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Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG

For the first time since 2001, San Francisco Opera presents Richard Wagner's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG in a new David McVicar co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Having opened last night, November 18, the production features an illustrious team of Wagner interpreters led by James Rutherford as Hans Sachs, tenor Brandon Jovanovich as Walther von Stolzing and debuting soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Eva, with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Sir Mark Elder in his Company debut. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

Sir David McVicar's "remarkable" (The Guardian) production-here co-directed by Marie Lambert and Ian Rutherford-"brings out the humor and approachability of Wagner's only comedy" (Chicago Tribune) and updates the opera from the original 16th-century setting to early 19th century, the period of the composer's birth. Designed by Vicki Mortimer with lighting byPaule Constable, the richly detailed production brings Wagner's touchingly human story-about a wise cobbler-poet who counsels a young singer in a battle of melody and verse to win the hand of the woman he loves-to joyful life.

British baritone James Rutherford, renowned for his interpretations of the leading Wagnerian roles, returns to the Company to sing the central role of Hans Sachs. Rutherford, who made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2007 as Wolfram von Eschenbach in Wagner's Tannhäuser, has sung Hans Sachs at venues including the Bayreuth Festival (2010 and 2011), Vienna State Opera, and the 2011 premiere of this production at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The acclaimed cast also features American tenor Brandon Jovanovich (Walther von Stolzing), debuting soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Eva), mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (Magdalene), tenor Alek Shrader (David), and the Company debut of baritone Martin Gantner (Sixtus Beckmesser).

Sir Mark Elder makes his San Francisco Opera debut conducting DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG. Elder is music director of the Hallé Orchestra, a principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and artistic director of Opera Rara. Formerly, he was music director of English National Opera from 1979 to 1993 and has been principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and London Mozart Players. He has appeared annually at the BBC Proms in London for many years, and works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses including the Bayreuth Festival, where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production.

Sung in German with English supertitles, DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG runs for six performances November 18-December 6, 2015 (evening shows begin at 6 p.m. and matinee at 1 p.m.) at the War Memorial Opera House. For tickets and more information, visit sfopera.com or call (415) 864-3330.

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Opening scene

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
James Rutherford (Hans Sachs)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
James Rutherford (Hans Sachs)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Eva)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Eva)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Brandon Jovanovich (Walther von Stolzing)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Brandon Jovanovich (Walther von Stolzing)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Alek Shrader (David)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Sasha Cooke (Magdalene)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Martin Gantner (Sixtus Beckmesser)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Martin Gantner (Sixtus Beckmesser)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Ain Anger (Veit Pogner)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
James Rutherford (Hans Sachs)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Eva) and James Rutherford (Hans Sachs)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act II riot scene

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act III quintet 'Selig, wie die Sonne'

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act III's festival on the banks of the Pegnitz River

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Walther's Prize Song

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Brandon Jovanovich (Walther von Stolzing) and Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Eva)

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act I at St. Catherine's Church

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act II

Photo Flash: First Look at San Francisco Opera's DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NURNBERG
Act III, Scene I



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