San Francisco Opera announces casting update for Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice

Meigui Zhang to Perform Eurydice, Replacing Christina Gansch

Meigui Zhang
Meigui Zhang; Behind the Scenes of In Song: Meigui Zhang (Photo: Zane Gan)

New Production by Director Matthew Ozawa Also Features Jakub Józef Orliński and Nicole Heaston Led by Conductor Peter Whelan, Opens November 15

Orfeo Cast Change.pdf Photos

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 21, 2022) — San Francisco Opera announced today a cast change for its upcoming new production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Orfeo ed Euridice), opening November 15. Soprano Meigui Zhang will make her role debut as Eurydice, replacing Christina Gansch who is expecting her second child and has withdrawn from the production.

Meigui Zhang made her Company debut this past summer as Dai Yu (“sung with brightly quivering intensity,” San Francisco Chronicle) in Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s Dream of the Red Chamber. The fast-rising soprano is featured in San Francisco Opera’s award-winning video portrait series, In Song. Released in June 2022, In Song: Meigui Zhang features Zhang reconnecting with her family in Chengdu, China and performing Eva Dell'Acqua's "Villanelle," Mozart’s “Das Veilchen” (“The Violet”) and the Kazakh folk song "A Lovely Rose."

Though Zhang’s journey as an opera singer began in Chengdu and continued in Shanghai, she also has a strong foundation in San Francisco, where she was a Merola Opera Program participant in 2018. After Merola, Zhang was selected to join the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. This spring, she reprised Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Met and appeared as Thibault in that company’s new production of Verdi’s Don Carlos. Other recent credits include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Verbier Festival, concert appearances with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra on tour throughout China and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Zhang joins the cast for Orpheus and Eurydice, which features countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński in his highly anticipated Company debut as Orpheus and soprano Nicole Heaston as Love (Amore).

San Francisco Opera’s new production of Gluck’s setting of the Orpheus myth presents the work in its original 1762 Viennese edition for the first time in Company history. Director Matthew Ozawa heads the creative team of set and projection designer Alexander V. Nichols, costume designer Jessica Jahn, lighting designer Yuki Nakase Link and choreographer Rena Butler in a production which traces Orpheus’ passage through the stages of grief at losing his beloved Eurydice. Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and founding Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas Peter Whelan makes his American operatic debut leading Gluck’s revolutionary score. Chorus Director John Keene prepares the Opera Chorus for the work’s exuberant and lamenting choruses.

The five performances of Orpheus and Eurydice are scheduled for November 15 (7:30 p.m.), 18 (7:30 p.m.), 20 (2 p.m.), 26 (7:30 p.m.); December 1 (7:30 p.m.), 2022.


San Francisco Opera is sponsored, in part, by Norby Anderson, Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson, The Dolby Family, Carol and Dixon Doll, Bertie Bialek Elliott, Peter Fenton and Kate Greer, Keith and Priscilla Geeslin, Gordon Getty, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Burgess and Elizabeth Jamieson, Franklin and Catherine Johnson, Edmund W. and Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Fund, Steven M. Menzies, Bernard and Barbro Osher, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Dianne and Tad Taube, Phyllis C. Wattis Endowment Funds, Diane B. Wilsey, and Barbara A. Wolfe.

Orpheus and Eurydice is made possible, in part, by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.

Yamaha is the official piano of San Francisco Opera.

San Francisco Opera is supported, in part, by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

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