Photo Flash: San Francisco Opera Mounts LA TRAVIATA
San Francisco Opera presents Verdi's La Traviata in ten performances at the War Memorial Opera House, September 23 through October 17. Company Music DirectorNicola Luisotti leads an international cast featuring three artists making their Company debuts in leading roles: Romanian soprano Aurelia Florian as Violetta Valéry, Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan as Alfredo Germont and Polish baritone Artur Rucinski as Giorgio Germont. The classic 1987 San Francisco Opera production, which evokes the opulence of mid-19th century Paris in lavish, detailed settings and costumes, will be revived by original director John Copley along with stage director Shawna Lucey. Artistic Director of Theatre Flamenco of San FranciscoCarola Zertuche contributes new choreography in her Company debut. Ian Robertson directs the San Francisco Opera Chorus.
Romanian soprano Aurelia Florian makes her United States debut as Violetta Valéry, a role she has performed on many of the world's stages including Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Den Norske Opera in Oslo and the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. Reuters reported that Florian "left the audience spellbound" during a recent festival performance of La Traviata on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Making his San Francisco Opera debut as Alfredo Germont, Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan has earned acclaim for his portrayal of the role, including performances earlier this year at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, the latter under the baton of Nicola Luisotti. Polish baritone Artur Ruci?ski performs with San Francisco Opera for the first time as Giorgio Germont. Since his 2010 breakout performances in the title role ofEugene Onegin at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Ruci?ski has sung his diverse repertory around the globe including recent performances as Germont at Covent Garden, the Arena di Verona and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Completing the cast are mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier as Flora Bervoix, tenor Amitai Pati as Gastone, bass-baritone Philip Skinner as Baron Douphol, bass Anthony Reed as Doctor Grenvil, baritone Andrew G. Manea as Marquis d'Obigny and soprano Amina Edris as Annina, all of whom are current or former San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellows. Flamenco Soloists Lorena Feijoo, Blanche Hampton and Bryan Ketron will dance new choreography by Carola Zertuche. Feijoo, a former principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, makes her Company debut in these performances.
Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Chorus and cast in this revival, his final production as Company Music Director. The Italian conductor debuted with San Francisco Opera in 2005 leading Verdi's La Forza del Destino and has conducted more than 40 operas and concerts during his distinguished local tenure. At the conclusion of the 2017-18 Season, Luisotti will step down from his post having served the Company as Music Director since 2009. Luisotti is scheduled to return in future seasons as a guest conductor.
Based on the novel La dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, La Traviata is one of the most frequently performed operas in the repertory and among Verdi's finest works. Following a courtesan's affair with a besotted admirer, the 1853 opera is adored for its tragic love story and Verdi's music which animates the deeply moving scenario.
La Traviata was first performed by San Francisco Opera during the Company's second season in 1924 with a cast starring a trio of leading Italian opera stars: soprano Claudia Muzio as Violetta, tenor Tito Schipa as Alfredo and baritone Giuseppe De Luca as Germont, with Company founder Gaetano Merola on the podium. During it 95 years, the Company has presented Verdi's romantic work in 32 previous seasons.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, La Traviata is scheduled for ten performances: September 23 (7:30 p.m.),September 26 (7:30 p.m.), September 28 (7:30 p.m.), October 1 (2 p.m.), October 3 (7:30 p.m.), October 6 (7:30 p.m.), October 8 (2 p.m.), October 11 (7:30 p.m.), October 14 (7:30 p.m.) and October 17 (7:30 p.m.).
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
Tickets for La Traviata are priced from $26 to $398 and may be purchased at sfopera.com, the San Francisco Opera Box Office at 301 Van Ness Avenue and by phone at (415) 864-3330. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m.on the day of each performance; standing room tickets are $10 each, cash only, and limited to two tickets per person.
Each presentation at the War Memorial Opera House features an informative 25-minute Pre-Opera Talk. Beginning 55 minutes prior to curtain and free of charge to patrons with tickets for the corresponding performance, each La Traviata Pre-Opera Talk will be presented by Bay Area conductor Peter Susskind.
The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue. 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 further public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmta.com.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about La Traviata and San Francisco Opera's 2017-18 Season, please visit sfopera.com.
Photo Credit: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera