Jun Kaneko's Visionary "Magic Flute" Production Returns

Release date: 10/1/2015

San Francisco Opera Presents Revival of Jun Kaneko’s Production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, October 20 – November 20

Making His Company Debut, Lawrence Foster Conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Ten Performances of Mozart’s Final Opera

The Magic Flute.pdf  Photos Available

San Francisco Opera brings back to the War Memorial Opera House Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Jun Kaneko’s colorful multimedia production, directed by Harry Silverstein. Featuring an accomplished cast of young operatic talent, these performances are presented using General Director David Gockley’s English singing translation, with additional material by Ruth and Thomas Martin, and are led by prominent American conductor Lawrence Foster in his San Francisco Opera debut.

Tenor Paul Appleby, a frequent Metropolitan Opera performer who was featured in the Met’s world premiere and subsequent recording of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, will make his Company debut as Tamino. Russian soprano and “audience favorite” Albina Shagimuratova reprises her role as The Queen of the Night, a virtuoso performance that “brought down the house with dazzling, pinpoint delivery” (San Francisco Chronicle) at the 2012 premiere of this production. Mexican-American baritone and second-year Adler Fellow Efraín Solís will make his role debut as the lovelorn bird-catcher Papageno. German bass-baritone Alfred Reiter is the wise Sarastro. Sopranos Sarah Shafer and Nadine Sierra will share the role of Pamina. Shafer, recently seen as Rosetta in the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s opera Two Women, will take on the first four performances (October 20, 25, 27 and 29) and Sierra, who sang the Countess in last summer’s The Marriage of Figaro and is performing the title role in the upcoming Lucia di Lammermoor, will sing the remaining six performances (November 4, 8, 12, 14, 17 and 20).

Endlessly inventive, charmingly fantastical and utterly unique, Mozart’s final opera is a profound yet lighthearted allegory of romantic love and spiritual transcendence. Based on a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, The Magic Flute is set in an imaginary land of ferocious serpents and enchanted musical instruments. It tells the tale of a noble prince who seeks to rescue a beautiful princess and, with her, ensure the victory of truth, wisdom and justice. From its effervescent overture to tuneful arias and ensembles, The Magic Flute features some of Mozart’s most recognizable and infectious music.

This San Francisco Opera co-production with Washington National Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Omaha and Lyric Opera of Kansas City was created by renowned visual artist Jun Kaneko. Known for his large-scale ceramics and permanent installations, Kaneko utilizes in this state-of-the-art staging vivid, kaleidoscopic color, integrating whimsical costumes and conceptual, graphic projections—the first all-digital production in San Francisco Opera history. “Zesty and imaginative… Kaneko fits out the production with a wealth of design elements that situated the work in a perfectly rendered fairy-tale world,” hailed the San Francisco Chronicle in 2012.

Sung in English with English supertitles, the ten San Francisco Opera performances of The Magic Flute are scheduled for October 20 (7:30 p.m.), October 25 (2 p.m.), October 27 (7:30 p.m.), October 29 (7:30 p.m.), November 4 (7:30 p.m.), November 8 (2 p.m.), November 12 (7:30 p.m.), November 14 (7:30 p.m.), November 17 (7:30 p.m.) and November 20 (7:30 p.m.), 2015. 

The San Francisco Opera 2015–16 Season continues with Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (November 18–December 6), Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (November 25–December 9), the Gordon Getty and Claude Debussy double bill The Fall of the House of Usher (December 8–13),Bizet’s Carmen (May 27–July 3), Verdi’s Don Carlo (June 12–29) and Janáček’s Jenůfa (June 14–July 1). For more information, please visit sfopera.com.


In conjunction with this production of The Magic Flute, the San Francisco Opera Education Department will present two interactive, multi-generational workshops based on the themes, story, characters and music of Mozart’s opera. Exploration Workshop: Inside the Magic Flute! is recommended for children ages 8 and up and their families and will take place on November 8, 2015 at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at 455 Franklin Street (across from the War Memorial Opera House). Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at sfopera.com/fluteworkshop.


Single tickets for The Magic Flute are priced from $26 to $381 (subject to change) and may be purchased at sfopera.com 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.

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 bart.gov and sfmta.com.

Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about The Magic Flute and San Francisco Opera’s 2015–16 Season, please visit sfopera.com.

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