Fall 2015 Season Update

Release date: 7/13/2015

Company Announces Cast Change in Sweeney Todd

93rd Season Opens on the 11th of September with Verdi's Luisa Miller; Fall Season Includes Company Premiere of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd; New Production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; American Premiere of Gordon Getty's Usher House and Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher; and Company Revivals of Mozart's The Magic Flute and Rossini's The Barber of Seville

Fall 2015 Season Cast Update.pdf   Photos Available    

San Francisco Opera announces complete cast lists for the seven productions in its Fall 2015 Season and a cast change for its first-ever presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Baritone Gerald Finley, who was previously named to perform the title role, has withdrawn from the production in order to be at home in Great Britain with his wife for the expected birth of their child in mid-September.
San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley commented: “While we regret the lost opportunity of welcoming Gerald back to the War Memorial Opera House stage, the entire Company completely understands the extenuating circumstances and sends best wishes to him and his new family.”

Replacing Finley will be American baritone Brian Mulligan, who has won critical acclaim for Company performances in Nixon in China and The Trojans. He will be making his role debut as Sweeney Todd, a character which “Brian will uniquely personalize and inhabit with great artistic theatrical flair,” said Gockley. Mulligan, who will perform later on this season in Lucia di Lammermoor and The Fall of the House of Usher, joins a renowned cast, including mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (Mrs. Lovett), soprano Heidi Stober (Johanna) and soprano Elizabeth Futral (Beggar Woman). San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a co-production with the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet and Houston Grand Opera, directed by Lee Blakeley. Please note that the final performance on September 29 will be conducted by James Lowe, who led recent performances of Sweeney Todd at Houston Grand Opera.
San Francisco Opera’s 93rd repertory season begins on Friday, the 11th of September with Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller. Starring a young, virtuoso cast of Leah Crocetto, Michael Fabiano and, in his Company debut, Vitaliy Bilyy, Verdi’s masterful tale of passion and intrigue is presented for the first time in 15 years in a bold Francesca Zambello production, conducted by San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti. The opening-night performance of Luisa Miller is held in conjunction with Opera Ball 2015: Moonlight & Music, San Francisco’s premier social event of the year. The season-opening weekend concludes with San Francisco Opera in the Park on Sunday, September 13 in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow. This free annual concert features artists from the Company’s Fall 2015 season and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by Maestro Luisotti.

Other highlights of San Francisco Opera’s Fall 2015 Season include Michael Cavanagh’s new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Diana Damrau and Piotr Beczala; the San Francisco premiere of David McVicar’s production of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conducted by Mark Elder in his Company debut and starring Greer Grimsley, Brandon Jovanovich, Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Sasha Cooke; and the American premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher—a double bill presentation of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Robert Orledge’s reconstruction of Claude Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher—directed by David Pountney and conducted by Lawrence Foster.
This fall, the Company will also present revivals of two classic and popular San Francisco Opera productions: Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with Lucas Meachem, Daniela Mack and René Barbera and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Nadine Sierra, Philippe Sly, Albina Shagimuratova and, in his Company debut, Paul Appleby. All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus at the historic War Memorial Opera House.
All fall season evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except for the September 11 season opening night performance of Luisa Miller, which will start at 8 p.m., and evening performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, which will begin at 6 p.m. Fall matinee performances begin at 2 p.m., except for the December 6 matinee of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg which will begin at 1 p.m.
The San Francisco Opera Guild presents Insight Panels on October 6 for Lucia di Lammermoor, November 16 for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and November 30 for The Fall of the House of Usher. These hourlong informal discussions with cast members, conductors and directors begin at 6 p.m. and take place at the Herbst Theater, Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue. More information is available at sfopera.com/insights.
The 2015–2016 Season continues next summer, beginning May 27 through July 3, with performances of Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Don Carlo and Janáček’s Jenůfa.


Single tickets for San Francisco Opera’s 2015–16 Season are priced from $26 to $381 for all operas except Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Single tickets for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg are priced from $30 to $410.  Please visit sfopera.com for further details, or call the Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330. San Francisco Opera Box Office hours: Monday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. during performance season. All cast, programs, prices and schedules are subject to change. The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue. 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 further public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmta.com.

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