Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA

San Francisco Opera presents Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) for seven performances October 4 through 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.

Amelia, the object of the king's affection and the wife of his trusted advisor Count Anckarström, is portrayed by American soprano Julianna Di Giacomo in her first San Francisco Opera appearance. Following her role debut in this production, Di Giacomo will perform a concert version of Un Ballo in Maschera in Tel Aviv with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta later this season. Described in a recent performance as "the vocal star of the evening" (The Wall Street Journal), the former Merola Opera Program participant's 2013-14 season included performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, Madrid's Teatro Real, Teatro Municipal de Santiago and at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Singing the role of Gustavus' jealous and impulsive adviser Count Anckarström is preeminent American baritone Thomas Hampson. Hampson has appeared in many San Francisco Opera productions, most recently creating the role of Rick Rescorla in the 2011 world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis' Heart of a Soldier. He has previously performed Un Ballo in Maschera at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Deutsche Oper Berlin. One of the most innovative and sought-after soloists performing today, he was recently inducted to Gramophone's 2013 "Hall of Fame." American baritone Brian Mulligan, who has given notable performances at San Francisco Opera in the title role of Nixon in China, and most recently as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, sings two performances as Count Anckarström.

Soprano Heidi Stober returns to San Francisco Opera as the page Oscar. Stober has performed with the Company in numerous diverse roles such as Atalanta (Handel's Xerxes), Pamina (Mozart's The Magic Flute), Nannetta (Verdi's Falstaff), and Magnolia Hawks (Kern and Hammerstein II's Show Boat). She has sung the role of Oscar many times at Deutsche Oper Berlin and sings the role at the Metropolitan Opera in 2015.

American dramatic mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, who has enjoyed a long and impressive career both at San Francisco Opera and at major opera houses around the world, is the fortune teller Madame Arvidson. Internationally sought for her portrayal of strong Verdi characters such as Azucena (Il Trovatore), Amneris (Aida) and Eboli (Don Carlos), Zajick has portrayed Madame Arvidson at the Metropolitan Opera and at Rome's Academia di Santa Sicilia in Rome; she will reprise the role at the Met this spring.

Un Ballo in Maschera is presented in a revival of San Francisco Opera's grand production and is staged in two acts. This production highlights the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera Chorus, (Ian Robertson, Director) and features costumes designed by John Conklin and lighting designed by Gary Marder.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the seven performances of Un Ballo in Maschera are scheduled forOctober 4 (7:30 p.m.), October 7 (7:30 p.m.), October 10 (7:30 p.m.), October 13 (7:30 p.m.), October 16 (7:30 p.m.), October 19 (2 p.m.), and October 22 (7:30 p.m.), 2014.

Photo Credit: Terrence McCarthy

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
The Cast

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Julianna di Giacomo

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Dolora Zajick

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
The Cast

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
The Cast

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Heidi Stober

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Thomas Hampson

Photo Flash: First Look at Thomas Hampson, Heidi Stober, Dolora Zajick and More in SFO's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA
Ramon Vargas



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