Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

San Francisco Opera Presents Ferruccio Furlanetto With The Company's Opera Medal

He was presented with the medal on September 25.

San Francisco Opera Presents Ferruccio Furlanetto With The Company's Opera Medal

Immediately following the September 25 opening performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, who performed the role of Prince Gremin in the opera, was presented with the San Francisco Opera Medal.

In the onstage ceremony with the audience still present, San Francisco Opera Tad and Dianne Taube General Director Matthew Shilvock said: "In your artistry you carry forward the tradition of the most wonderfully resonant basses like Cesare Siepi, whom you once called 'the most luminous model to follow.' You likewise are a luminous model for singers to follow, showing how to marry a depth of vocal beauty with incisive characterizations, all while being one of the most kind, caring and supportive of colleagues. At this opening of Eugene Onegin, we celebrate your 43 years of spectacular artistry on this stage. With heartfelt gratitude from the whole San Francisco Opera family, it is a great honor to present you with the San Francisco Opera Medal."

Addressing the audience, Furlanetto said: "I am extremely touched and proud to receive this honor from the Opera House where I started my international career ... quite a while ago. But this is, once more, proof that this profession of mine has been and still is the most amazing and unique privilege. I thank you all from the deepest of my heart."

Ferruccio Furlanetto, who hails from the small Northern Italian town of Sacile, made his professional debut in Lonigo in 1974 as Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto. Within a few years, he had embarked on what has become a legendary operatic career, giving remarkable performances in the world's leading theaters over a span of nearly five decades. Shortly after his American debut in New Orleans, Furlanetto made his San Francisco Opera debut on opening night of the 1979 season. Portraying Alvise in Ponchielli's La Gioconda, he starred alongside Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto in a production that was seen worldwide through live telecast. Furlanetto returned to San Francisco Opera two years later for the new production of Verdi's Aida, a keystone event of Kurt Herbert Adler's final season as general director. Furlanetto joined the cast as Ramfis on the same night that soprano Leontyne Price dramatically stepped in for an ailing colleague on short notice.

On June 29, 2016, Furlanetto brought arguably his most renowned operatic role to life on the War Memorial Opera House stage: the tortured King of Spain, Philip II, in Verdi's Don Carlo. Since 1979, San Francisco Opera audiences have witnessed the great Italian bass in eight iconic portrayals: Alvise (1979); Don Diègue in Massenet's Le Cid (1981); Ramfis (1981); Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor (1981); the title role of Verdi's Attila (2012); Philip II (2016); Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte (2021) and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin (2022).

The San Francisco Opera Medal was inaugurated in 1970 when former General Director Kurt Herbert Adler awarded the first medal to soprano and Company prima donna Dorothy Kirsten. The Opera Medal is the Company's highest honor and has been awarded for distinguished service to San Francisco Opera. Past awardees include vocal soloists such as Samuel Ramey, Marilyn Horne, James Morris and Birgit Nilsson, former music directors Donald Runnicles and Nicola Luisotti, composer John Adams, artist David Hockney and dramaturg Dr. Clifford "Kip" Cranna.



San Francisco Playhouse Resumes Performances Of AS YOU LIKE IT Musical December 3 Photo
San Francisco Playhouse resumes performances of the hit musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's As You Like It at 8pm Saturday, December 3, 2022 following a temporary pause due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the cast. Performances of this imaginative new musical continue through Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Photos: First Look at LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Photo
Get a first look at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's riotous show for the holidays, Little Shop of Horrors, reset in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL to Play Limited Engagements in the SF Bay Area Photo
TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL will play limited engagements at two venues in the San Francisco Bay Area—August 1–27, 2022 San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre, as part of BroadwaySF’s 2022/23 season and August 29–September 3, 2023 at San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts, as part of Broadway San Jose’s 2022/23 season.

Cinnabar Theater To Host A SWINGIN NEW YEARS EVE Concert, December 31 Photo
Petaluma's premier theater company, Cinnabar Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Nathan Cummings and Executive Director Diane Dragone, will host a “Swingin' New Years Eve” concert, Saturday December 31st, at 7:30pm.


More Hot Stories For You


Vallejo Center for the Arts to Present TCHAIKOVSKY'S STAR CROSSED LOVERS in JanuaryVallejo Center for the Arts to Present TCHAIKOVSKY'S STAR CROSSED LOVERS in January
December 4, 2022

The Vallejo Center for the Arts will present a unique musical offering, Tchaikovsky's Star-Crossed Lovers, at the historic Empress Theatre in Vallejo on Saturday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m.

San Francisco Playhouse Resumes Performances Of AS YOU LIKE IT Musical December 3San Francisco Playhouse Resumes Performances Of AS YOU LIKE IT Musical December 3
December 2, 2022

San Francisco Playhouse resumes performances of the hit musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's As You Like It at 8pm Saturday, December 3, 2022 following a temporary pause due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the cast. Performances of this imaginative new musical continue through Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Photos: First Look at LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at TheatreWorks Silicon ValleyPhotos: First Look at LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
December 2, 2022

Get a first look at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's riotous show for the holidays, Little Shop of Horrors, reset in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL to Play Limited Engagements in the SF Bay AreaTINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL to Play Limited Engagements in the SF Bay Area
December 2, 2022

TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL will play limited engagements at two venues in the San Francisco Bay Area—August 1–27, 2022 San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre, as part of BroadwaySF’s 2022/23 season and August 29–September 3, 2023 at San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts, as part of Broadway San Jose’s 2022/23 season.

Natalie Merchant To Bring 2023 U.S. Tour To Byham Theater, April 18Natalie Merchant To Bring 2023 U.S. Tour To Byham Theater, April 18
November 30, 2022

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces that tickets are on sale for Natalie Merchant's concert on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  This event is presented by National Artists.