Broadcasts – October 2016

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your broadcast opera-tunities for the month:

The Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc) – 1982 archival performance starring Leontyne Price (Madame Lidoine), Virginia Zeani (Mother Marie), Betsy Norden (Sister Constance), Régine Crespin (Madame de Croissy), Carol Vaness (Merola 1976, Blanche), Howard Hensel (Chevalier de la Force), Eric Halfvarson (Marquis de la Force); conducted by Henry Lewis.
Sat Oct 1 at 10am on

Carmen (Bizet) – Irene Roberts (Carmen), Brian Jagde (Adler 2010-12, Don José), Ellie Dehn (Micaëla), Zachary Nelson (Escamillo), Amina Edris (Adler 2016, Frasquita), Renée Rapier (Adler 2013, Mercédès), Edward Nelson (Adler 2016, Moralès), Brad Walker (Adler 2016, Zuniga), Alex Boyer (Merola 2007, El Remendado), Daniel Cilli (El Dancairo); conducted by Carlo Montanaro.  Recorded Summer 2016, WMOH.
Sun Oct 2 at 8pm on KDFC
(also available on-demand at for four weeks after airing)
Sat Oct 8 at 10am on

Don Carlo (Verdi) – Michael Fabiano (Don Carlo), Ana María Martínez (Elisabetta), Nadia Krasteva (Princess Eboli), Mariusz Kwiecien (Rodrigo), René Pape (Filippo II), Andrea Silvestrelli (The Grand Inquisitor), Matthew Stump (Adler 2016, A Monk), Nian Wang (Adler 2016, Tebaldo), Pene Pati (Adler 2016, Count Lerma); Toni Marie Palmertree (Adler 2016, Heavenly Voice); conducted by Nicola Luisotti.  Recorded Summer 2016, WMOH
Sat Oct 15 at 10am on

Jenůfa (Janacek) – Malin Byström (Jenufa), Karita Mattila (Kostelnicka), William Burden (Merola 1991, Laca Klemen ), Scott Quinn (Merola 2011, Steva Buryja), Jill Grove (Merola 1995, Grandmother Buryjovka), Matthew Stump (Adler 2016, Foreman), Anthony Reed (Adler 2016, Mayor), Julie Adams (Adler 2016, Karolka), Toni Marie Palmertree (Adler 2016, Barena), Zanda Švede (Adler 2016, Mayor’s Wife), Laura Krumm (Adler 2013, Maid), Sarah Tucker (Jano); conducted by Jirí Belohlávek.  Recorded Summer 2016, WMOH.
Sat Oct 22 at 10am on

Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) – Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton (Adler 1997) as Tristan with Nina Stemme as Isolde in Wagner’s breathtaking meditation on love and death. Mariusz Trelinski‘s new Met production also stars Ekaterina Gubanova as Brangäne, Evgeny Nikitin as Kurwenal, and René Pape as King Marke. Sir Simon Rattle conducts.
Sat Oct 8 at 9am (live) and Wed Oct 12 at 6:30pm (encore)

Don Giovanni (Mozart) – Simon Keenlyside makes his Met role debut as the unrepentant seducer in Michael Grandage’s production that also includes Hibla Gerzmava as Donna Anna, Malin Byström as Donna Elvira, Adam Plachetka as Leporello, Serena Malfi as Zerlina, Matthew Rose as Masetto, Paul Appleby as Don Ottavio, and Kwangchul Youn as the Commendatore. Fabio Luisi conducts.
Sat Oct 22 at 9:55am (live) and Wed Oct 26 at 6:30pm (encore)

The Enchanted Island – The Met’s Baroque pastiche fantasy brings together some of the greatest arias and ensembles of Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, and other composers with Shakespeare’s The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  With David Daniels as the magician Prospero, Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) as the sorceress Sycorax, Plácido Domingo as Neptune, Luca Pisaroni as Caliban, and Danielle de Niese as Ariel. William Christie conducts.
Sat Oct 8 potluck at 12noon followed by DVD presentation at 2pm
10350 Cabrillo Hwy, 3 miles south of Pescadero Road (look for the American flag)

Manon Lescaut (Puccini) – Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann star as the ill-fated lovers in Puccini’s passionate adaptation of the classic novel about a free-spirited country girl. Sir Richard Eyre‘s 1940s-inspired production also stars Massimo Cavalletti as Manon’s cousin, Lescaut, and Brindley Sherratt as Geronte, her wealthy older lover. Fabio Luisi conducts.
Sun Oct 9 at 8pm and Mon Oct 10 at 2am – KQED Life

Elektra (R. Strauss) – Soprano Nina Stemme portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance with legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier as her fearsome mother, Klytämnestra, and soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass Eric Owens as her troubled siblings. The late Patrice Chéreau‘s production was directed by Vincent Huguet and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Sun Oct 30 at 9pm and Mon Oct 31 at 3am – KQED Life


Norma (Bellini) – This new production by Àlex Ollé of La Fura dels Baus gives the opera a contemporary setting against a backdrop of a cruel civil war, and focuses on the opera’s exploration of the conflict between an individual’s own desires and those of her society – and of religion as a force for unity and for destruction. Antonio Pappano conducts a wonderful cast led by Sonya Yoncheva (Norma), Joseph Calleja (Pollione) and Sonia Ganassi (Adalgisa).
Thurs Oct 13 at 1pm and 7pm
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood 2966 College Ave., Berkeley
Rialto Cinemas El Cerrito 10070 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito
Rialto Cinemas Sebastopol 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol


Fidelio (Beethoven) – Based on Jean-Nicolas Bouilly’s Leonore, or The Triumph of Married Love, Beethoven’s only opera takes its inspiration from a true revolutionary French anecdote: a woman, disguised as a prison guard, rescues her husband from death in a political prisonThis new production from the 2015 Salzburg Festival directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Franz Welser-Möst stars Jonas Kaufmann as Florestan, Adrianne Pieczonka as Leonore, Tomasz Konieczny as Don Pizarro and Hans-Peter König as Rocco.
Sun Oct 16 and Tues Oct 18 Camera 3 Entertainment, 288 S. Second St., SJ
Sat Oct 29 at 7pm Jarvis Conservatory 1711 Main St., Napa


Classes, Lectures, and Workshops – October 2016

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your educational opera-tunities for the month:

Metropolitan Opera Season – Rossmoor Opera Club president Diane Mauch leads this course on the first five Met Opera Live in HD  transmissions – Tristan und Isolde, Don Giovanni, L’Amour de Loin, Nabucco, and Romeo et Juliette.  Whether you are a newcomer to opera or a veteran, here’s a chance to deepen your appreciation of its irresistible mix of music, drama, and visual splendor.
$60 for OLLI & ROC members; $84 for nonmembers.
Friday afternoons, 1 – 3pm Sept 30; Oct 7, 21 & 28; Nov 11 (no class Oct 14 or Nov 4)
Fireside Room, Gateway Complex, 1001 Golden Rain Rd., Walnut Creek

All About Don Pasquale – In this workshop, participants will explore the music, characters and story of Donizetti’s boisterously comic opera through theater and music activities. Director Laurent Pelly’s topsy-turvy production with rotating set and inventive 20th-century costumes perfectly capture the farcical fun.  The whole family is sure to enjoy the twists and turns of this romantic comedy.  $10 fee
Sun Oct 2; 11am – 12pm or 12:30 – 1:30pm
Bryan Education Studio – 4th Floor Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Ninety-minute sessions by noted musicologists, composers, librettists, and singers, locally sponsored by SF Opera Guild Chapters and the San Jose Opera Guild. These lectures explore each opera’s historical and musical context as well as musical and dramatic challenges.
The Makropulos Case with Dr. Richard Taruskin
Women in Peril, the plights of the women of Aida, Madame Butterfly, Rigoletto and La Bohème, with Dr. Alexandra Amati-Camperi

The Makropulos Case: Mon Oct 3
Women in Peril: Mon Oct 24
7pm complimentary refreshments, 7:30pm lecture; $10 fee
The Redwoods, 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley

The Makropulos Case: Tues Oct 4
Women in Peril: Tues Oct 25
12noon *FREE* Koret Auditorium, SFPL Main Branch 100 Larkin St., SF

The Makropulos Case: Wed Oct 5
Women in Peril: Wed Oct 26
10am; FREE to SJOG and JCC members, $10 for general public
Addison-Penzak JCC Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Rd., Ste. 201, Los Gatos

The Makropulos Case: Wed Oct 5
Women in Peril: Wed Oct 26
7:30pm check-in and coffee, 8pm lecture; $10 fee
Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

Alumni Artist Insights with tenor Brian Thorsett (Merola 2006), SF Opera orchestra cellist Emil Miland and pianist Richard Masters.
Tues Oct 11, 8 – 10pm Sol Joseph Recital Hall SFCM 50 Oak St., SF

Opera in Performance – Ten classes centered around the three operas in OSB’s 2016-17 season – Carmen, The Cunning Little Vixen, and La Rondine – and the Met Opera Live in HD transmissions of Don Giovanni, Romeo et Juliette, La Traviata, and Der Rosenkavalier. Led by UCSB professor Simon Williams, students will explore each opera’s background and context and take their experience to a whole new level of appreciation and understanding.  Register now.  Classes start Mon Oct 17.  Click on the link above for more information.

Get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative process as singers, directors, conductors and composers share insights about the challenges and rewards of bringing these operas to life. FREE for SFO members, subscribers, and students w/ valid ID; $5 for general public.
Aida (Verdi) – Wed Oct 26 at 6:30pm Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Parsifal – Since its introduction to opera houses beyond Bayreuth, many have shared their insights about what the spiritual and religious meanings are regarding Wagner’s final work. In this talk, Dr. John Mastrogiovanni, theology educator and president of the Wagner Society of Southern California, utilizes Wagner’s own concepts from his letters and prose works to help define the meaning of this amazing “Sacred Stage Drama”.
Free for WSNC members; $10 for non-members
Sat Oct 29 at 10:30am *note early start time* JCC-SF 3200 California St., SF


Tix: Red Chamber, Chenier, Makropulos at SFO

OPERABOBB’S TICKET EXCHANGE — For the admissionally challenged; please communicate directly with the seller.

Dream of the Red Chamber for Sale by Gail Martin
Sun Sep 18 at 2pm, 2 tickets, premium seats in Grand Tier (C17, C19), $214 for each ticket. Email or phone 510-526-5654

For Sale by Tarun – please contact at

Andrea Chenier – Fri Sep 30 at 7:30pm, 2 tickets, Balcony Circle, Row B, $86 each

The Makropulos Case – Fri Oct 14 at 7:30 pm, 2 tickets, Balcony Circle, Row B, $86 each

Email request to and use the following format (it’s more efficient for us this way):

Opera Name for sale (or wanted) by Your Name
Date and time, number of tickets, seat location (plus comment on location if appropriate), your $ charge for the ticket, and how to contact (email and/or telephone)

September Performances

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Labor no more, here are this month’s opera-tunities:

Verismo Opera or 707-864-5508
Il Trovatore (Verdi) – Set in the early 15th century, three intertwining sub-plots tell the story of the revenge-minded gypsy Azucena, the mysterious troubadour Manrico, his rival the Count de Luna, and Leonora, the woman they both love; performed by rotating casts with piano and chamber orchestra. Tickets: $30 General, $25 Seniors, $20 Students (children under 12 yrs free); available through Brown Paper Tickets.
Sat Sep 3 & Sep 10 at 7:30pm; Sun Sep 4 & Sep 11 at 2pm
Bay Area Stage Theater, 515 Broadway St, Vallejo

San Francisco Opera or 415-864-3330
Andrea Chénier (Giordano) – An ardent poet and a young noblewoman are passionately attracted, only to be separated by the turmoil and terror of the French Revolution. Starring tenor Yonghoon Lee in the title role and soprano Anna Pirozzi as his lover Maddalena, with mezzo J’Nai Bridges and baritone George Gagnidze as the servants Bersi and Gérard (all in their SFO debuts); U.S. production premiere directed by David McVicar, Nicola Luisotti conducting.
Fri Sep 9 at 8pm; Wed Sep 14*, Sat Sep 17*, Thu Sep 22*, Fri Sep 30 at 7:30pm; Sun Sep 25* at 2pm
FREE 25-minute pre-opera talks by Philharmonia  Baroque Chorale Director Bruce Lamott begin one hour prior to curtain before every performance (except Opening Night Sep 9)

Dream of the Red Chamber (Bright Sheng) – WORLD PREMIERE of commissioned work with libretto by David Henry Hwang based on the book by Cao Xueqin of the same name, one of China’s greatest classical novels (as famous in China as Romeo and Juliet is in the West) recounting the love triangle between a young nobleman and two very different women: one his spiritual soulmate and the other a beautiful heiress. Featuring sopranos Pureum Jo and Karen Chia-ling Ho, mezzo Hyona Kim, contralto Quilin Zhang, and tenor Yijie Shi in their SFO debuts; also Irene Roberts as Bao Chai; George Manahan conducting.
Sat Sep 19, Tue Sep 13*, Fri Sep 23*, Tue Sep 27, and Thu Sep 29* at 7:30pm; Sun Sep 18* at 2pm
FREE 25-minute pre-opera talks by SFO Dramaturg Kip Cranna begin one hour prior to curtain before every performance

All performances at War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, SF
* OperaVision HD video projection screens featured in Balcony level for this performance

Opera San Jose or 408-437-4450
Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) – Inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor, this tale of two feuding families culminates in the most famous & affecting mad scene in opera. Featuring soprano Sylvia Lee as the fragile young Lucia, tenor Kirk Dougherty as her beloved Edgardo, and baritones Matthew Hanscom & Ricardo Rivera as Lucia’s scheming brother Enrico; conducted by Ming Luke & Dana Sadava.
Sat Sep 10, Thu Sep 15, Fri Sep 23 at 8pm; Sun Sep 11, Sep 18, Sep 25 at 3pm
FREE 60-minute Introduction to the Opera Talks by General Director Larry Hancock begin 90 minutes before each performance
All performances at California Theatre, 345 So First St, San Jose

Bay Shore Lyric Opera
The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) – Final two Opera in the Park performances of this family-friendly masterpiece, sung in Italian with spoken English dialogue. Featuring sopranos Kristin Genis-Lund as Susannah and Jennifer Der Torossian-Studley as the Countess, baritone Julio Ferrari as the Count, and bass-baritone Don Hoffman as Figaro; accompanied by Tamami Honma and members of the Winchester Orchestra, Michael DiGiacinto conducting. *FREE*
Sun Sep 18 at 2pm, Esplanade Stage, 100 Monterey Ave, Capitola
Sun Sep 25 at 2pm, Wildwood Park, 20764 4th Ave, Saratoga

Livermore Valley Opera or 925-373-6800
Der Fliegende Hollander (Wagner) – LVO celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a unique opportunity for Bay Area opera fans to experience this masterpiece in an intimate 500 seat theater, with an all-star cast in role debuts: soprano Marie Plette (Merola 1992) as Senta, tenor David Gustafson as Eric, baritone Eugene Brancoveanu (Adler (2005-06) as Daland, and bass-baritone Philip Skinner (Adler 1986-87) as the Dutchman; Alex Katsman (Merola 1999,2000) conducting.
Sat Sep 24 & Oct 1 at 7:30pm, Sun Sep 25 & Oct 2 at 2pm
Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St, Livermore

Palo Alto Jewish Community Center
The Dybbuk – WEST COAST PREMIERE of multimedia chamber opera by Ofer Ben-Amots, inspired by S. Ansky’s timeless Yiddish play. A young woman, near death, awakens to the whisper of a clarinet. She must choose between life with a man she does not know and death with her beloved, who has possessed her as a dybbuk—a deceased soul who takes possession of a living body.
Sat Sep 24 at 8pm & Sun Sep 25 at 5pm
Schultz Cultural Hall, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

Island City Opera or 510-263-8060
L’heure espagnole (Ravel) / La dame de Monte Carlo (Poulenc) – Baritone Bradley Kynard stars as the muleteer Ramiro in Opera Academy of California’s production of a hilarious farce about a lusty Spanish wife juggling lovers while her husband is preoccupied with clockwork mechanisms; the title can be loosely translated as “How They Make Time in Spain”. Also, soprano Julia Hunt Nielsen performs a 10-minute lyric tragedy about a woman, betrayed by her lovers and luck, who finds refuge in the elation of gambling. Tickets: $35 Adult, $10 Students (Children 12 & under FREE)
Sun Sep 25 at 3pm, Elks Lodge Ballroom, 2255 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda