Release date: 3/21/2016
San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2016 Season at the War Memorial Opera House opens May 27 with Georges Bizet’s Carmen. Opera’s ultimate femme fatale returns in a provocative staging by director Calixto Bieito in his long-awaited U.S. opera debut, with two outstanding casts led by Irene Roberts and Ginger Costa-Jackson as Carmen and Brian Jagde and Maxim Aksenov as Don José. Giuseppe Verdi’s iconic political opera Don Carlo stars an internationally renowned cast including Michael Fabiano, Ana María Martínez, Mariusz Kwiecień and René Pape, directed by Emilio Sagi and conducted by Company Music Director Nicola Luisotti. Leoš Janáček’s riveting Jenůfa,conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and starring legendary Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, Malin Byström, William Burden and Scott Quinn, completes the summer season. San Francisco Opera also returns to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, for a free live simulcast of Carmen on Saturday, July 2.
Carmen – Georges Bizet / May 27–July 3
A bold, provocative Carmen marks the United States opera debut of the so-called “bad boy of opera,” Spanish director Calixto Bieito. Set in the arid earthiness of post-Franco Spain, Bieito’s raw, sexually-charged and cinematic vision of Carmen provokes the intense emotions pulsing through this tale of love, lust and murder. This powerful tale of a defiantly free-spirited woman and her obsessive lover features two outstanding casts. One stars Irene Roberts as the impassioned Gypsy, Brian Jagde as the lovesick soldier Don José, Zachary Nelson as the dashing bullfighter Escamillo and Ellie Dehn as Micaëla. The other is headed by Ginger Costa-Jackson (Carmen), debuting Russian tenor Maxim Aksenov (Don José), Michael Sumuel (Escamillo) and Erika Grimaldi (Micaëla). Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro makes his San Francisco Opera debut leading Bizet’s fiery, tuneful score, with Company Resident Conductor Jordi Bernàcer conducting the final performance. Bieito’s “intelligent, persuasive and intense” (The Guardian, UK) production will be staged by his associate Joan Anton Rechi.
Please note: This production contains violence, nudity and suggestive behavior.
Don Carlo – Giuseppe Verdi / June 12–29
At the time of Spain’s brutal Inquisition, the king of Spain marries the woman his son loves and sets into motion a tension-filled chain of events. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental drama of romantic triangles, political idealism and life-and-death devotion. The exceptional international cast features the return of American tenor Michael Fabiano, “one of the music world's fastest-rising stars” (San Jose Mercury News), who takes on the title role of the Spanish crown prince for the first time. Fabiano “secured his reputation as one of his generation’s foremost Verdians” (Financial Times, London) appearing as Rodolfo to great acclaim in the Company’s Luisa Miller last fall. The brilliant cast also features gifted Puerto Rican-American soprano Ana María Martínez in her role debut as Elisabetta, celebrated German bass René Pape as King Philip II, acclaimed Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień as Don Carlo’s friend Rodrigo and Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva in her Company debut as Princess Eboli. Italian bass-baritone Ferruccio Furlanetto will sing the role of Philip II in the final performance. Emilio Sagi directs this revival of his San Francisco Opera production.
Jenůfa – Leoš Janáček / June 14–July 1
When the righteous sin, can they be forgiven? “Invariably daring and original, characterized by her fierce commitment to the moment” (Opera News), Karita Mattila makes her role debut as one of Leoš Janáček’s most vivid characters—the domineering stepmother Kostelnička, who, forced to deal with her unwed stepdaughter’s pregnancy, is driven to perform a monstrous act. The legendary Finnish soprano returns to San Francisco Opera following her searing performances as Emilia Marty in the Company’s 2010 Olivier Tambosi production of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. Swedish soprano Malin Byström makes her Company and role debuts as Jenůfa, a woman who discovers the transformative power of love and forgiveness. The cast also features tenor William Burden as Laca Klemeň and tenor Scott Quinn as Števa Buryja. Janáček authority Jiří Bělohlávek conducts the intense, pulsating score of one of the great operas of the 20th century, in a critically praised Olivier Tambosi production new to San Francisco.
Jenůfa Insight Panel – Get a glimpse into the creative process at the Jenůfa Insight Panel on June 7 at 6 p.m. at Herbst Theater, presented by the San Francisco Opera Guild. Jenůfa cast and production team members share insights about bringing the opera to life. For more information and tickets, visit sfopera.com/insights.
Free Live Simulcast of Carmen, AT&T Park / July 2
Continuing what has become a beloved Bay Area tradition, San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants and presenting sponsor Taube Philanthropies for Opera at the Ballpark—a free live simulcast of Bizet’s Carmen at AT&T Park on Saturday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. Through state-of-the-art technology, the performance of Carmen 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, peanuts and popcorn with world-class opera.
Last year’s Opera at the Ballpark, the Company’s 13th simulcast, drew an audience of 30,130 to AT&T Park for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Since 2006, San Francisco Opera simulcasts have drawn a combined audience of more than 250,000 people to enjoy free, live opera in unconventional settings. Opera at the Ballpark is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Taube Philanthropies, and the extraordinary technology of the Koret/Taube Media Suite. Free registration for early entry/best seating and entry into a special prize drawing is available beginning April 1, 2016 at sfopera.com/simulcast.
High resolution downloadable photographs of all 2016 Summer Season productions and artists are available at sfopera.com/press.
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
Carmen, Don Carlo and Jenůfa tickets are priced from $26 to $395 (prices subject to change); for tickets and information, call (415) 864-3330, visit sfopera.com or visit the San Francisco Opera Box Office, 301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street). Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only, limit of two tickets per person.
Opera at the Ballpark at AT&T Park is free. Registration for early entry/best seating and entry into a special prize drawing is available beginning April 1, 2016 at sfopera.com/simulcast.
San Francisco Opera Guild’s Jenůfa Insight Panel is free for San Francisco Opera members, subscribers and students with valid ID. Tickets are $5 for the general public and can be purchased in advance or at the door 30 minutes prior to the discussion. For tickets and more information, visit sfopera.com/insights.
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 fifty-five 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 bart.gov and sfmta.com.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2016 season, please visit sfopera.com.
For the complete press release, casting and calendar, please view the attached PDF.