto. In an update announced today, first-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Moisés Salazar will perform B.F. Pinkerton in the final performance of Madame Butterfly on Saturday, July 1. Tenor Michael Fabiano sings the role in all other performances in a cast that also features Karah Son as Cio-Cio-San, Hyona Kim as Suzuki and Lucas Meachem as Sharpless.
The Company’s summer season also brings the return of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, a rarely performed masterwork that had its American premiere here in 1959, and the highly anticipated Bay Area premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego, the new San Francisco Opera co-commission by Berkeley-born composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Nilo Cruz. On Friday, June 16, San Francisco Opera welcomes an all-star, international roster of artists to celebrate the Company’s first 100 years and usher in its exciting second century with the one-night-only 100th Anniversary Concert followed by a Dinner with the Artists fundraising benefit.
The Company will continue to share its performances globally through livestreams of the three operas and 100th Anniversary Concert. Each of the mainstage opera livestreams (excluding the concert) includes a 48-hour on-demand viewing option. Livestream dates are June 9 at 7:30 p.m. (Madame Butterfly); June 20 at 7 p.m. (Die Frau ohne Schatten); June 22 at 7:30 p.m. (El último sueño de Frida y Diego) and June 16 at 6 p.m. (100th Anniversary Concert) (all times Pacific). For more information, visit sfopera.com/digital/Livestream.
In partnership with community institutions, exhibitions exploring the first 100 years of San Francisco Opera will be on view throughout the summer season. San Francisco Opera: A Centennial Celebration, an exhibition featuring historic costumes, artifacts and media from the Company’s first 100 years, is at SFO Museum in Terminal 1 of San Francisco International Airport through August 20, 2023. For more information about the exhibit and monthly guided tours, visit sfopera.com/airport-exhibit. A new exhibition, Bravo: Celebrating San Francisco Opera, Its Italian Roots and Legacy, at San Francisco’s Museo Italo Americano opens April 20. For details, visit museoitaloamericano.org/bravo-celebrating-san-francisco-opera-its-italian-roots-and-legacy.
To learn more about San Francisco Opera at 100 and listen to past performances, visit Streaming the First Century, the Company’s free online hub for historic recordings and interviews at sfopera.com/firstcentury. For San Francisco Opera's past repertory and cast information, visit archive.sfopera.com.
NEW SAN FRANCISCO OPERA CO-PRODUCTION
Music by Giacomo Puccini | Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
June 3–July 1, 2023
A central work in San Francisco Opera’s repertory since the Company’s second season in 1924, Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly returns in a new co-production by Japanese director Amon Miyamoto. Told from the perspective of Trouble, Cio-Cio-San’s child with Pinkerton, the staging follows the now-grown man’s discovery of the events that led to his American upbringing. Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducts Puccini’s dramatic score, which is filled with well-known melodies like Cio-Cio-San's aria “Un bel dì” (“One beautiful day”), the Humming Chorus and the Flower Duet. Chorus Director John Keene prepares the artists of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.
The new production features costumes designed by the late fashion icon Kenzō Takada, along with the work of set designer Boris Kudlička, lighting designer Fabio Antoci and projection designer Bartek Macias. Miyamoto’s new vision for one of opera’s classic works is a co-production with The Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation, Semperoper Dresden and The Royal Danish Opera.
Korean soprano Karah Son makes her Company debut as the unforgettable title heroine, Cio-Cio-San, a role Son has performed on stages across Europe, North America and Australia. American tenor Michael Fabiano brings his acclaimed portrayal of B.F. Pinkerton to the War Memorial Opera House stage for the first time. Mezzo-soprano Hyona Kim is Cio-Cio-San’s confidant, Suzuki; baritone Lucas Meachem is the U.S. Consul, Sharpless; tenor Julius Ahn is Goro and baritone Kidon Choi makes his Company debut as Prince Yamadori. San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Moisés Salazar performs the role of Pinkerton in the July 1 performance. The cast also includes Adler Fellows Jongwon Han as the Bonze and Mikayla Sager as Kate Pinkerton.
NEW-TO-SAN FRANCISCO OPERA PRODUCTION
DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN
Music by Richard Strauss | Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
June 4–28, 2023
Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) is one of opera’s most ambitious and exhilarating works. Like Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle and Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens, Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s magnum opus is a “bucket list” piece for operagoers and a source of ongoing fascination. Once considered impossible to present by American impresarios of the past century, the 1919 opera had its American premiere at the War Memorial Opera House in 1959, launching a proud San Francisco Opera tradition with this rarely performed masterpiece.
A renowned interpreter of large-scale German works by Strauss and Wagner, former San Francisco Opera Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles conducts his first-ever Die Frau ohne Schatten (or “FROSCH,” as the composer affectionately called it, using the initials of the title to spell the German word for “frog”). Roy Rallo directs this new-to-San Francisco Opera production featuring artist David Hockney’s sets—“their riot of color matches that of Strauss’ orchestra perfectly” (Los Angeles Times)—costumes designed by Ian Falconer and lighting designed by Alan Burrett.
The international cast for Die Frau ohne Schatten is headed by Swedish soprano Nina Stemme as the Dyer’s Wife, Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund as the Empress and San Francisco-born soprano Linda Watson in her long-overdue first performances with the Company as the Nurse. Also making their first engagements with San Francisco Opera are Danish bass-baritone Johan Reuter as the decent, hardworking tradesman, Barak and British tenor David Butt Philip as the Emperor, a spirit world hunter who will be turned into stone if his bride, the Empress, fails to retrieve a human shadow within three days. Bass Stefan Egerstrom is the Spirit Messenger, Barak’s brothers will be portrayed by tenor Zhengyi Bai and bass-baritones Wayne Tigges and Philip Skinner and the Nightwatchmen are baritones Javier Arrey, Kidon Choi and Jongwon Han. The opera’s many other fantastical characters (the Falcon and Voices of Unborn Children, among others) will be performed by recent Adler Fellow Elisa Sunshine and current Adlers Arianna Rodriguez, Mikayla Sager, Olivia Smith, Gabrielle Beteag, Nikola Printz and Victor Cardamone.
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA CO-COMMISSION BAY AREA PREMIERE
EL ÚLTIMO SUEÑO DE FRIDA Y DIEGO (THE LAST DREAM OF FRIDA AND DIEGO)
Music by Gabriela Lena Frank | Libretto by Nilo Cruz
June 13–30, 2023
In their pioneering new opera, Bay Area composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz explore life, death and desire through the story of two twentieth-century art icons. El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego) has its local premiere in Mexican director Lorena Maza’s production featuring the creative team of set designer Jorge Ballina, costume designer Eloise Kazan and lighting designer Victor Zapatero. Conductor Roberto Kalb, who was recently appointed music director of Detroit Opera, makes his Company debut conducting this highly anticipated San Francisco Opera co-commissioned work, the first Spanish-language opera in the Company’s 100-year history.
Argentine mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack is Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who found in death the peace she never knew in life until she is offered the opportunity to return to life for one day on El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza, creator of the role of famed muralist Diego Rivera in the world premiere at San Diego Opera last October, returns to San Francisco Opera where both he and Daniela Mack began their careers as Adler Fellows (Daza in 1998; Mack in 2008, 2009). Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz makes her house debut as Catrina, the Keeper of the Dead, and American countertenor Jake Ingbar is the young actor, Leonardo, who briefly returns to the world of the living in the guise of actress Greta Garbo. The cast also includes Mikayla Sager, Nikola Printz, Gabrielle Beteag, Moisés Salazar and Ricardo Lugo.
100th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT and DINNER WITH THE ARTISTS
Friday, June 16, 2023 at 6 p.m.
San Francisco Opera’s Centennial Season culminates with a celebration of the Company’s first 100 years. Music Director Eun Sun Kim, former Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles and former Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers lead the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a program tracing the Company’s history through musical milestones and landmark productions. The roster of treasured San Francisco Opera vocal soloists for the 100th Anniversary Concert includes sopranos Karita Mattila, Ailyn Pérez, Patricia Racette, Nina Stemme, Heidi Stober, Adela Zaharia; mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham, Daniela Mack; tenors Lawrence Brownlee, Michael Fabiano, Brandon Jovanovich, Russell Thomas; baritones Lucas Meachem, Brian Mulligan; and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. Offered as separate packages to the Concert, Dinner with the Artists is a once-in-a-century event showcasing the Bay Area’s unique culinary diversity and an unforgettable opportunity to dine with the stars of San Francisco Opera. Proceeds from Dinner with the Artists benefit the Company’s second-century commitment to artistic excellence and innovation.
For the complete press release, including calendar, open the PDF version above.