By Cicero A. Estrella
Keep the theater binoculars and the fancy duds stashed. There’s no need for them yet.
But opera lovers need no longer pine for their favorite productions. They are on their way to you.
“Opera Is ON,” the San Francisco Opera’s online series, continues in October with three classic performances from the last decade—Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro).
The presentations, all filmed live in high-definition at the War Memorial Opera House, will be available to stream at sfopera.com.
San Francisco Opera launched the series in April to keep its worldwide audience engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each performance will be available to the general public for 38 hours during designated dates, but current SF Opera subscribers and members (donors of $75 and up) will retain access to the streamed events after those windows of access.
Tosca will stream October 10-11; Attila on October 17-18; and Le Nozze di Figaro on October 24-25. Public access will begin at 10 a.m. on the first dates and run until 11:59 p.m. on the second dates. Each of the operas are performed in Italian with English subtitles.
The Tosca presentation is from the SF Opera’s 2014 revival starring Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian as the diva Floria Tosca, tenor Brian Jagde as her lover Mario Cavradossi and baritone Mark Delavan as the villain Baron Scarpia. It was directed by Jose Maria Condemi, and Italian maestro Riccardo Frizza was the conductor.
Milan’s Teatro alla Scala co-produced the 2012 performance of Attila, with Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto in the title role of the legendary fifth-century ruler of the Huns. He was supported by American bass Samuel Ramey (Leone), Venezuelan soprano Lucrecia Garcia (Odabella), American baritone Quinn Kelsey (Ezio) and Mexican tenor Diego Torre (Foresto). Gabriele Lavia was the director, and Nicola Luisotti the conductor.
Philippe Sly (Figarro), the Canadian bass-baritone and former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, and American soprano Lisette Oropesa (Susanna) led the cast of the 2015 performance of Le Nozze di Figaro. Patrick Summers conducted and Robin Guarino directed the production, which also starred Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Count Almaviva), American soprano Nadine Sierra (Countess Rosina).
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Photo by Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera