SF Opera's Future Seasons

SF Opera Ring Cast


The casting for San Francisco Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen was announced today. The three cycles are scheduled for June 14-19, June 21-26, and June 28-July 3, 2011, and will be conducted by Donald Runnicles. The production is directed by Francesca Zambello, with sets from Michael Yeargan. Currently, tickets for complete cycles are on sale for subscribers and donors only.

Das Rheingold
Wotan: Mark Delavan
Loge: Stefan Margita
Alberich: Gordon Hawkins
Fricka: Larissa Diadkova
Erda: Ronnita Miller
Mime: David Cangelosi
Fasolt: Andrea Silvestrelli
Fafner: Daniel Sumegi
Freia: Melissa Citro

Die Walküre
Wotan: Mark Delavan
Brünnhilde: Nina Stemme
Siegmund: Brandon Jovanovich
Sieglinde: Anja Kampe, Heidi Melton (6/29)
Fricka: Larissa Diadkova
Hunding: Daniel Sumegi

Siegfried: Ian Storey
Mime: David Cangelosi
Brünnhilde: Nina Stemme
Alberich: Gordon Hawkins
Wotan: Mark Delavan
Erda: Ronnita Miller
Fafner: Daniel Sumegi
Forest Bird: Stacey Tappan

Siegfried: Ian Storey
Brünnhilde: Nina Stemme
Gunther: Gerd Grochowski
Hagen: Andrea Silvestrelli
Alberich: Gordon Hawkins
Waltraute: Daveda Karanas
First Norn: Ronnita Miller
Second Norn: Daveda Karanas
Third Norn: Heidi Melton
Woglinde: Stacey Tappan

SF Opera's Annual Meeting 2009

* Notes *
San Francisco Opera's Annual Meeting for 2009 was held yesterday afternoon, over in one of the rehearsal halls in Davies. Board of Directors President George H. Hume, General Director David Gockley, and CFO Michael Simpson all gave reports. The mood is considerably more gloomy than last year, the endowment is down by some $30-35 million, though ticket sales are quite strong. The Netrebko performances of La Traviata are sold-out, and Porgy and Bess will undoubtedly sell out as well. It was admitted that the cinemacasts have not been a success, and that the Met has a stranglehold on distribution to the major cinemas.

In addition to canceling Peter Grimes next season, San Francisco Opera has reduced the number of performances, limited rehearsal times, cut a revival of La Bohème, and is not putting on family performances next year. However, three cycles of Der Ring will be performed in 2011, in the style of Bayreuth.

The War Memorial Veterans Building is slated to be seismically retrofitted, and an annex may be added to alleviate some of the space limitations the opera has. Apparently San Francisco Opera has storage space out in Potrero Hill, a costume shop in SOMA, and an annex on Ivy Street. SFJAZZ has plans to move over to a new venue on Franklin near Fell, so it may also be the case that some smaller scale works may have a chance to be performed by San Francisco Opera in Herbst.

There were five Adlers that performed, sopranos Leah Crocetto and Tamara Wapinsky, mezzo Daniela Mack, tenor Alek Shrader, and pianist Allen Perriello. Shrader's diction and control were good in "Ich baue ganz," though he sounded constrained at the top of his voice. Crocetto gave a powerful performance of "My man's gone now," she really sounded like she could shatter glass with her voice. Wapinsky sang "O mio babbino caro" fairly well, she has a lot of vibrato, but she stayed in tune. Mack and Shrader were perfectly charming in "Un soave non so che," both were deft and light in their approach.

* Tattling *
A cellular phone rang as Gockley introduced Crocetto. Also, it was confirmed that Le Nozze di Figaro is slated for 2010-2011, with Luisotti conducting. We also may well hear Dead Man Walking in the next 5 or 6 years.

SF Opera Futures and Latest Commissions

2010-2011 Season
Summer 2011: Der Ring des Nibelungen

2011-2012 Season
September 2011: An opera about September 11th by Christopher Theofanidis
Summer 2012: John Adams' Nixon in China

2012-2013 Season
Fall 2012: Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick
June 2013: Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

2013-2014 Season
Fall 2013: An opera by Jennifer Higdon

Nothing surprising here, though it is good to know that the Ring has not been canceled and the name of the aforementioned female composer.

Press Release [PDF] | Official Site

Post L'elisir Talk (5/5)

David Gockley reiterated his statement from last Sunday's Bohème, that though productions might cut or would be less elaborate, San Francisco Opera would never compromise on vocal quality, despite a downturn in the economy. He also gave hints on San Francisco Opera's latest commissions, the topics include heroism and 9/11, Mary Magdalene, and Hurricane Katrina.

Post L'elisir Talk (4/5)

David Gockley confirmed that Peter Grimes, which was to be part of the 2009-2010 season at San Francisco Opera, is likely to be one of the casualties of the economic downturn, just as La Cieca reported yesterday. Gockley also promised to add "no sniffling" to the list of admonitions printed in the program.

In related news, the cast for this season's Porgy and Bess has been finally announced, at least, officially. The cast includes Eric Owens (Porgy), Laquita Mitchell (Bess), Gregg Baker (Crown), Karen Slack (Serena), Chauncey Parker (Sportin' Life), Angel Blue (Clara), Eric Greene (Jake), and Alteouise deVaughn (Maria).

Post L'elisir Talk (3/5)

David Gockley started off his talk by highlighting the various opera news stories of the week. Baltimore Opera and New York City Opera both have lost their heads, Opera Pacific has closed, and Washington National Opera is postponing their Ring. This last item is of especial importance to San Francisco Opera, as it is a co-production between the two companies. If the National Opera cancels their cycle, then San Francisco Opera would have to pay for all of Götterdämmerung. Cost cutting is happening at SF Opera as well, and it is possible the cinemacasts will not continue.

More amusingly, Gockley apparently thinks Jonas Kaufmann is the bee's knees and mentioned that he is much more handsome than Domingo was at a similar stage of his career. Hopefully Kaufmann will be wooed here soon. We also learnt that next season's opener will be a Verdi opera conducted by Luisotti, and not My Fair Lady. Two other operas were confirmed for next season, but we were made to promise not to tell anyone else what they are. The new operas in upcoming years include ones from Mark Adamo, Christopher Theofanidis, and a female composer whose name escaped being mentioned.

Post L'elisir Talk (2/5)

Before the talk began there was chatter about how a falling football damaged the principal bassoonist's bassoon during the evening's performance. Again, the economy was spoken of, and ticket sales have gone down starting with Idomeneo, though La Bohème is doing well, naturally. Nicola Luisotti is taking the helm as music director soon, and the plan is that he will conduct four operas each season, three of these will be Italian, with the remaining one being something to expand his repertoire. Gounod's Faust is to be performed next year. Nixon in China is also on the schedule, though exactly when was not made clear. Gockley denied having anything to do with Boosey & Hawkes' withdrawal of permission for the Nixon in China production that was to be at Trinity Lyric Opera this year.

Post L'elisir Talk (1/5)

Much was said about the faltering economy. Porgy and Bess has been cast, though not all the contracts have been signed. Eric Owens will be Porgy and Laquita Mitchell sings Bess. The cinemacasts continue next Spring, with The Magic Flute, Lucia, Elixir, and La Bohème. As for next season, there will be a Richard Strauss opera conducted by Luisotti, but it is not Die Schweigsame Frau or Capriccio. (Gockley declined to name which opera it was but we've heard Salomé mentioned several times on different occasions.) The next world premiere is planned for 2011-2012.

SF Opera Futures

So far, the 2009-2010 season at San Francisco Opera is rumored to include:
Die Entführung aus dem Seraglio
La Fanciulla del West with Deborah Voigt and Salvatore Licitra
La Fille du Régiment with Juan Diego Florez and Diana Damrau
The Makropoulos Case with Karita Mattila
Mefistofele directed by William Friedkin with René Pape
Peter Grimes directed by John Copley with Ben Heppner and Heidi Melton
Il Trittico with Patricia Racette and Paolo Gavanelli
Il Trovatore with Sondra Radvanovsky, Dmitri Hvorovstovsky, and Stephanie Blythe
Die Walküre

Beyond next season:
with Ramón Vargas
Nixon in China

Much of this was either mentioned by David Gockley at various events, found in programs or press releases, or comes from Janos Gereben over at San Francisco Classical Voice.

Upcoming Seasons at SF Opera

Before I forget, La Fille du Régiment was mentioned as an opera to be performed at San Francisco Opera in the next few years. Also, William Friedkin is to work on a La Scala/San Francisco Opera co-production of Mefistofele. Earlier this year we heard that Peter Grimes, La Fanciulla del West, Il Trovatore, Il Trittico, The Makropoulos Case, Salomé, and Moby-Dick are also on deck.

Gossip on SF Opera's 2009-2010 Season

It is early to speculate, but gossip has been flying around about San Francisco Opera productions beyond the 2008-2009 season that was just announced.

Starting with the press release [PDF], Peter Grimes will be performed in 2009-2010, conducted by Donald Runnicles. He'll also return for the presentation of whole Ring, which I heard will not be done until 2011, because of scheduling conflicts. Nina Stemme shall be singing Sieglinde, and the SF Chronicle says that Torsten Kerl is being considered for Siegfried.

La Fanciulla del West was supposed to be in the 2006-2007 season, but was replaced by Die Fledermaus. The Chronicle reported that Fanciulla is slated for 2009-2010, Salvatore Licitra will sing Dick Johnson/Ramerrez. I heard a rumor that Deborah Voigt will be singing Minnie.

Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick will be at San Francisco Opera some time after its premiere in the Spring of 2010.

Other unsubstantiated possibilities include Il Trovatore with Sondra Radvanovsky, Stephanie Blythe, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Marco Berti; Il Trittico with Patricia Racette and Paolo Gavenelli; The Makropoulos Case with Karita Mattila; and Salomé with Nadja Michael.