As part of WXXI’s year-round opera presentation, Classical 91.5 is proud to bring listeners ten operas from the San Francisco Opera, as performed in the famed War Memorial Opera House. The first program by the San Francisco Opera, Turandot, airs Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. on WXXI Classical 91.5-1.FM-HD 91.5-1. Nine additional performances will be featured each following Saturday at 1 p.m. through October.
Hosted by Elaine Warner and Dianne Nicolini, the San Francisco Opera performed ten exciting operas for the 2011-2012 season. Turandot, composed in Italian by Giacomo Puccini, features performers Iréne Theorin, Marco Berti, and Leah Crocetto. Don Giovanni, composed in Italian by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, features performers Lucas Meachem, Ellie Dehn, and Serena Farnocchia. Carmen, composed in French by Georges Bizet, features performers Anita Rachvelishvili, Thiago Arancam, Sara Gartland, and Paulo Szot. Heart of a Soldier, composed in English by Christopher Theofanidis, features performers Thomas Hampson, William Burden, and Melody Moore. Faust, composed in French by Charles François Gounod, features performers Stefano Secco, John Relyea, and Patricia Racette. Lucrezia Borgia, composed in Italian by Gaetano Donizetti, features performers Renée Fleming, Michael Fabiano, and Vitalij Kowaljow. Xerxes, composed in Italian by George Frideric Handel, features performers Susan Graham, Lisette Oropesa, and David Daniels. Nozze di Figaro, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, features performers Hermann Prey, Lucia Popp, and Kevin Langan. Nixon in China, composed in English by John Adams, features performances by Brian Mulligan, Maria Kanyova, and Simon O’Neill. Finally, Atilla, composed in Italian by Giuseppe Verdi, features performers Ferruccio Furlanetto, Lucrecia Garcia, and Samuel Ramey.
Now the second largest opera company in North America, the San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola and incorporated in 1923. Following Gaetano Merola's death in 1953, the San Francisco Opera was led by Kurt Herbert Adler until 1981; by Terence A. McEwen until 1988; by Lotfi Mansouri until 2001 and by Pamela Rosenberg until 2005. The current Director of the San Francisco Opera is David Gockley. The San Francisco Opera has the United States debut performances of numerous artists, conductors, and directors.