SF Opera & Ballet Make Announcements About Upcoming Seasons

Turandot Act III
Turandot Act III

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Matthew Shilvock, the general director of the San Francisco Opera, and Nicola Luisotti, the opera’s music director, have just announced the the upcoming repertory season and casting. Mark your calendars, the the 95th season will open on Friday, September 8, 2017 with a gala performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, led by Maestro Luisotti and an international cast starring Martina Serafin, Maria Agresta and Brian Jagde. The San Francisco Opera Guild will produce its signature event, Opera Ball 2017, with special honors presented to Luisotti. It will be the music director’s final season with the company as his tenure will conclude at the end of the 2017–18 season. After being with the company for 12 years, Luisotti has decided not to renew his contract and will seek out new opportunities. “I am deeply honored to be on the podium for the gala opening of San Francisco Opera’s 2017–18 season and to lead such an important cast of singers in Turandot,” commented Luisotti in a statement. “I’m very proud of the work we have accomplished during my time with San Francisco Opera. It will certainly be an emotional year for me. I believe strongly in our company and that we will continue to make extraordinary music each night. My wife, Rita, and I both thank the entire Company, the San Francisco Opera Guild and the Bay Area community from the bottom of our hearts.” The opening weekend also includes the annual San Francisco Opera in the Park Concert on September 10.

Nicola Luisotti
Nicola Luisotti

Highlights from the season that follows includes the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West by composer John Adams with libretto by director Peter Sellars; three cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen led by Donald Runnicles and directed by Francesca Zambello; and Massenet’s Manon starring Nadine Sierra and Michael Fabiano. “Our next season encapsulates the power of opera to tell the great stories of humanity, whether about us as individuals or as a society. The diverse sweep of engaging productions features many of the world’s finest artists, including some very exciting debuts,” Shilvock said in the same statement. “The season was planned by David Gockley, and it represents the tenets of excellence that defined his incredible tenure with the company, including the commissioning of John AdamsGirls of the Golden West. We are so proud to premiere this new opera in the fall as a culmination of the worldwide events honoring John’s 70th birthday year.” International artists who have been invited to perform at the opera house include Maria Agresta, Aurelia Florian, Christine Goerke, Hye Jung Lee, Karita Mattila, Ronnita, David Cangelosi, Brandon Jovanovich, Elliot Madore, and Alfred Walker. For more on the exciting, not to be missed season, head to the Opera’s website.

Carlo DiLanno and Sofiane Sylve in Forsythe's Pas/Parts 2016.
Carlo DiLanno and Sofiane Sylve in Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016.

Photo Credit: ©Erik Tomasson

In other news, the San Francisco Ballet’s artistic director, Helgi Tomasson, hot off of the opening gala, has announced a festival that will take place at the end of the 2018 repertory season. The festival will feature 12 new works by 12 international choreographers and it will be the centerpiece of that season. “I’ve planned and conceived this festival over the past year because I believe deeply in the importance of supporting new work,” Tomasson said in an email to patrons of the ballet. “Indeed, SF Ballet has long been recognized for pushing the boundaries of dance, and we understand that our art form must continue to evolve in order to keep it vital and relevant.” The festival will take place from April 20 to May 6, 2018 and features a sensational list of choreographers including Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Stanton Welch, Christopher Wheeldon, Alonzo King, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and the company’s resident choreographer, Yuri Possokhov. More details will be announced in April of this year when the full schedule for the 2018 season is revealed.