San Francisco Opera Presents Mozart's "Don Giovanni," June 4–June 30

Release date: 5/12/2017    


 Cast Change Announcement: Erwin Schrott and Erik Anstine Make Company Debuts as Leporello

Marc Minkowski Conducts an International Cast Headed by Italian Bass-Baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo in the Title Role and Featuring Erin Wall, Ana María Martínez, Sarah Shafer, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Michael Sumuel and Andrea Silvestrelli in a Revised Production Directed by Jacopo Spirei and Featuring Projections and Scenic Adaptations by Visual Artist Tommi Brem

Free Live Simulcast of Don Giovanni at AT&T Park, June 30

Tickets Available at and (415) 864-3330

DON GIOVANNI 5.12.17.pdf  Photos Available  


San Francisco Opera’s 2017 Summer Season will include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the War Memorial Opera House beginning Sunday, June 4 through Friday, June 30 for eight performances. In a cast change announced today, Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott and American bass Erik Anstine will sing the role of Leporello. Both artists are making their first appearances with San Francisco Opera and stepping in for previously scheduled bass Marco Vinco, who has withdrawn from the production for health reasons. Schrott is scheduled to sing the first six performances and Anstine the last two.

The production will feature Company debuts by a host of artists including conductor Marc Minkowski, bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, soprano Erin Wall, tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac, director Jacopo Spirei and designer Tommi Brem. Completing this international ensemble are soprano Ana María Martínez, soprano Sarah Shafer, bass-baritone Michael Sumuel and bass Andrea Silvestrelli.

Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, whose “swaggering confidence and dangerous sex appeal act like a powerful audience magnet” (Los Angeles Times), stars in the title role. Regularly appearing at the world’s leading opera houses, Don Giovanni is central to the Italian artist’s repertory today; in recent seasons, he has performed the role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Salzburg Festival and Royal Opera, Covent Garden. It should be noted that D’Arcangelo and Schrott are both distinguished interpreters of both Don Giovanni and Leporello. When the artists performed in the same Don Giovanni cast at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008, Schrott was the Don and D’Arcangelo was Leporello; at San Francisco Opera in 2017 their roles are reversed.

A native of Montevideo, Erwin Schrott joins the Company in the pivotal role of Don Giovanni's clever servant, Leporello. World renowned as an interpreter of the title role of Don Giovanni, Schrott has also earned considerable acclaim for his Leporello in leading opera houses, especially the Metropolitan Opera (where he performed the role in April–May 2017) and the Vienna State Opera. American bass Erik Anstine has performed Leporello with Seattle Opera, appeared at the Salzburg Festival, and recently completed a four-year tenure with the ensemble of Zürich Opera.

Distinguished Mozartian Erin Wall makes her first appearance with the Company as Donna Anna, a role she has also performed with the Bavarian State Opera and Metropolitan Opera. The Canadian soprano was recently praised for her performance of the title role in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa at Santa Fe Opera, which The Huffington Post reported, “Her character was so utterly sympathetic and three dimensional. And boy, can she sing! Her soprano was fluid and versatile, completely at ease.”

Following her triumphant appearances at San Francisco Opera in summer 2016 as Elisabetta in Verdi's Don Carlo, Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez returns to perform Donna Elvira. French tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac joins the ensemble in his premiere engagement in the United States as Don Ottavio. Soprano Sarah Shafer, who created the role of Rosetta in the Company’s world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women in 2015, will sing Zerlina. Bass-baritone Michael Sumuel performs as Masetto and Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli sings the role of the Commendatore.

Acclaimed French maestro and General Manager of Opéra National de Bordeaux, Marc Minkowski takes the podium in his highly anticipated San Francisco Opera debut. Renowned for his Baroque recordings with his orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Minkowski's operatic repertory is far-reaching and expansive, and the conductor has earned praise for his performances of works by Meyerbeer, Mozart, Offenbach, Ravel, Verdi and Wagner. Of his Mozart–Da Ponte cycle (Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte) at the Drottningholm Opera in Sweden, the Financial Times praised the Maestro’s “control over the pacing and texture, suddenly zooming in on an emotion or subtly changing the atmosphere.”

Mozart’s vital work of music and theater will be staged by Italian director Jacopo Spirei in his first engagement with the Company. Spirei remarked: “Don Giovanni is an opera from the past that challenges our modern times with questions and provocations. We are creating a show that establishes a direct dialogue between the past and the present, the 18th with the 21st centuries. We explore the world and themes of the opera with contemporary eyes, in search of Don Giovanni, a man always on the run and who can never be pinned down.”

This reboot of the Don Giovanni production that premiered at San Francisco Opera in 2011 will feature new projections and scenic adaptations by Tommi Brem, a German visual artist whose work includes innovative projections and design work at the annual Burning Man festival. “Reimagining this production of Don Giovanni is an interesting task, especially since it contains a very strong visual element: mirrors,” said Brem. “We use the mirrors not only to structure the space and create different locations, but also in telling the story through movement and using them as projection surfaces. While we are using the elements we inherited from the original production, we are creating a new Don Giovanni that will look and feel decidedly different.”

Mozart's Don Giovanni entered the repertory of San Francisco Opera in 1938, fifteen seasons after the Company's inaugural season. Fritz Reiner conducted the premiere, which featured renowned Italian bass and iconic interpreter of the title role, Ezio Pinza, as Don Giovanni and other legendary vocal artists such as Elisabeth Rethberg as Donna Anna and buffo basso Salvatore Baccaloni as Leporello. 

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the eight performances of Don Giovanni are scheduled for June 4 (2 p.m.), 8 (7:30 p.m.), 11 (2 p.m.), 13 (7:30 p.m.), 16 (7:30 p.m.), 21 (7:30 p.m.), 24 (7:30 p.m.) and 30 (7:30 p.m.), 2017.

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Continuing what has become a Bay Area tradition, San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants for Opera at the Ballpark—a free live simulcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at AT&T Park on Friday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. Through state-of-the-art technology, the performance of Don Giovanni will be transmitted live from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Park’s high-definition scoreboard. AT&T Park concessions will be open for the simulcast, providing audiences the rare opportunity to pair hot dogs, nachos and garlic fries with world-class opera. Last year’s Opera at the Ballpark drew an audience of more than 28,000 to AT&T Park for Bizet’s Carmen. The June 30 Don Giovanni simulcast marks the 15th free simulcast presented by San Francisco Opera and the 11that AT&T Park. Opera at the Ballpark is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Taube Philanthropies; Gold Sponsors Charles Schwab, Chevron, United Airlines and PG&E; and the extraordinary technology of the Koret/Taube Media Suite. Free registration for early admission/best seating and entry into a special prize drawing is available at


Tickets for Don Giovanni are priced from $27 to $398 (subject to change) and may be purchased at or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue or by phone at (415) 864-3330. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only and limited to two tickets per person.

Before every opera performance, listen to charismatic music scholars present a 25-minute Opera Talk including an overview of the opera, with insights on the music, composer and historical background. Talks begin 55 minutes before each performance in the orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House and are presented free of charge to patrons with tickets for the corresponding performance.

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit and

Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera’s 2017 Summer Season, please visit

*For the complete press release, casting and calendar, please view the attached PDF.