Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your broadcast opera-tunities for the month:
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA RADIO BROADCASTS
A Masked Ball (Verdi) – A Swedish king laughs off a fortune-teller’s warning of a plot against his life. But when his closest aide discovers the monarch is having an affair with his wife, the threat of assassination becomes real. Nicola Luisotti leads a cast featuring Ramón Vargas, Thomas Hampson (Merola 1980), Dolora Zajick (Adler 1985), and Julianna Di Giacomo (Merola 1999) in her SF Opera debut. Recorded Fall 2014, War Memorial Opera House.
Sun Mar 1 at 8pm on KDFC (also available on-demand at KDFC.com for 4 weeks after airing)
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA GRAND OPERA CINEMA SERIES
In Carmel: Salome (Strauss) – Considered scandalous when it premiered a century ago with its provocative “Dance of the Seven Veils,” this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play has not lost its ability to shock. Set in Biblical times, this erotically charged opera centers on a tangled triangle: the persecuted John the Baptist, a lecherous King Herod and the monarch’s pathologically seductive stepdaughter, Salome. Nadja Michael sings the title role with Greer Grimsley as Jokanaan and Kim Begley as Herod. Production directed by James Robinson with Nicola Luisotti conducting.
Mon Mar 2 at 7pm Golden Bough Playhouse, Monte Verde St. (between 8th and 9th Aves) Carmel, CA (831) 622-0100 http://www.pacrep.org/EncoreFilms
In San Francisco: Rigoletto (Verdi) – This masterpiece brings to life the vivid and compelling story of a vengeful court jester desperately attempting to protect his daughter from disaster. The world-class cast from Fall 2012 features baritone Zeljko Lucic in the title role and the SFO debut of soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda along with tenor Francesco Demuro as the Duke of Mantua. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Tues Mar 24 at 7:15pm and Sat Mar 28 at 10am (program discussion at 9:30am)
Sundance Kabuki Theatre, 1881 Post St., San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA FAMILY OPERA SERIES
The Magic Flute for Families – Bring the whole family on a magical journey with this one hour version of Mozart’s famous opera. The Magic Flute is the charming story of Prince Tamino and bird catcher Papageno’s journey to rescue Pamina, a beautiful princess who has been kidnapped by the magician Sarastro. Along the way they find their true loves and discover the virtues of wisdom and forgiveness. This production was presented for families at San Francisco Opera in 2007 and is in English with English subtitles. Admission is FREE and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open 30 minutes prior and a 15minute live introduction will precede each screening.
Sat March 7 at 3pm – Claremont Branch, Berkeley Public Library, 2940 Benvenue Ave, Berkeley
Sun March 15 at 1pm and 3pm – Children’s Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way, San Jose (museum admission fee required)
Sun March 22 at 4pm – Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto
Mon March 30 at 3:30pm – Walnut Creek Library, 1644 North Broadway, Walnut Creek
PBS – GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET
Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)- The Met’s effervescent production of this classic comedy features some of the most instantly recognizable melodies in opera. Christopher Maltman is the endlessly resourceful and charming barber himself with Isabel Leonard as the feisty Rosina and Lawrence Brownlee as her conspiring flame, Count Almaviva; Michele Mariotti conducts.
Mon Mar 23 at 8pm – KQED Life
Tues Mar 24 at 2am – KQED Life
PBS – GREAT PERFORMANCES
Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages – Luciano Pavarotti extended his presence far beyond the limits of Italian opera. This program celebrates the 50th anniversary since his career debut in Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich and finally London where he substituted for the ailing Giuseppe di Stefano as Rodolfo in La Boheme. It is Pavarotti who brought opera to the masses and made soccer fans worldwide fall in love with “Nessun dorma.” This program includes that hit and other beloved arias from La Boheme, Rigoletto and Aida; Neapolitan songs in arrangements by Henry Mancini including “Mamma” and “O Sole Mio”; favorite sacred songs like “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night”; as well as popular duets with Bono, Sting and Eric Clapton.
Fri Mar 6 at 11pm – KQED 9 and KQED Life
Fri Mar 7 at 5am – KQED 9 and KQED Life
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA: LIVE IN HD
La Donna del Lago (Rossini) – Bel canto superstars Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) and Juan Diego Flórez join forces for this showcase of vocal virtuosity, set in the medieval Scottish highlands and based on a beloved novel by Sir Walter Scott. DiDonato is the “lady of the lake” of the title, and Flórez is the king who relentlessly pursues her, their vocal fireworks embellishing the romantic plot in this Met premiere production conducted by Michele Mariotti. Sat Mar 14 at 9:55am (live) and Wed March 18 at 6:30pm (encore)
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA ON KDFC
Carmen (Bizet) – The steamy melodrama returns with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca singing her signature role of the ill-fated gypsy temptress. Jonas Kaufmann is her desperate lover, the soldier Don Jose, and Ildar Abdrazakov is Escamillo, the swaggering bullfighter that comes between them. Louis Langree conducts. Sat Mar 7 at 10am
La Donna del Lago (Rossini) – Bel canto superstars Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) and Juan Diego Florez join forces for this showcase of vocal virtuosity, set in the medieval Scottish highlands. DiDonato is the title “lady of the lake” and Florez is the king who relentlessly pursues her. Conducted by Michele Mariotti. Sat Mar 14 at 10am
Manon (Massenet) – Vocally high-flying soprano Diana Damrau sings her first Met performances of Massenet’s beguiling heroine opposite ardent tenor Vittorio Grigolo in Laurent Pelly’s elegant production. Conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.
Sat Mar 21 at 10am
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) – Albina Shagimuratova sings bel canto’s unhinged bride, delivering opera’s most thrilling mad scene. Joseph Calleja is her tragic lover. Conducted by Maurizio Benini. Sat Mar 28 at 10am
CAMERA 3 CINEMAS – OPERA IN CINEMA
Tosca (Puccini) – In a mythical yet real Rome, from the shadows of the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle to the terrace of Castello Sant’ Angelo, passions collide and tear all apart, mingling the erotic with the sacred, love with possession, theatre with life. This new production from the Opera de Paris stars Martina Serafin (Tosca), Marcelo Alvarez (Cavaradossi), and Ludovic Tezier (Scarpia). Conducted by Daniel Oren and directed by Pierre Audi.
Sun Mar 15 at 12 noon and Tues Mar 17 at 7:15pm
Camera 3 Entertainment, 288 S. Second St., San Jose
THE ROYAL OPERA IN CINEMA
Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner) – Director Tim Albery’s Olivier Award-nominated production is a darkly insightful account of Wagner’s early masterpiece. Starring Bryn Terfel, Adrianne Pieczonka, and Michael König; conducted by Andris Nelsons.
Sat Mar 21 at 10am Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, 2966 College Avenue (at Ashby) Berkeley
Sun Mar 29 at 11am Clay Theatre 2261 Fillmore St., San Francisco
MEROLA GOES TO THE MOVIES
Manon (Massenet) – Anna Netrebko (Merola 1996) and Rolando Villazón (Merola 1998) shine in this lyrical, passionate love story. Sheltered Manon Lescaut is on her way to a convent when she falls madly in love. Conducted by Daniel Barenboim, this masterwork takes you from the splendors of Paris to the desolation of a Louisiana swamp, all set to Massenet’s ravishing score. Directed by Vincent Paterson at the Staatskapelle Berlin, 2007.
Sun Mar 22 at 1pm Koret Auditorium – SFPL Main Branch, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco
Admission is FREE. Seating is on a first-come basis. Doors open at 12:30 pm.