Celebrating the Career and Tenure of David Gockley

Release date: 3/1/2016


San Francisco Opera Honors General Director David Gockley with a One-Night Only Gala Concert Featuring Renée Fleming, Ana María Martínez, Karita Mattila, Patricia Racette, Nadine Sierra, Heidi Stober, Susan Graham, Daniela Mack, Dolora Zajick, Michael Fabiano, Brian Jagde, Simon O'Neill, Eric Owens, René Pape and Other Special Guests

Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the War Memorial Opera House

Concert tickets and gala dinner VIP packages on sale at sfopera.com and (415) 864-3330


David Gockley Gala.pdf  Photos Available

San Francisco Opera celebrates David Gockley’s remarkable career and ten-year tenure as San Francisco Opera General Director with a gala concert at the War Memorial Opera House on Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. This one-night only event will honor the impresario’s enormous impact on opera in America over the past 45 years with excerpts from seminal operas from Gockley’s career, including the Ring cycle, Les Troyens, Nixon in China and Porgy and Bess. Featuring the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the gala program Celebrating David! will be hosted by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and bass-baritone Samuel Ramey with performances of arias and ensembles by some of today’s leading singers and conductors.

The roster of acclaimed artists includes sopranos Renée Fleming, Ana María Martínez, Karita Mattila, Patricia Racette, Nadine Sierra and Heidi Stober; mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham, Daniela Mack and Dolora Zajick; tenors Michael Fabiano, Brian Jagde and Simon O’Neill; bass-baritone Eric Owens; bass René Pape; San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti, Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers and guest conductors Jiří Bělohlávek and John DeMain. The gala concert will also feature video appearances by special guest artists. Veteran artist manager Matthew Epstein is the artistic consultant for this concert.

The festivities will include a gala pre-performance reception at the new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera and a post-performance black-tie dinner with the artists in the Wilsey Center for Opera’s new Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater. John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn are Celebrating David! Gala Chairs; honorary co-chairs are Diane B. Wilsey and Lynn Wyatt. Dianne and Tad Taube are Gala Dinner Hosts. Proceeds from the dinner will support General Director special initiatives during the 201516 Season.

David Gockley retires from San Francisco Opera in July 2016, culminating a 45-year career as one of today’s most important opera impresarios. Gockley has been general director of San Francisco Opera since 2006. Under his leadership, San Francisco Opera has commissioned eight world premieres, two West Coast premieres and a new production of Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. In his first months as general director, Gockley took opera to the community with a free outdoor simulcast to San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza—the first in the Company’s history—in May 2006. The subsequent twelve simulcasts throughout the Bay Area, including nine at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, have collectively drawn more than 250,000 opera fans. These simulcasts are made possible by the Company’s Koret/Taube Media Suite, which Gockley led San Francisco Opera to create in 2007. It is the first permanent high-definition broadcast-standard video production facility installed in any American opera house.

Gockley’s achievements at San Francisco Opera encompass the creation of the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera and the launch of SF Opera Lab at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater; the appointment of Nicola Luisotti as Company music director; formal establishment of San Francisco Opera’s Education Department, a program that provides annual educational activities, performances and workshops for students, teachers, families and adults; growing San Francisco Opera’s endowment; establishment of the San Francisco Opera Archive; and collaborating with the Company’s more than 900 employees, including nine labor union partners, to produce outstanding opera.

Gockley came to San Francisco from Houston Grand Opera (HGO), where he was general director for more than three decades. By 2006, HGO had 35 world premieres and six American premieres to its credit. Gockley also oversaw the creation of the Wortham Theater Center, HGO’s home built entirely with private funds.

Matthew Shilvock will become San Francisco Opera's seventh general director, effective August 1, 2016.




Tickets for the Celebrating David! concert are $50, $100, $150, $200, $250, $350 and $450 ($450 tickets include premium concert seating and pre-performance reception with David Gockley). Tickets are available at sfopera.com or the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue or by phone at (415) 864-3330.

VIP packages, including the reception and post-performance black-tie dinner, are also available. For more information and to purchase VIP package tickets, call the Medallion Society Ticket Concierge at (415) 565-6447.


For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.