San Francisco Opera Inaugurates Its Second Century with 'Opera Ball' and 'Opening Night Concert'

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By: Sep. 01, 2023
San Francisco Opera Inaugurates Its Second Century with 'Opera Ball' and 'Opening Night Concert'
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 To inaugurate San Francisco Opera’s second century, the Company and San Francisco Opera Guild jointly present Opera Ball on Friday, September 8, 2023. This festive evening, titled The Elixir of Opera, includes a reception, dinner and after-party in San Francisco’s City Hall along with a celebratory Opening Night Concert in the War Memorial Opera House. As the evening’s musical centerpiece, the concert features Caroline H. Hume Music Director Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus with star soloists Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak. Opera Ball 2023 is co-chaired by Francesca Gutierrez Amann and Sue Graham Johnston and proceeds from the benefit gala support the artistic and educational initiatives of San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Opera Guild.

Known throughout the world of opera for his “commitment and brightly shining tone” (New York Times) in an artistic resume encompassing the art form’s greatest stage heroes, superstar tenor Roberto Alagna makes his first appearance with the Company in the Opening Night Concert. The 101st season-opening event marks the return of soprano Aleksandra Kurzak to the War Memorial Opera House following her 2012 Company debut as Gilda in Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto which the San Francisco Chronicle hailed as “nothing short of remarkable.” The husband-and-wife duo, who have been touted opera’s “power couple,” will perform a program of operatic arias and duets with selections from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Puccini’s Tosca and Manon Lescaut, along with popular songs and other favorites. San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Olivia Smith will join the couple for an excerpt from Cavalleria Rusticana.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Opera Ball guests arrive on the red carpet and promenade to a festive cocktail reception in the Beaux-Arts rotunda of San Francisco’s City Hall, transformed by event designer J. Riccardo Benavides. A lavish culinary experience created by the local chefs of McCalls Catering & Events will follow at 6 p.m. Guests then make their way across Van Ness Avenue to the War Memorial Opera House for the 8 p.m. 101st season Opening Night Concert with Roberto Alagna, Aleksandra Kurzak, Music Director Eun Sun Kim and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. After the last calls of “bravi!” ring out in the auditorium, the after-party at City Hall awaits. Attendees can dance the night away to live music or lounge with their elixir of choice, sweet and savory bites and enjoy the revelry.

This year, a special Cocktail Dinner Celebration will be offered in partnership with the BRAVO! Club that includes the dinner reception, concert and after-party (BRAVO! Club membership is not required for the Cocktail Dinner Celebration package).

Tickets packages for the Opening Night Concert with After-Party, as well as concert-only tickets, are also available.


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