Soprano Nadine Sierra Replaces Diana Damrau in 'Lucia di Lammermoor'

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San Francisco Opera today announced cast changes for the Company's new production of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, presented October 8-28, 2015, and for Mozart's The Magic Flute, presented October 20-November 20, at the War Memorial Opera House. German soprano Diana Damrau has withdrawn from the Lucia production, in order to remain on vocal rest for the next six weeks. American soprano Nadine Sierra-who performed Lucia last spring at the Zurich Opera House to critical acclaim and, more recently, as the Countess in San Francisco Opera's The Marriage of Figaro-will now sing the title role for all seven performances.

"I am deeply sorry for all of those who had looked forward to my performances in San Francisco and I ask for your understanding," said Damrau in a written statement. "After 15 years of performing with little or no time for substantial rest and recuperation, along with the demands that come with a beautiful, young family, my body has reached the point when it is now 'insisting' that I pause for a short time. ... The issue is in no way vocal, but one of exhaustion that the doctors tell me ten weeks of rest will without question fix." Damrau is currently taking her rest here in San Francisco with her family and husband, French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé who will be making his San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Raimondo.

Sierra's appearance in Lucia affects casting in the Company's revival production of The Magic Flute; she was initially to have sung the role of Pamina. Soprano Sarah Shafer, recently seen as Rosetta in the world premiere of Marco Tutino's opera Two Women, will now take on the first four performances (October 20, 25, 27 and 29) and Sierra will sing the remaining six performances as originally scheduled (November 4, 8, 12, 14, 17 and 20).

Sierra and renowned tenor Piotr Beczala as Lucia's secret lover Edgardo will join conductor Nicola Luisotti to bring to life Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in a new San Francisco Opera production directed by Michael Cavanagh and designed by Erhard Rom-the team behind the Company's "triumphant" (Bay Area Reporter) Susannah, presented in fall 2014, and Nixon in China in summer 2012. Based on Sir Walter Scott's 1819 historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor with a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, Lucia di Lammermoor tells the story of an anguished young woman, pressured by her family to marry the wrong man, who suffers an emotional breakdown on her wedding night. The opera culminates in one of the most unforgettable "mad scenes" ever composed. Bursting with melody and stunning ensembles, Lucia di Lammermoor has long been considered Donizetti's finest score.

"Our production of Lucia takes a modern-mythic approach to this great work. The setting is a dystopian near future, where the intense pressures of mega-corporate deal-making are akin to the great inter-family alliances of yesteryear. The production's clean lines and imposing structures create a world that is at once oppressive and starkly beautiful," said Cavanagh. "The production, then, stands as a memorial to eternal love, and serves as a warning to those who would put ambition ahead of family and thus forsake our connections to the past."

Also appearing in the Company's production of Lucia di Lammermoor is dynamic baritone Brian Mulligan (Sweeney Todd, Nixon in China) as Lucia's controlling brother, Enrico. Latvian mezzo-soprano and Adler Fellow Zanda Šv?de is Alisa. As Normanno is tenor AJ Glueckert (Sweeney Todd, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene), and tenor and first-year Adler fellow Chong Wang (The Trojans) performs as Lucia's ill-fated bridegroom, Arturo.

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the seven San Francisco Opera performances of Lucia di Lammermoor are scheduled for October 8 (7:30 p.m.), October 11 (2 p.m.), October 13 (7:30 p.m.), October 16 (7:30 p.m.), October 21 (7:30 p.m.), October 24 (7:30 p.m.) and October 28 (7:30 p.m.), 2015.

The San Francisco Opera Guild will present an Insight Panel Discussion with members of the cast and production team from Lucia di Lammermoor on Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. in the Herbst Theater, War Memorial Performing Arts Center, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister Street). Panels are free for San Francisco Opera members, subscribers and students with valid ID and $5 for the general public; tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to the discussion. Information: www.sfopera.com/Learn.

The San Francisco Opera 2015-16 Season continues with Mozart's The Magic Flute (October 20 -November 20), Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (November 18-December 6), Rossini's The Barber of Seville (November 25-December 9), the Gordon Getty and Claude Debussy double bill The Fall of the House of Usher (December 8-13), Bizet's Carmen (May 27-July 3), Verdi's Don Carlo (June 12-29) and Janá?ek's Jen?fa (June 14-July 1). For more information, please visit sfopera.com.

Single tickets for Lucia di Lammermoor are priced from $26 to $381 (subject to change) and may be purchased at sfopera.com or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue 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 Lucia di Lammermoor and San Francisco Opera's 2015-16 Season, please visit sfopera.com.

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR by Gaetano Donizetti

NEW PRODUCTION

October 8? (7:30 p.m.), 11? (2 p.m.), 13 (7:30 p.m.), 16? (7:30 p.m.), 21? (7:30 p.m.), 24 (7:30 p.m.),

28 (7:30 p.m.), 2015

San Francisco Opera Production

Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano

Approximate running time: 2 hours, 50 minutes including one intermission

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

First Performance: Naples; September 26, 1865

First SFO Performance: October 5, 1926

Most Recent SFO Performances: 2007-08 Season

Cast:

Lucia Nadine Sierra

Edgardo Piotr Beczala

Enrico Brian Mulligan

Raimondo Nicolas Testé*

Normanno AJ Glueckert?

Alisa Zanda Šv?de?†

Arturo Chong Wang?†

Production Team:

Conductor Nicola Luisotti

Director Michael Cavanagh

Scenic and Projection Designer Erhard Rom

Costume Designer Mattie Ullrich*

Lighting Designer Gary Marder

Chorus Director Ian Robertson

Fight Director Dave Maier

San Francisco Opera Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Chorus

Company Sponsors John A. & Cynthia Fry Gunn are proud to support this production. Major funding is also provided by Keith & Priscilla Geeslin. Additional major support is provided by Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem through the Great Interpreters of Italian Opera Fund, and the Conductors Fund for Maestro Luisotti's appearance. Mr. Beczala's appearance is made possible by a gift to the Great Singers Fund by Joan & David Traitel.

San Francisco Opera is sponsored, in part, by Norby Anderson, The Dolby Family, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Franklin and Catherine Johnson, Edmund W. and Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Fund, Steven M. Menzies, Bernard and Barbro Osher, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Phyllis C. Wattis Endowment Funds and Diane B. Wilsey. San Francisco Opera is supported, in part, by a grant from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Wells Fargo is San Francisco Opera's Season Sponsor. San Francisco Opera is proud to recognize its corporate partners: United Airlines, the Official Airline of San Francisco Opera, and Chevron, fueling great performances everywhere.

OperaVision, high-definition projection screens featured in the upper Balcony level, is made possible by the Koret/Taube Media Suite.

NADINE SIERRA

Lucia di Lammermoor

Former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Nadine Sierra made her Company debut in 2011 creating the roles of Juliet and Barbara in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and returned as Papagena in The Magic Flute (2012) and Musetta (La Bohème). She is an alumna of the 2010 Merola Opera Program, where she was heard as Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore. The youngest winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Sierra has appeared as Gilda (Rigoletto) with the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Seattle Opera; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at Virginia Opera and Cagliari's Teatro Lirico; and Musetta at Tel Aviv's Israeli Opera. Her engagements last season included Gilda with Atlanta Opera, Norina (Don Pasquale) in Valencia, Lucia di Lammermoor in Zurich and a return to the Company as Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) as well as concerts in Poland, Cleveland, and Berlin. ?She holds first prizes from the George London, Gerda Lissner, Neue Stimmen and Marilyn Horne Foundation Competitions and is a recipient of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation's Study and Career Grant. Sierra debuts this season at Paris Opera, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.

PIOTR BECZALA

Edgardo

Polish tenor Piotr Beczala made his American opera debut with San Francisco Opera in 2004 as Lensky (Eugene Onegin) and returned in 2007 as Tamino (The Magic Flute) and Rodolfo (La Bohème) in 2009. His engagements in the 2014-15 season include the Prince (Rusalka) and the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) with the Vienna State Opera; Count Vaudémont (Iolanta) and King Gustavus (Un Ballo in Maschera) with the Metropolitan Opera; the title role of Faust with Paris Opera; and Rodolfo at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. A regular guest at the Met, his roles with that company include the Duke of Mantua, Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Faust, Edgardo, Rodolfo, and Lensky, among others. His other career highlights include the Duke of Mantua, Rodolfo, and Alfredo Germont (La Traviata) with Milan's La Scala; Roméo, Faust, Edgardo, and Rodolfo with the Vienna State Opera; the Prince, Alfredo, the Italian Singer (Der Rosenkavalier), and the title role of Werther with Munich's Bavarian State Opera; and The Italian Singer, Faust, the Duke of Mantua, Lensky, Rodolfo, Roméo, and Alfredo with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Beczala's discography includes Faust (Orfeo), La Traviata (Farao, nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award), Lucia di Lammermoor (Mariinksy Theatre), three solo CDs and a number of DVD recordings.

BRIAN MULLIGAN

Enrico

American baritone Brian Mulligan made his San Francisco Opera debut as Marcello (La Bohème) with Nicola Luisotti in 2008 and has since returned as Valentin (Faust), Albert (Werther), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), the King's Herald (Lohengrin) and as the title role in Nixon in China. He returned in 2014 as Count Anckarström (Un Ballo in Maschera), as well as Marcello, and he appeared as Chorèbe (Les Troyens) with Donald Runnicles during the summer of 2015. In San Francisco Opera's 2015-16 Season he appears in the title roles of Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher and Getty's Usher House, as well as Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor) and as the title role in Sweeney Todd. Brian has recently appeared as Amfortas (Parsifal) and Prospero (Adès's The Tempest) both at Oper Frankfurt; Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades) with Jiri Belohlavek at Opernhaus Zürich; Carmina Burana with Gustavo Dudamel at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, André Thorel (Massenet's Thérèse) at Wexford Festival Opera; Peter (Hänsel und Gretel) with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Enrico with Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Washington National Opera; the title role of Hamlet with Minnesota Opera; and Amonasro (Aida) and Balstrode (Peter Grimes) both at the Aspen Music Festival. Other recent engagments include Valentin at the Metropolitan Opera with Yannick Nézet Séguin; the title role of The Death of Klinghoffer with Opera Theater of St. Louis; Prometheus (Die Vögel) at Los Angeles Opera; Marcello at Houston Grand Opera and New York City Opera; Ford (Falstaff) at Japan's Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa; and the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Grand Opera, and at the Ravinia Festival. Upcoming enagements include Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra) at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine; creating the role of Jack Torrance in the world premiere of Paul Moravec's The Shining at Minnesota Opera; Yeletsky at Opernhaus Zürich; and John Proctor in a new production of The Crucible by Francesca Zambello at the Glimmerglass Festival.

NICOLAS TESTÉ

Raimondo

French bass-baritone Nicolas Testé makes his San Francisco Opera debut in a role he has performed in Munich and Marseille. Engagements in the 2014-15 season included Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette) in Montreal, Nourabad (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) with Vienna's Theater an der Wien, Colline (La Bohème) with Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Des Grieux (Manon) with the Metropolitan Opera, Claudius (Hamlet) in Avignon, and Ferrando (Il Trovatore) in Orange. Testé regularly performs at the world's great venues such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Netherlands Opera, Paris Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, and in Lausanne, Leipzig, Naples, Bilbao, Geneva, Lyon, Venice, and Vienna. Career highlights include Colline at the Met; the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro in Warsaw; Léandre (The Love for Three Oranges) in Geneva; Giorgio Germont (La Traviata) and Abimelech (Samson et Dalila) with Paris Opera; Frère Laurent and Ferrando in Marseille; Abimelech (Samson et Dalila); Panthée (Les Troyens), Agamemnon (Iphigénie en Aulide), and Frere Laurent in Amsterdam; Jupiter (Castor et Pollux) and creating the roles of the Coach Driver, Officer, and Jailer in the world premiere of Bell's A Harlot's Progress in Vienna; and Nourabad in Paris. On the concert stage, he has appeared with Orchestre National de France, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Talents Lyriques, Accademia Santa Cecilia Rome, RAI Torino, Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon and Lille, and Bayerischer Rundfunk. He frequently collaborates with his wife, soprano Diana Damrau.

AJ GLUECKERT
Normanno

Tenor AJ Glueckert is a former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow hailing from Portland, Oregon who made his Company debut as a Preacher and a Follower in the world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in 2013. Other Company appearances include Mr. Knox in Dolores Claiborne, the Steersman in Der Fliegende Holländer, Ambrogio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Barber of Seville for Families, Flavio in Norma, Elder Gleaton in Susannah, and a Judge in Un Ballo in Maschera. In San Francisco Opera's 2015-16 season he appears as Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Kunz Vogelgesang (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Glueckert is an alumnus of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where he performed Mr. Owen in Argento's Postcard from Morocco. As a resident artist with Minnesota Opera, he was heard as Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and also created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Puts's Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia. He is also a graduate of the young artists programs at Santa Fe Opera and Utah Opera. A two-time winner of the regional Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, he holds a degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and he appeared as the Drum Major (Wozzeck) with Opera Parallèle in San Francisco.

ZANDA ŠV?DE
Alisa

Latvian mezzo-soprano Zanda Šv?de is a second-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and an alumna of the 2013 Merola Opera Program. She made her Company debut this past summer as Flora Bervoix in La Traviata and returned this fall as Tisbe (La Cenerentola). Roles in her repertoire include the title role of Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires, Endimione (Cavalli's La Calisto), and the title role of Massenet's Cléopâtre. On the concert stage she has appeared as a soloist in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Liszt's Missa Coronationalis. Šv?de has studied at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga; the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival in New York; Scuola Italiana in Urbania, Italy; and the Tyrolean Opera Program in Austria.

CHONG WANG

Arturo

An alumnus of the 2014 Merola Opera Program, tenor Chong Wang is a first-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow. His repertory with the Merola Opera Program included Goro (Madama Butterfly), Don José (Carmen), and the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto). He has performed a number of roles at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, including the Steersman (Der Fliegende Holländer), the Messenger (Aida), Dr. Caius (Falstaff), Ruiz (Il Trovatore), and Rodolfo (Guglielmo Tell). He is a graduate of the Conservatory of the People's Liberation Army in China.

NICOLA LUISOTTI

Conductor

Nicola Luisotti has been music director of San Francisco Opera since September 2009 and he holds the Caroline H. Hume Endowed Chair. This season he leads Luisa Miller, Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Carlo. Luisotti's other engagements during the 2015-16 season include symphonic concerts with Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and in Germany with the Hamburg Philharmonic as well as Rigoletto with Madrid's Teatro Real; Il Trittico and La Traviata with London's Royal Opera, Covent Garden; and Rigoletto with Paris Opera. Called "both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition" by Opera News, which featured him on the cover of the July 2011 special issue on conductors, Luisotti made his Company debut in 2005 conducting La Forza del Destino and returned in November 2008 to conduct La Bohème. As the Company's music director, he has led acclaimed performances of 24 productions, including the world premiere of Marco Tutino's Two Women in 2015. Maestro Luisotti has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics for his work at the world's leading opera companies including Milan's La Scala; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Metropolitan Opera; Paris Opera; and the Vienna State Opera. Equally at home on the concert stage, Luisotti served as principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony from 2009 to 2012 and has also established growing relationships with the orchestras of London (Philharmonia Orchestra), Genoa, Budapest, Turin, Munich (Bavarian Radio Orchestra), Palermo, and Rome (Santa Cecilia Orchestra), as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and the Atlanta Symphony. The conductor's discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic) and the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon), featuring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. He is also on the podium of DVD recordings of the Met's La Bohème, with Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas (EMI), and San Francisco Opera's Mefistofele with Ildar Abdrazakov and Patricia Racette (EuroArts).

MICHAEL CAVANAGH

Director

Michael Cavanagh made his San Francisco Opera debut with Nixon in China in 2012, a production he also directed at Vancouver Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and, most recently, in Dublin, Ireland. He returned to direct a new production of Susannah in 2014. Recent career highlights include a return to Minnesota Opera to direct Manon Lescaut, Tosca at Austin Lyric Opera, and L'Italiana in Algeri with Calgary Opera. Former artistic director of Edmonton Opera, he has directed productions throughout his native Canada, including production at Vancouver Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Montreal Opera, Manitoba Opera, Calgary Opera, and Opera Hamilton. He has also directed many productions in the United States, including new productions and return engagements at Opera Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, and many others. Cavanagh made his Covent Garden debut in 2006, directing a new chamber opera, The Midnight Court. He has developed and staged many new pieces, and is in high demand as a dramaturg. As a librettist, Cavanagh has enjoyed critical and popular success with seven of his own operas. Recent and upcoming highlights include a return to Lyric Opera of Kansas City for L'Italiana in Algeri, a new production of Carmen at Minnesota Opera, and a debut at the Royal Swedish Opera with Nixon in China.

ERHARD ROM

Scenic and Projection Designer

Erhard Rom was named as a finalist in the Designer of the Year category of the 2015 International Opera Awards in London. He has designed settings for over 200 productions across the globe and his design work has been displayed in the Prague Quadrennial exhibition and at the National Opera Center in Manhattan. He teaches design at Montclair State University in the department of theatre and dance. His credits include: San Francisco Opera (Susannah and Nixon in China) Wexford Festival Opera, Seattle Opera, Vancouver Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Minnesota Opera, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, Fort Worth Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Opéra de Montréal, The Atlanta Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Boston and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. In 2014 he designed the European premiere of Kevin Puts recent opera, Silent Night. The production was awarded two accolades at the 2015 Irish Times Theatre Awards Ceremony, including the audience choice award and best opera production of 2015. Future engagements include the world premiere of The Shining for Minnesota Opera and Nixon in China for the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm.

MATTIE ULLRICH

Costume Designer

Mattie Ullrich makes her San Francisco Opera debut with her costume designs for Lucia di Lammermoor. Recent career highlights include Satyagraha at Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet; Don Giovanni for Norwegian Opera and Ballet; I Due Foscari the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna's Theater an der Wien, Valencia's Palau des Artes, and Los Angeles Opera; The Oresteia for the Bard SummerScape Festival; Le Roi Malgre Lui for the Wexford Festival; Nabucco with Washington National Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Montreal Opera; Zaide for Wolftrap Opera; and Eliogabalo for New York's The Box. Other career highlights include creating costumes for the theater in New York City: The Starry Messenger, The Pride, Wicked, Fault Lines, Things We Want and Bad Dates. In 2010 she designed the costumes for a reworking of Stephen Shwartz's musical Working, performed in Chicago and New York City. Her film credits include Year of the Fish, Sovereignty, and Shoplifting Chanel. She was awarded the European Opera Prize for her collaboration with director Thaddeus Strassberger for the La Cenerentola, performed in Ireland and Germany. A native of Southern California, she received her education from University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied costume design, draping, tailoring, hat-making, and dyeing. She now calls Peekskill, New York home where she, her husband, and her dog Drake own two restaurants.

GARY MARDER

Lighting Designer

Resident lighting designer for San Francisco Opera, Gary Marder made his Company debut in 2013 and in the 2014-15 season his lighting designs were seen in Susannah, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, La Cenerentola, and Le Nozze di Figaro. His work has been seen at venues across the globe, including The Magic Flute in Sydney; La Traviata at Turin's Teatro Regio as well as in Tokyo; The Makropulos Case and Samson et Dalila at Houston Grand Opera; Samson et Dalila, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, Peter Grimes, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Norma at San Diego Opera; Dialogues des Carmélites with Palm Beach Opera; La Clemenza di Tito in Toronto; Tosca with Opera New Jersey; Aida and Il Bariere di Siviglia at the Dallas Opera; and in Boston, Connecticut, Barcelona, and Baden Baden. Marder served as assistant resident lighting designer for the Metropolitan Opera for twelve seasons and associate resident lighting designer at New York City Opera for five years.

DAVE MAIER

Fight Director

Resident fight director for San Francisco Opera, Dave Maier made his Company debut choreographing the fight scenes for The Tales of Hoffmann in 2013; he appeared also appeared as a swordsman in the 2010 production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Maier has directed for American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, San Jose Repertory, Aurora Theatre, Marin Theatre Company and Magic Theatre, among others. He is a five time recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics Circle Award for Fight Direction and an eleven time nominee, and he serves as resident fight director at California Shakespeare Theatre and a company member with the Shotgun Players. Maier is recognized as an instructor of theatrical combat by Dueling Arts International and a founding member of Dueling Arts San Francisco. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of California Santa Cruz and St. Mary's College of California; he currently teaches combat related courses at Berkeley Repertory School of Theater.

SARAH SHAFER
Pamina (The Magic Flute)

A native of State College, Pennsylvania, soprano Sarah Shafer made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mary Lennox in the 2013 world premiere of The Secret Garden, presented at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, followed by performances last summer as Rosetta in the world premiere of Tutino's Two Women. Shafer made her professional operatic debut in the role of Barbarina and covered the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival and at the BBC Proms in London's Royal Albert Hall. In 2013, she made her American debut with Opera Memphis as Adina (L'Elisir d'Amore) and with Opera Company of Philadelphia as Papagena (Die Zauberflöte). She has also performed in Opera Philadelphia's productions of Golijov's Ainadamar and Verdi's Don Carlo. Shafer's credits with Curtis Opera Theatre include Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Elizabeth Zimmer (Elegy for Young Lovers), Ilia (Idomeneo), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Sofia (Il Signor Bruschino) and Mélisande (Impressions of Pelléas). In 2012 and 2013 at Curtis, she sang the roles of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Almirena (Rinaldo). On the concert stage, the soprano was recently heard as Sophie in Strauss's Suite from Der Rosenkavalier with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Other recently performed works include Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Requiem, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem and Mahler's Fourth Symphony. Shafer has spent two summers as a resident artist at the Marlboro Music Festival, where she worked with legendary pianist Richard Goode; she appeared in a solo recital with Goode in 2012 in Philadelphia. Later this season, she sings Adina at Opera Philadelphia.



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