Biography

San Francisco Opera is the second largest opera company in North America and has been one of the world's leading producers of opera since its inception in 1923. The Company will open its 91st season in the historic War Memorial Opera House on September 6, 2013 with Arrigo Boito's Mephistofele, led by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. 

San Francisco Opera’s 2013 Summer Season opened June 5 with the San Francisco debut of a dynamic new co-production of Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) starring Matthew Polenzani, Natalie Dessay, Alice Coote, and Christian Van Horn. Les Contes d'Hoffmann runs until July 6. The Season continues with Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting Mozart’s whimsical Così fan tutte featuring Ellie Dehn, Heidi Stober, Francesco Demuro, Christel Lötzsch and Philippe Sly. Così fan tutte runs from June 9 to July 1. Highlighting the Summer Season is the June 19 world premiere of Mark Adamo’s highly anticipated new opera, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, starring Sasha Cooke, Nathan Gunn, Maria Kanyova and William Burden. Drawing from the texts of and research on the Canonical and Gnostic Gospels (some recently discovered), Adamo’s provocative and thought-provoking new work reimagines the story of the New Testament and the relationship between Jesus and his female disciple Mary Magdalene. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene premieres on June 19 and runs until July 7. 

The 2013-14 Season features eight opera productions: one world premiere, one Company premiere, two new productions, and two productions new to San Francisco. Season highlights include the world premiere of Dolores Claiborne by American composer Tobias Picker and librettist J. D. McClatchy, the Company’s official celebration of the bicentennial birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, and the Company debut of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s landmark 1927 musical drama Show Boat. 

Dolores Claiborne is a new opera commissioned by San Francisco Opera based on the 1992 novel by award-winning author Stephen King and marks the Company debuts of Tobias Picker and J. D. McClatchy. Dolores Claiborne is General Director David Gockley’s sixth commissioned work for San Francisco Opera since his appointment as company general director in 2006. Music Director Nicola Luisotti leads the Company’s Verdi bicentennial celebration with Falstaff, Requiem, and La Traviata, and Company Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers leads the Company's Wagner bicentenniel celebration with Petrika Ionesco's new production of Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman). The Francesca Zambello production of Show Boat stars Heidi Stober, Patricia Racette, and Nathan Gunn with conductor John DeMain at the podium. The Company will also present new productions of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) and Puccini's Madama Butterfly

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