Release date: 8/7/2015
San Francisco Opera’s 2015–16 Season opens with Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic opera of troubled love amidst political corruption, Luisa Miller. Company Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts a cast headlined by three rising opera stars: American soprano Leah Crocetto as Luisa Miller, American tenor Michael Fabiano as her beloved Rodolfo and Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy as Luisa’s protective father. Absent from the War Memorial Opera House stage for 15 years, Luisa Miller is presented in Francesca Zambello’s bold San Francisco Opera production, designed by Michael Yeargan and directed by Laurie Feldman.
Verdi’s masterful tale of passion and intrigue—his 15th opera—tells the story of a young village girl who, in love with a dashing nobleman, becomes entangled in the court scheming of her lover’s father and his steward. Based on Friedrich von Schiller’s tragic play Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love) with a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, Luisa Miller was composed by Verdi close to the same time as Macbeth, when he was forging a new musical path that would ultimately lead to masterworks such as Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlo.
“Revisiting a work like Luisa Miller after 15 years is a joy and gives me a real sense of rediscovery since the magic of Verdi only gets stronger,” said the production’s creator, Francesca Zambello. “For me, the inspiration for this dark family drama stems from the original source material of Schiller’s play. Somehow Verdi keeps feeling more and more that he is speaking to audiences today as he grapples with political, class and family issues.”
As the romantic duo of Luisa Miller and Rodolfo, soprano Leah Crocetto and tenor Michael Fabiano return to San Francisco Opera after triumphantly appearing in the Company’s 2014 production of La Bohème. Crocetto, who has performed at several of the world’s great opera houses, has “revealed herself as a major operatic star… a flood of gorgeous, well-supported sound shaped into majestic and seemingly effortless phrases” (San Francisco Chronicle). Fresh off his success at this summer’s Glyndebourne Festival where he performed the title role in Donizetti’s Poliuto, Fabiano “has a thrilling, vibrant tone, fearless in top notes, powerful in the middle and subtly expressive” (The Guardian). With this production, he will be making his role debut.
Baritone Vitaliy Bilyy, who plays Miller and has sung the same role at Milan’s famed Teatro alla Scala, will be making his San Francisco Opera debut. Also performing for the first time at the War Memorial Opera House are Polish bass Rafał Siwek as Count Walter, Rodolfo’s corrupt father, and Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk as the widowed duchess Federica. As Wurm, one of Verdi’s most unforgettable villains, is San Francisco Opera veteran bass Andrea Silvestrelli.
San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. At San Francisco Opera, Luisotti most recently conducted the world premiere of Italian composer Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara (Two Women) and Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball). Other recent appearances include Il Trovatore with Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. This season at San Francisco Opera, Maestro Luisotti will also conduct Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi’s Don Carlo.
This will be the third time that San Francisco Opera has staged Luisa Miller. Soprano Katia Ricciarelli and tenor Luciano Pavarotti memorably starred in the 1974 company premiere. In 2000, Luisa Miller’s cast featured soprano Patricia Racette in the title role and tenor Marcello Giordani as Rodolfo.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the six performances of Luisa Miller are scheduled for September 11 (8 p.m.), September 16 (7:30 p.m.), September 19 (7:30 p.m.), September 22 (7:30 p.m.), September 25 (7:30 p.m.) and September 27 (2 p.m.), 2015.
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
Single tickets for Luisa Miller (not including Opera Ball 2015 gala) 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.
Please note that all evening performances of Luisa Millerwill have a curtain time of 7:30 p.m., except for the September 11 season opening night performance, which begins at 8 p.m. The September 27 matinee performance will begin at 2 p.m.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 onformation, visit bart.gov and sfmuni.com.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about Luisa Miller and San Francisco Opera’s 2015–16 Season, please visit sfopera.com.
*For the complete press release, casting and calendar listing, please view the attached PDF.