OPERA IN THE PARK Caps Opening Weekend Of San Francisco Opera's 97th Season

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OPERA IN THE PARK Caps Opening Weekend Of San Francisco Opera's 97th Season

San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Chronicle present the latest edition of the annual Opera in the Park concert at 1:30 pm on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

The free concert, held in celebration of San Francisco Opera's 97th season, showcases the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and artists from upcoming productions. Company General Director Matthew Shilvock will serve as emcee.

Opera in the Park bookends an action-packed weekend for San Francisco Opera, which opens its season with Charles Gounod's Romeo and Juliet and its annual Opera Ball and BRAVO! CLUB Gala on Friday, September 6, followed by the opening night of Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd on Saturday, September 7.

As a preview for the fall season, Opera in the Park spotlights the artists headlining these productions.

Representing Romeo and Juliet are tenor Bryan Hymel, fresh from his role debut as Romeo; baritone Lucas Meachem who plays the fiery Mercutio; and New Zealand's Pene Pati and Amina Edris, who will embody the roles of Romeo and Juliet on October 1. This will be a rare instance when a husband-wife duo will perform opposite each other in the title roles.

Joining the concert from the cast of Billy Budd are baritone John Chest, having recently made his San Francisco Opera debut in the title role; bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, who plays the morally corrupt master-at-arms Claggart; and baritone Edward Nelson, an alumnus of San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellowship program.

The Opera in the Park concert also highlights performances from second-year Adler Fellows soprano Natalie Image, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon and countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen.

Leading the San Francisco Opera Orchestra will be a trio of conductors: Romeo and Juliet's Yves Abel, Billy Budd's Lawrence Renes and Robert Mollicone, a former Adler Fellow who conducted the popular music trio Sol3 Mio in their 2017 concert with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Together, they will navigate through a wide range of works by composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frideric Handel, Charles Gounod, Giuseppe Verdi, Engelbert Humperdinck, John Adams, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and more. The concert will also feature pop and Broadway favorites.

Opera in the Park has been a Bay Area tradition for 46 years, furthering San Francisco Opera's mission of sharing opera with the community. Since its founding in 1971 under former general director Kurt Herbert Adler, Opera in the Park has offered free performances from some of opera's legendary figures, such as tenor Luciano Pavarotti and mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne.

The event takes place on the slopes of Robin Williams Meadow, formerly known as Sharon Meadow, in Golden Gate Park. In the past, Opera in the Park has drawn upwards of 15,000 concertgoers, some of whom arrive as early as 6 am to stake out the perfect spot on the lawn.

Various community partners will be represented at tables and tents around the concert, including San Francisco Chronicle, Classical KDFC, Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Compass Family Services and Community Housing Partnership.

No tickets are required to attend the show. The event is free and open to the public. Food and beverage will be available on site for purchase. Parking is extremely limited; using public transit is therefore strongly encouraged. Limited ADA parking and seating is available. Artists and program are subject to change. For more information, please call (415) 864-3330 or visit sfopera.com/park.

Learn more about San Francisco Opera's 2019-20 season at sfopera.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.



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