Friday, September 2, 2022

Celebrating San Francisco Opera: A Glorious Fall Season Celebrating 100 Years

Wishing a Happy Fall cultural season to my beloved friends and followers in San Francisco and around the world. The arts are alive, always inspiring, ennobling — and this week I have the inside scoop on the dazzling fall season of San Francisco Opera. 

You will be happy to hear that art director, Brian Dittmar, and I continue to work together to bring THE STYLE SALONISTE to you.

Brian was the founding art director and he continues to create the beautiful layouts. He is also the owner/founder of a marvelous lifestyle boutique, MAKER + MUSE, in Maplewood, New Jersey. Meet him there. 

And I’m happy that you all followed me over to Instagram, and my two handles @dianedorranssaeks and #mylifetimelibrary. I continue to post my adventures and travels, new books, and flowers and style and especially luxury interiors and great interior designers.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week I’m delighted with the news of the opening of San Francisco Opera on September 9 with a gala, followed by a magnificent and bold fall season.

Congratulations to San Francisco Opera, celebrating its Centennial with all-new opera productions, a world premiere, new co-productions, classics, and a beautiful and impressive international roster of leading opera artists, performers, singers, designers, directors, conductors, and superb talents.

Paul Appleby as Caesar (center) and members of the San Francisco Opera Chorus in an early rehearsal of John Adams' "Antony and Cleopatra"   Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

The Glorious Return of San Francisco Opera: 
The 2023 Season Celebrates 100 Years

San Francisco Opera launches a year of celebrations—for its impressive Centennial. Congratulations to all who have created and dreamed up a thrilling 2022-2023 season, which ends with summer opera.

Amina Edris as Cleopatra and Gerald Finley as Antony in an early rehearsal of John Adams' "Antony and Cleopatra"   Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

San Francisco Opera 2022–23 Centennial Season Honors the Company’s First 100 Years While Envisioning a Bold Future

The September 9–11 Opening Weekend features Gala Concert and Opera Ball, and the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra by John Adams and free Opera in the Park, all conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim.

Eight Mainstage Productions Include:

World Premiere of Antony and Cleopatra, Berkeley composer John Adams’ new opera.

Premiere of Co-Commissioned El último sueño de Frida y Diego by Bay Area composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz

New San Francisco Opera Productions of Verdi’s La Traviata and Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice

New Co-Production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly with Tokyo, Dresden, Copenhagen

Twentieth-Century masterpieces Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten return to the stage where they had their U.S. Premieres

Bay Area Premiere of celebrated staging of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin marks the return of Russian Repertoire after 14 years

Opera in the Park returns September 11, 2022   Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Centennial celebrations Include 100th anniversary concert, Bohème Out of the Box, The Traviata Encounter, Open House, Historic Recordings Project, Community Stories and exhibitions. For more information:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

I’m looking forward to Antony and Cleopatra, and admire the rigorous intellect of John Adams.

I’ll be seeing all of this season’s operas, all so very different, with dramatic staging and international casts. It’s always interesting, over a season, to see new talent emerge. It’s wonderful to see an international star…and as well, young performers making their breakthrough roles. Oh, the applause.

San Francisco Opera audiences are devoted—and they are generous with cheering and applause and rousing appreciation.

Orpheus and Eurydice will be most fascinating, such an emotional storyline, myth and mystery.

Eugene Onegin! I’ve seen the SF Ballet performances, many times. This will be a new staging of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. Marvelous story line and settings.

New Madame Butterfly. Always heartbreaking and so very beautiful.

I have never seen Dialogues of the Carmelites and can’t wait for this performance. Poulenc! Modernist. This will be fascinating.

Such a great selection, glorious inventions, scores, and hundreds of world-class talents. All on stage, I cannot wait.

Amina Edris as Cleopatra in an early rehearsal of John Adams' "Antony and Cleopatra"   Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Paul Appleby as Caesar in an early rehearsal of John Adams' "Antony and Cleopatra"  Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Here’s the Scoop on ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

San Francisco Opera presents the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra on Saturday, September 10, with performances through October 5

Adams is the composter of one of my great favorites, Nixon in China, and this new work is an international co-commission and co-production with the Metropolitan Opera and Barcelona’s Liceu Opera and was created especially for San Francisco Opera’s 100th season.

The September 18 matinee performance of Antony and Cleopatra will be livestreamed and available on demand for 48 hours. Virtual tickets for the livestream go on sale later this month.

The libretto for Antony and Cleopatra is adapted from Shakespeare’s drama by the composer with consultation by Elkhanah Pulitzer and Lucia Scheckner. San Francisco Opera Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim will conduct. 

Amina Edris as Cleopatra and Gerald Finley as Antony in an early rehearsal of John Adams' "Antony and Cleopatra"   Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

The cast is headed by Egyptian soprano Amina Edris creating the role of Cleopatra and noted Adams collaborators bass-baritone Gerald Finley as Antony and tenor Paul Appleby as Caesar. Chorus Director John Keene prepared the San Francisco Opera Chorus to portray the peoples of Rome and Alexandria.

John Adams commented: 
“I am proud to continue my longstanding collaboration with the great San Francisco Opera with this, the fifth opera of mine the company has presented over the years. Antony and Cleopatra is a story that embraces not only the intimate and human but also the geopolitical and the clash of civilizations. As is always the case with Shakespeare, its themes mirror the realities of life even as we live it at this very moment.”

San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kim outside the War Memorial Opera House   Photo: Marc Olivier Le Blanc/San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kim

Conductor Eun Sun Kim is San Francisco Opera’s Caroline H. Hume Music Director. This season marks her second as music director. In 2019, Kim became Houston Grand Opera’s first principal guest conductor in 25 years.

Eun Sun Kim kicks off San Francisco Opera’s 2022–23 Season with Opera Ball: The Centennial Celebration and Opera in the Park in Golden Gate Park. She takes to the podium for the world premiere of Bay Area composer John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra; Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites; and a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata (the latter’s opening night performance will be simulcast for free at Oracle Park, this year’s Opera at the Ballpark presentation). Bookending the season, Kim leads Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and celebrates San Francisco Opera’s centenary with the 100th Anniversary Concert.

San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kim at the War Memorial Opera House   Photo: Marc Olivier Le Blanc/San Francisco Opera

Her past Company highlights include performances of Dvořák’s Rusalka, Puccini’s Tosca, and Beethoven’s Fidelio, in addition to leading several concerts (The Homecoming; Eun Sun Kim Conducts Verdi; The Future Is Now Adler Fellows Concert).

Elsewhere, her recent operatic appearances include important debuts at the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera (La Bohème); Lyric Opera of Chicago (Tosca); and LA Opera (Roberto Devereux). Her numerous worldwide podium engagements this season include performances at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Vienna State Opera (La Bohème); Dutch National Opera (Verdi Requiem); and Houston Grand Opera (Salome).

Among Kim’s many international orchestral turns are appearances with Seoul Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, and Stuttgart Philharmonic, as well as orchestras in Madrid, Marseille, Munich, Lille, Nancy, Milan, Palermo, Turin, Milwaukee, Calgary, and Santiago de Compostela. In North America, she has recently conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Detroit, Portland, Seattle, and Toronto. 

Eun Sun Kim conduct's Puccini's "Tosca" at San Francisco Opera.   Photo: Kristen Loken/San Francisco Opera

Eun Sun Kim studied composition and conducting in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea before continuing her studies in Stuttgart, Germany, where she graduated with distinction. Directly after graduation, she was awarded the First Prize in the International Jesús López Cobos Opera Conducting Competition at Madrid’s Teatro Real.

Follow her on Instagram: @ESKConductor

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock   Photo: Kristen Loken

About The General Director, Matthew Shilvock

I have admired Matthew Shilvock since he first arrived at San Francisco Opera, and especially after his appointment as General Director.

He has deftly directed the company through several challenging years. I especially have been impressed with his demeanor and management as the company has traversed the Covid year, and now emergence.

I also admire and appreciate that Matthew is passionate about telling profound stories of humanity through the total art-form of opera, connecting audiences with the emotional core of the repertoire, and empowering the whole Company. 

Now in his fourth season as General Director, Matthew has overseen a major restructure of the senior management team, and the inception of an endowment campaign in support of the Company’s second century. He initiated the production of two world premiere operas: John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West and Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, and the development of a number of programs aimed at highlighting the talents of the Company, including annual concerts of the Opera Chorus and a new side-by-side orchestra program with San Francisco Unified School District schools.

His priorities include replenishing the core repertory productions of San Francisco Opera, creating a dynamic audience experience and community pride, connecting the Company to the fast-growing swirl of new thinking and new technologies in the Bay Area, and developing a stable financial model for large-scale repertory opera in the 21st century.

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

“Opera gives us opportunities to gather and share in deep, collective, emotional expression. And as we raise the curtain with Anthony and Cleopatra on September 10, we will do just that. We commence our exciting season, with a new music director in Eun Sun Kim!

“That so many productions this season will be new or recently new to our stage is a testament to the local artists and musicians and composers and designers and artisans and talents of all kinds and the local community which have supported this Company so magnificently during recent year—and for the past hundred years.

– General Director, Matthew Shilvock

War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco  Photo by David Wakely for San Francisco Opera

For More Information on San Francisco Opera:

For tickets, and programs for the season, and many events that are taking place online, off-site, including at the Ballpark:

Subscriptions to San Francisco Opera’s 100th Season are now on sale via the San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330 and online at

Virtual tickets for the September 18 livestream of Antony and Cleopatra will be available later this month for $27.50. For more tickets and more information, visit

100 Dolby Family Opera for the Bay tickets, offered in partnership with the Dolby family, will be available for each performance of Antony and Cleopatra at $10 each while supplies last. Eligible Bay Area residents (home address zip code between 94000–95999 who have not purchased a San Francisco Opera ticket in the past three years) may purchase two $10 tickets for one performance during the Centennial Season. For tickets and more information about Opera for the Bay, visit

War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco  Photo by David Wakely for San Francisco Opera

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect for all performances and events. For up-to-date information about San Francisco Opera’s safety measures, visit

All patrons are required to wear a face mask while attending performances. 

Ventilation systems in the War Memorial Opera House meet Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

All front-of-house and backstage employees will follow rigorous safety protocols including a vaccination requirement. 

War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco  Photo by Joel Puliatti

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.

For more information and to book tickets:

No comments:

Post a Comment