San Francisco Opera Announces Updated 2022-23 Centennial Season Initiatives And Events

Partnership with The Dolby Family to offer $10 tickets to Bay Area residents.

By: Jul. 21, 2022

San Francisco Opera Announces Updated 2022-23 Centennial Season Initiatives And Events

San Francisco Opera celebrates its first 100 years with a blockbuster 2022-23 opera season and an array of opportunities for deep engagement with the Company's history. San Francisco Opera's centennial will be marked by activities designed to commemorate the past and welcome the community into the exciting new era just beginning under the baton of Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim.

San Francisco Opera announces a new partnership with the Dolby Family to offer Opera for the Bay, a reduced-price ticket program for Bay Area residents throughout the Centennial Season. In collaboration with the San Francisco Giants, Opera at the Ballpark makes its return on November 11 with a free simulcast of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata to the videoboard at Oracle Park. On October 23, the Company will open its doors for Community Open House, a day of fun and exploration as families, music fans and the opera-curious witness the magic of opera from behind the scenes. The Traviata Encounter (November 19) will offer the first act of Verdi's opera and an immersive after-party inspired by the decadence of Belle Epoque Paris. The very first opera to be presented by San Francisco Opera 100 years ago, Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème, will be delivered to several Bay Area communities in a converted shipping container with Bohème Out of the Box in 2023.

The Company invites everyone to develop and share their own stories through The Opera in You writing program. In a series of digital releases, Streaming the First Century invites people from around the world to explore landmark San Francisco Opera performances with a cohort of expert guides. Around the Bay Area, public exhibitions will relate the story of San Francisco Opera's first century through a variety of lenses, from an exhibition of rare costumes and artifacts at the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport to explorations of the Company's roots in the Italian community at the Museo Italo Americano and the City's longstanding support for the Opera at the San Francisco Public Library.

On September 26, 1923, Gaetano Merola inaugurated his new resident company for the opera-loving metropolis of San Francisco with a performance of Puccini's La Bohème at the Civic Auditorium. A century later, San Francisco Opera remains a vital and dynamic artistic institution. Its culture of innovation has led to pioneering uses of technology and repertory-expanding new works by leading composers; its audience has witnessed the American debuts of operatic legends; and its training programs have equipped generations of new artists for stages around the world.

San Francisco Opera is one of only three American opera companies to celebrate 100 years (the Metropolitan Opera will launch its 137th season this year and Cincinnati Opera marked its centenary in 2020). San Francisco Opera's Centennial Season begins with an event-filled opening weekend that includes the Opera Ball: The Centennial Celebration (September 9), the world premiere of John Adams' new opera Antony and Cleopatra (September 10) and the free Opera in the Park concert at Golden Gate Park (September 11).

As the Company celebrates 100 years of producing opera in the Bay Area, the Dolby Family is providing a new benefit to residents. Throughout the Centennial Season, $10 tickets in prime seating sections will be available to anyone with a Bay Area mailing address zip code (beginning with 940-954) who has not attended San Francisco Opera in the past three years. The Dolby Family is generously offering 100 Opera for the Bay seats for every mainstage performance.

Dagmar Dolby said: "100 years ago, San Francisco Opera was born through the confluence of bold ideas, great artistry and passionate support. With the Company now entering its second century, we want to invite people of all ages and backgrounds around the Bay Area to experience the art produced by this dynamic institution-their opera company. We hope the Opera for the Bay ticket initiative is the catalyst that encourages the newcomer, entices the opera curious and welcomes back those who have not been in a while. This once-in-a-lifetime Centennial Season is the perfect time to be inspired."

The Dolby Family's Opera for the Bay tickets will be available on a first-come basis at Click Here one month before the first performance of each opera, starting on August 9 for the Centennial Celebration Concert and Antony and Cleopatra. Each eligible resident may purchase up to two $10 tickets for one performance during the 2022-23 Season. For more information, visit

Centennial Exhibitions

Costumes worn on stage by San Francisco Opera stars, including Leontyne Price, Kirsten Flagstad and Dorothy Kirsten, along with rare photographs, set models and artifacts from the San Francisco Opera Archives will be exhibited throughout the year. In partnership with the SFO Museum at the San Francisco International Airport, the San Francisco Public Library, Museo Italo Americano and other community partners, rarely seen treasures from 100 years of San Francisco theatrical history will be on view around the city and the greater Bay Area in public exhibitions.

Streaming the First Century

For the first time, San Francisco Opera is providing digital access to a curated selection of historic radio broadcasts, house recordings, archival interviews and newly captured conversations. Streaming the First Century will feature highlights from San Francisco Opera's preserved audio history in four free installments linked thematically to the Centennial Season's onstage repertory. Contemporary scholars, performers and Company members introduce each milestone performance, which include a 20th-century work conducted with unforgettable intensity by a local legend, a neglected French romance dusted off for an only-in-San-Francisco dream cast, a banner Puccini night with three iconic artists all making role debuts and a beloved favorite in one of her most entrancing and provocative performances, among many others. More details will be announced for the four monthly releases beginning in September.

Community Open House, October 23

In addition to the Opera's 100th season, this year also marks the 90th anniversary of the War Memorial Opera House. In celebration of both anniversaries, San Francisco Opera opens the doors of its historic home at a free event on Sunday, October 23 to reveal some of the fun and magic that transpires inside one of the most beautiful theaters in the world. The day's activities will include musical performances, backstage show-and-tell tours, demonstrations of stage magic, an operatic scavenger hunt and hands-on crafts. Bring the whole family and spend the day in one of the Bay Area's historic community gathering spaces and a world-renowned site for opera.

Opera at the Ballpark Simulcast of Verdi's La Traviata, November 11

In partnership with the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco Opera's new production of Verdi's La Traviata-the Company's first new staging of the romantic classic in 35 years-will be jointly unveiled at the War Memorial Opera House and the stunning 71-foot-high x 153-foot-wide, 4K videoboard at Oracle Park on Friday, November 11 through a free, live Opera at the Ballpark simulcast. As Music Director Eun Sun Kim gives the down beat and the curtain rises for the first time on director Shawna Lucey's new vision for La Traviata, audiences on the field and in the stands at the picturesque home of the Giants will share in the opening night excitement while enjoying ballpark concessions. Since 2007, the popular Bay Area event has attracted more than 300,000 attendees. Registration for Opera at the Ballpark will open in August. For more information about this free community event visit

The Traviata Encounter, November 19

This one-night-only event offers attendees the opportunity to experience the first act of La Traviata in the auditorium and then enjoy a rollicking after-party throughout the lobbies which will be transformed with inspiration from the remaining portions of the opera, in collaboration with the production's creative team. Special food and drink offerings, dancing and selfie-worthy moments will complete this immersive encounter designed to transport guests into the decadent setting of Verdi's masterwork.

The Opera in You

Stories connect us to our past, present and future. The stories we tell can reveal amazing journeys and teach us empathy. Opera is storytelling on a grand scale where big ideas and big emotions make us laugh, cry and bring comfort. Whether dramatic tales of triumph, survival, perseverance or hope, everyone has a story to tell, no matter their age or background. San Francisco Opera's Department of Diversity, Equity and Community leads The Opera in You, a new story writing program to uncover the stories that are within each of us. Through alliances with partners, including the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and the San Francisco Public Library system, anyone can participate in free 5- or 9-week workshops in memoir writing and storytelling (space permitting; tools will also be made available online). Participants will have an opportunity to dive deeper into the creative experience with their stories and share them with the public.

Bohème Out of the Box

An abridged version of Puccini's La Bohème will travel around the Bay Area in a converted shipping container and be performed by the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows in Italian with English narration and keyboard accompaniment. These free performances on a state-of-the-art mobile stage will bring powerful emotions and soaring arias directly to communities in a relaxed, intimate environment. Dates and locations will be announced soon.

Bookmark for the latest news and updates.


San Francisco Opera's 100th season is anchored by the premieres of new works from two important Bay Area composers: the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra by John Adams, which was commissioned for the Company's centenary, and the local premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank's El último sueño de Frida y Diego, a San Francisco Opera co-commission with San Diego Opera. Opening September 10 as the first opera of the Centennial Season, Antony and Cleopatra will be directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer and features a cast headed by Gerald Finley and Amina Edris under the baton of Eun Sun Kim. El último sueño de Frida y Diego, opening in June 2023, stars Daniela Mack and Alfredo Daza as the iconic artists in a staging directed by Lorena Maza in her Company debut.

New San Francisco Opera productions include director Shawna Lucey's staging of Verdi's La Traviata starring soprano Pretty Yende in her Company debut; Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice in a new production by Matthew Ozawa featuring countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński as Orfeo and a new interpretation of Puccini's Madame Butterfly by director Amon Miyamoto starring soprano Karah Son and tenor Michael Fabiano.

Two towering operatic masterpieces of the twentieth century return to San Francisco Opera where each had its American premiere during the 1950s: Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites with Heidi Stober as Blanche de la Force and Richard Strauss' momentous Die Frau ohne Schatten featuring the returns of Nina Stemme, Camilla Nylund and former San Francisco Opera Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles in David Hockney's production. Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin will be presented in the Bay Area premiere of Robert Carsen's acclaimed production. Centennial celebrations reach another pinnacle on June 16, 2023 with the 100th Anniversary Concert, a festive event that looks back at the Company's first century and on toward the future.

Subscriptions for San Francisco Opera's Centennial Season operas are priced from $178 to $3,248 for Full Series (6-8 productions), $42 to $1,624 for Half Series (2-4 productions) and a Design Your Own (DYO) option (minimum three operas). Single (non-subscription) tickets for the Centennial Season range from $26 to $422 and are available at the San Francisco Opera Box Office, by phone at (415) 864-3330 and online at

The Dolby Family's Opera for the Bay tickets will be available on a first-come basis at Click Here to eligible residents one month before the first performance of each opera, starting on August 9 for the Centennial Celebration Concert and Antony and Cleopatra. Eligible ticket holders must have a Bay Area mailing address zip code (beginning with 940-954) and have not attended San Francisco Opera in the past three years. Each eligible resident may purchase up to two $10 tickets for one performance during the 2022-23 Season. For more information, visit

Ticket and registration information for other Centennial Season events is included in the attached calendar.

The San Francisco Opera Box Office window is located in the Opera House at 301 Van Ness Avenue. Box Office hours are Monday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Saturdays phone only). A $2 per-ticket facility fee is included in Balcony 1, 2 and 3 zone prices; all other zones include a $3 per-ticket facility fee.

For information about subscriber benefits and special series subscriptions, including the Out-of-Town Series offering two or three operas over a 2-3 day period and the Student & Teacher Series offering 50% off select Full and Half Series, visit

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect for all performances and events. For up-to-date information about San Francisco Opera's safety measures, visit

Gifts of all sizes help create San Francisco Opera's programs. To donate, visit

All casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera's 2022-23 Season, visit

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