By Cicero A. Estrella
The San Francisco Opera has been busily providing opera lovers with online encores of classic performances during the coronavirus-forced shutdown. It’s now ready to showcase some new performances.
Celebrating the Voices of San Francisco Opera will feature freshly recorded performances by some of opera’s greatest singers and instrumentalists, as well as conversations about works planned for future SF Opera seasons. The 90-minute event will stream for free on Dec. 4 through 6.
“This concert is a celebration of the amazingly talented people whose artistry defines us,” general director Matthew Shilvock said. “Our concert is a reminder of how moving it is when artists make music together in the same venue—the intimate intensity of song. We will explore the behind-the-scenes work underway to prepare sets and costumes that will shape our return to live performances.”
The event will feature the company’s artists performing in a variety of musical spaces and configurations. Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, tenor Michael Fabiano and baritone Artur Rucinski will be accompanied on piano by SF Opera music director Nicola Luisotti for performances of Italian repertory favorites from Madrid’s Teatro Real stage.
Additional arias were filmed at the Berlin State Opera and in Auckland, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Other featured artists include sopranos Janai Brugger and Amina Edris, mezo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Pene Pati, bass-baritone Alfred Walker and instrumentalists from the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and more.
Shilvock and music director designate Eun Sun Kim will co-host the event. Kim and director Matthew Ozawa will discuss Beethoven’s Fidelio, the production that was postponed because of the pandemic.
“I am so grateful to all those whose talents are coming together to bring opera alive in this program and our passionately supportive community whose belief in us in ensuring a thrilling future for San Francisco Opera under the baton of Eun Sun Kim,” Shilvock said.
The program—which will be streamed for free on their website, YouTube and Facebook—is part of Opera is ON, the company’s digital initiative. After the free streaming dates, the program, as well as the previously streamed classic performances, will be available to donors of $75 or more, and to all San Francisco Opera subscribers and members.
For more information, visit SFOpera.com.
Photos: San Francisco Opera