OPERA NEWS - San Francisco Opera's 2019-20 Season to Feature New Nozze di Figaro Staging, Local Premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, New to SF Stagings of Roméo et Juliette, Billy Budd and Hansel and Gretel
From Development server
22 January 2019

San Francisco Opera's 2019-20 Season to Feature New Nozze di Figaro Staging, Local Premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, New to SF Stagings of Roméo et Juliette, Billy Budd and Hansel and Gretel 

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA general director Matthew Shilvock has announced repertory and casting details of the company 2019-20 season, which will include the Bay Are premiere of Mason Bates’ (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as well as the first installment in a Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy with the company’s new production of Nozze di Figaro.  

The company’s ninety-seventh season will open on Friday, September 6, with a new-to-San Francisco production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. Opéra de Monte-Carlo director Jean-Louis Grinda’s production will play under the baton of Yves Abel, and will feature Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra in the title roles. Baritone Lucas Meachem sings Mercutio and tenor Daniel Montenegro sings the role of Tybalt; mezzo soprano Stephanie Lauricella makes her company debut as Stéphano.

Following the opening of Roméo et Juliette, director Michael Grandage’s Glyndebourne Festival production of Billy Budd — featuring sets designed by Christopher Oram — will take the stage with American baritone John Chest in the title role. Lawrence Renes will conduct the performances of Britten’s opera, which will also feature William Burden as Vere, Christian Van Horn as Claggart, Philip Horst as Mr. Redburn, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, Robert Brubaker as Red Whiskers, Brenton Ryan as a Novice, Matthew O’Neill as Squeak, John Brancy as Donald and Edward Nelson as Bosun

In October, the company’s new production of Le Nozze di Figaro will be the first in a multi-season trilogy of Mozart-Da Ponte stagings that will connect the operas via what SFO describes as a “unity of scenic inspiration and narrative linking their stories.” Director Michael Cavanagh, set designer Erhard Rom, costume designer Constance Hoffman and lighting designer Jane Cox will create what the company has called “The Great American House” — a thematic through line that will link the three operas by setting them in an American mansion, and will chronicle the “evolution of relationships, human behavior and society within a single house over three epochs of American history.” Cavanagh’s Figaro will relocate Almaviva’s palace in Seville to a mansion in Age of Enlightenment America with architectural references to Thomas Jefferson. Maestro Henrik Nánási will conduct the performances of Figaro, which will feature Michael Sumuel in the title role, Jeanine De Bique as Susanna, Levente Molnár as Almaviva, Jennifer Davis as the Countess and Serena Malfi as Cherubino. 

Former San Francisco Opera music director Nicola Luisotti conducts the company’s performances of Manon Lescaut in November. Olivier Tambosi’s production will feature Lianna Haroutounian and Brian Jagde making their role debuts as Manon Lescaut and Chevalier des Grieux. Joining them will be baritone Anthony Clark Evans as Lescaut and bass Eric Halfvarson in the role of Geronte.

Antony McDonald’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, first seen at London’s Royal Opera in December 2018, will be conducted by Christopher Franklin and will feature Sasha Cooke’s Hansel and Heidi Stober as Gretel when it arrives at the company in November. The English-language performances will also include Robert Brubaker in the role of the Witch, Michaela Martens as Gertrud and Alfred Walker as Peter. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Ernani, directed by Jose Maria Condemi, will take the War Memorial Opera House stage in June to kick off the company's spring season. James Gaffigan will lead the performances, while Russell Thomas will make his debut in the title role of Verdi’s opera. Michelle Bradley will makes company and role debuts as Elvira; bass-baritone Christian Van Horn sings the role of Silva and Simone Piazzola will sing Don Carlo. 

Christopher Alden’s Olivier Award-winning production of Handel’s Partenope, which updates the opera’s setting to early twentieth-century Paris, also returns to San Francisco Opera in June. Soprano Louise Alder sings the title heroine, while Agentine countertenor Franco Fagioli will make his company debut portraying Arsace. Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński sings the role of Armindo and mezzo Daniela Mack will take on the role of Rosmira; Alek Shrader sings Emilio and Hadleigh Adams will be Ormonte. Conductor Christopher Moulds paces the performances. 

Mason Bates and Mark Campbell’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs — a co-commission between San Francisco Opera, the Santa Fe Opera and Seattle Opera — closes the company's spring season in June. Kevin Newbury’s production, which features sets designed by Victoria Tzykun, costumes by Paul Carey, lighting by Japhy Weideman and projections designs by London-based 59 Productions. Michael Christie, who led the world premiere performances of the opera in Santa Fe, returns to the podium at San Francisco Opera. Edward Parks, who created the title role in the opera’s 2017 world premiere, returns to the work, as does Sasha Cooke as Laurene Powell Jobs. Garrett Sorenson will portray Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and bass Wei Wu portrays Kōbun Chino Otogawa. Mason Bates will join the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as a performer. spacer

More information can be found at San Francisco Opera.

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