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San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’

September 27, 2012 Filed under: The Buzz

 The 2012 San Francisco Opera Season opened this past Friday night with Giuseppi Verdi's Rigoletto. In the title role was Serbian baritone Željko Lučić and making their SF Opera debuts were Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as "Gilda" and Serbian tenor Francesco Demuro as "The Duke of Mantua." This Saturday night, September 15th, it's Opera at the Ballpark, featuring the same cast in the Company's annual and admission-free simulcast at AT&T Park. Conducted by Nicola Luisotti and directed by Harry Silverstein, the live performance at the War Memorial Opera House will be captured by multiple cameras and viewed on one of the best Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision scoreboards in the nation. The production debuted in 1997 and for the 2006 revival it was simulcast across the street in Civic Center. A gathering of 14,000 fans viewed the opera on an elevated screen and marveled at the amazing sound quality of the curvilinear speakers. Since then, these annual free broadcasts have proven to be one of the most effective innovations by SF Opera's General Director David Gockley.

The Company's first simulcast at AT&T Park occurred in 2007 with a sumptuous production of Samson and Delilah. In 2010 Verdi's Aïda drew a record attendance of 32,000. SF Opera's equally popular admission-free event, Opera in the Park, happened this past Sunday in Golden Gate Park. The featured principals of Rigoletto, along with other artists from the coming season, joined conductor Nicola Luisotti and the SF Opera Orchestra in a series of arias, duets and ensembles. Among the selections from Rigoletto was the famous Quartet, "Bella figlia dell'amore," performed by Željko Lučić, Aleksandra Kurzak, Francesco Demuro and mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen (as "Maddalena"). Given the crowd's roaring approval, San Francisco Opera's Rigoletto looks to be the hottest ticket in town.

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San Francisco Opera Opens 90th Season With Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

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