Music by George Frideric Handel


Trapped inside his war-torn mind in a military hospital during WWII, the pilot Orlando can’t tell reality from delusion. The trauma of war has turned his love into madness, and only through the help of his friends can he overcome the lasting effects of war. Experience this powerful and gripping story through Handel’s colorful music.

Production New to San Francisco Opera

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece

Sung in Italian with English supertitles


Events During Orlando

Pre-Opera Talks

Free to Ticketholders. For every performance, join us in the Orchestra section 55 minutes prior to curtain.

CD Signing with Sasha Cooke and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen

Meet Sasha Cooke and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen in person at a special CD signing following the performance of Orlando on June 15. Learn more.

Open Curtain

Join us for an open curtain intermission on Tuesday, June 18.


[Sasha Cooke is] superb as Orlando

– The San Francisco Examiner

Soprano Heidi Stober gave a muscular, fearless and slightly acidic performance as Angelica

– San Francisco Chronicle

Gansch expounds…with charm and a sumptuous, radiant voice

– The San Francisco Examiner

Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Medoro — his tone [was] strong and gleaming, his phrasing endlessly eloquent

– San Francisco Chronicle

Sturdy bass-baritone Christian Van Horn’s voice was as commanding as his tall presence and sagacity

– The San Francisco Examiner

Conductor Christopher Moulds led the orchestra from the harpsichord with facility and verve

– The San Francisco Examiner



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Notes on Orlando

George Frideric Handel—who spent most of his life in London, a naturalized Englishman, and settled on that spelling of his names—was born in 1685, like J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. Read more.

Marilyn Horne: Orlando’s Champion

In San Francisco Opera’s near-100 years of presenting opera on the grandest scale, there are a few elite artists who stand apart from the Company’s esteemed and lengthy roster of greats—the cream of the cream of the crop. Read more.

Director’s Perspective on Orlando

It is perhaps surprising to learn that, of the 35 or so libretti which George Frideric Handel set for the London stage, very few were entirely original pieces of work. Read more.


A mentally tormented warrior becomes entangled in a love triangle set by an ambiguous agent.


Read Complete Synopsis >


Cast and Creative

Orlando Sasha Cooke
Angelica Heidi Stober
Dorinda Christina Gansch *
Medoro Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen *
Zoroastro Christian Van Horn


June 9, 15, 18, 21, 27, 2019

Conductor Christopher Moulds *
Director Harry Fehr *
Production Designer Yannis Thavoris *
Original Lighting Designer Anna Watson *
Revival Lighting Designer Tim van ‘t Hof *
Projection Designer Andrzej Goulding *
Fight Director Dave Maier

*  San Francisco Opera debut

A production of Scottish Opera.


Previous performance of Orlando can be found in our Archive.


Bernard and Barbro Osher; and Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Emerging Stars Fund; and Joan & David Traitel, through the Great Singers Fund.


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Photo (top): Scottish Opera production of Orlando/Richard Campbell.