Julianna Di Giacomo to Take Over Lead Role in San Francisco Opera's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA This Fall

San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for the Company's revival of Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), presented October 4 -22, 2014 at the War Memorial Opera House. Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, who was to have made her Company debut as Amelia for the first six performances of the run, has withdrawn from the production for health reasons. American soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, originally scheduled to sing Amelia on October 22, will now sing the role for all seven performances. She makes her San Francisco Opera debut and role debut with this production.

Said Ms. Stoyanova: "It is regrettable that my scheduled debut with the beautiful San Francisco Opera has to be postponed due to required procedures following the unanticipated emergency surgery I had in late April. I am looking forward to coming to San Francisco Opera in the future and getting to know its wonderful public."

With her recent debuts in several top international opera houses, Julianna Di Giacomo has earned the reputation as one of today's most exciting young up-and-coming sopranos. The Merola Opera Program alumna's 2013-14 season included debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic in performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Leonora (Il Trovatore). She also returned to the New York Philharmonic for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Carnegie Hall as Margherita/Elena (Mefistofele) with the Collegiate Chorale, Palermo's Teatro Massimo as Desdemona (Otello), and Madrid's Teatro Real as Elena (I Vespri Siciliani). This summer she returned to the Hollywood Bowl as Nedda in a performance of I Pagliacci with Maestro Dudamel, and later this season she returns to the Petruzelli e Teatri di Bari as Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmelites) and makes her debut at the Teatro di San Carlo as the title role in Luisa Miller. This season on the concert stage she sings Verdi Requiem with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Roberto Abbado and concert performances of Amelia (Ballo in Maschera) in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Di Giacomo made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Clotilde (Norma) and subsequently sang Lina (Stiffelio) and Leonora (Il Trovatore) with that company. Other recent North American engagements have included the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl (released on DVD) and special performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in both Los Angeles and Caracas and broadcast live to movie theaters in North and South America; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Los Angeles Opera; and Il Trovatore and Mathilde (Guillaume Tell) at the Caramoor International Music Festival. She recently made her debut at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in the famed Terme di Caracalla as the title role in Norma. Other European opera engagements include her debut at Milan's Teatro alla Scala as Lucrezia (I due Foscari), Otello at the Petruzelli e Teatri di Bari, and Valentine (Les Huguenots) and the title role in Suor Angelica at Madrid's Teatro Real.

San Francisco Opera presents Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, "one of the composer's most hot-blooded and vividly crafted tales" (San Francisco Chronicle), October 4 - 22, 2014 at the War Memorial Opera House. The illustrious cast features Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas as the unwisely flirtatious and cavalier King Gustavus III; soprano Julianna Di Giacomo as Amelia, the object of the king's affection; preeminent American baritone Thomas Hampson as Count Anckarström, with Brian Mulligan singing two performances of the role; soprano Heidi Stober as Oscar; and riveting mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick as the fortune teller Madame Arvidson. A compelling tale of love, betrayal and revenge, Verdi's magnificent drama is presented in San Francisco Opera's classic production, conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti and directed by Jose Maria Condemi.

Tickets for Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) are priced from $25 to $370 and may be purchased at sfopera.com or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), or by phone at (415) 864-3330]. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmuni.com.

Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera's 2014-15 Season, visit sfopera.com.

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