January 31, 2012
Three New-To-San Francisco Productions to be Presented During the Summer 2012 Season, June 8 to July 8
Bay Area premiere of Nixon in China by John Adams and Alice Goodman opens the Summer Season June 8

San Francisco Opera co-production with La Scala of Verdi's Attila led by Music Director Nicola Luisotti opens June 12

Summer season also offers a new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute by Jun Kaneko from June 13

Music Director Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra to perform in Concert June 3

For season ticket information: Call (415) 864-3330 or sfopera.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 25, 2012)-San Francisco Opera's Summer Season will feature three productions never before seen in San Francisco, opening on Friday, June 8 with the long-awaited Bay Area premiere of Nixon In China by Bay Area composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman.

The season continues with the San Francisco debut of a co-production of Verdi's Attila that was premiered at La Scala in Summer 2011, and concludes with the premiere of a new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute.

In addition to the three opera productions at the War Memorial Opera House, Music Director Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera orchestra will perform in concert at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley on Sunday, June 3 at 3 p.m. with a program of Prokofiev, Cherubini as well as Boccherini's Cello Concerto performed by Amit Peled.

Nixon in China-John Adams and Alice Goodman

John Adams' rhythmically rich recreation of Nixon's 1972 presidential trip to Beijing has established itself as a great American opera described by the New York Times as a work of "clarity, simplicity, shocking elegance." Twenty-five years after premiering at Houston Grand Opera under the leadership of David Gockley, this seminal work receives its Bay Area stage premiere. The cast features Brian Mulligan making his role debut as Richard Nixon; the rich baritone thrilled audiences in San Francisco Opera's Faust (2010) and Werther (2010). The cast also includes Maria Kanyova (Pat Nixon), Simon O'Neill (Mao Tse-tung), Hye-Jung Lee (Madame Mao Tse-tung), Chen-Ye Yuan (Chou En-lai) and Patrick Carfizzi (Henry Kissinger). Lawrence Renes, whose conducting of Adams' Doctor Atomic won praise from London critics, will lead the orchestra in an acclaimed Vancouver Opera production directed by Michael Cavanagh that was described by the Vancouver Sun as "vibrant, exhilarating and totally compelling."

In addition to Brian Mulligan, Simon O'Neill, Hye Jung Lee and Patrick Carfizzi are also making their role debuts, heralding a new generation of singers to take on this landmark work.

Attila-Guiseppe Verdi

In the popular imagination, Attila the Hun was a ruthless barbarian, but to Giuseppe Verdi, he was a far more complex and compelling figure: a brave, ambitious warrior tormented by fierce internal doubts. This new co-production with Teatro alla Scala, which was first performed in Italy in June 2011 led by Maestro Luisotti in his La Scala conducting debut, is staged by Gabriele Lavia with sets by Alessandro Camera, the creative team that made its San Francisco Opera debut with Don Giovanni in October.

The distinguished cast features legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto in the title role; Lucrecia Garcia (Odabella) who recently sang this role at La Scala; tenor Fabio Sartori (Foresto), in a role shared by Diego Torre for two performances; baritone Quinn Kelsey (Ezio) and renowned bass Samuel Ramey (Pope Leo I).

The Magic Flute-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Endlessly inventive, charmingly fantastical and utterly unique, Mozart's final opera is a profound yet lighthearted tale of romantic love, spiritual transcendence and the beguiling art of birdcatching. In this production premiere, the internationally acclaimed ensemble cast is led by dynamic young conductor Rory Macdonald and includes lyric tenor and former Adler Fellow Alek Shrader as Tamino (shared with Nathaniel Peake for two performances), soprano Heidi Stober (Pamina), acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn (Papageno), bass Kristinn Sigmundsson (Sarastro), and in the opera's most virtuoso role, Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova, who is "in demand everywhere as the Queen of the Night" (The New York Times). Sung in English, this new one-of-a-kind San Francisco Opera co-production is created by renowned Japanese-American visual artist Jun Kaneko and directed by Harry Silverstein.

High resolution downloadable photographs of 2012 Summer Season productions and artists are available at sfopera.com/press.

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley

Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
Program: Prokofiev / "Classical" Symphony
Boccherini / Cello Concerto in B-flat Major, featuring cellist Amit Peled
Cherubini / Symphony in D Major



Three-opera Trio packages for Nixon in China, Attila and The Magic Flute are available at a 30% discount (priced from $63 to $693) through March 31, 2012. Trio packages are available at the San Francisco Opera Box Office either in person or by phone at (415) 864-3330. This offer is not valid online. Single tickets are priced from $21 to $389 and may be purchased at sfopera.com or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), 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.
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 sfmuni.com.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera's Summer 2012 season, please visit sfopera.com.

For further press information or to obtain Summer 2012 Season photographs, please visit sfopera.com/press or contact:

San Francisco Opera Communications -
Jon Finck (415) 565-6472 / jfinck@sfopera.com
Julia Inouye (415) 565-6430 / jinouye@sfopera.com
Robin Freeman (415) 565-6451 / rfreeman@sfopera.com


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