SAN FRANCISCO OPERA GUILD ANNOUNCES
SUNDOWN AT THE GOLDEN WEST SALOON
A SAN FRANCISCO WELCOME TO MAESTRO NICOLA LUISOTTI
MAY 27, 2010 AT THE BENTLY RESERVE
SAN FRANCISCO, March 2010— Strap on your spurs and lace up your corsets! San Francisco Opera Guild presents Sundown at the Golden West Saloon, A San Francisco Welcome to Maestro Nicola Luisotti, a gala celebrating the opening of the 2010 Summer Season and the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West).
The insight panel at Herbst will be Wednesday, June 2: Insight Panel. This is a great way to see the cast and director in a relaxed and informal situation where the public can ask questions.
The production will run Wednesday June 9 through Friday July 12. Some of the wonderful Adler Fellows will appear. The cast ncludes Maya Lahyani who just triumphed as a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions after her year as a Merolini in San Francisco. Merolini present romantic comedy set in wine country “L’Amico Fritz”
Joining Maya will be Brian Jagde, David Lomeli and Austin Kness.
Note Austin performs with Susannah Biller at the Schwabacher Debut Recital on Sunday, March 28: Schwabacher 2010. He performed with National Council Award winner Alek Shrader last year at an opera salon: Joie de Vivre salon, light and dark.
As for the saloon. The event will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at The Bently Reserve (301 Battery Street) in San Francisco and will honor new San Francisco Opera music director Maestro Nicola Luisotti while enjoying the California Gold Rush theme of The Girl of the Golden West. Guests are invited to embrace the spirit of the old West by dressing in Gold Rush Chic or Black Tie if preferable. All proceeds support the award-winning education and community outreach programs of San Francisco Opera Guild that reach more than 50,000 young people in 200 schools throughout Northern California every year.
The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception complete with libations from the Sierra Madre and a silent wine auction. With decor designed by Blueprint Studios, patrons of this unique celebration will be transported back to the Old West circa 1850, with its legendary gold miners, outlaws and frontier women in pursuit of fame, fortune and gold. At 8:00 p.m. guests will enter the hall to enjoy a sumptuous dinner by McCall Associates, a brief live auction, a celebratory tribute in honor of Maestro Luisotti and the 100th Anniversary of Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West, and dancing. Event honorary chairmen are John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn and event co-chairs are Chandra Friese and Linda Elliott Zider.
Opening on June 9, Giacomo Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) returns home to San Francisco for the first time in three decades in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Based on the play by San Francisco native David Belasco, Puccini’s great California Gold Rush opera, La Fanciulla tells the story of a crafty criminal, a suspicious sheriff and a bold frontier woman with a tender heart. Powerhouse soprano Deborah Voigt headlines a superb cast singing the role of Minnie for the first time.
Baritone Roberto Frontali appears as Sheriff Jack Rance and tenor Salvatore Licitra makes his Company debut as the cunning bandit Dick Johnson. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti leads Puccini’s lush score and Giuseppe Finzi conducts the final performance. San Francisco Opera’s 2010 Summer Season runs June 5–July 2 at the War Memorial Opera House and also features Charles François Gounod’s Faust and Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre.
Placido Domingo stars in an interesting DVD of the Met’s production of La Fanciulla, from www.Kultur.com.
Tickets and Information
Individual tickets for Sundown at the Golden West Saloon are priced from $475 to $5,000 and tables for ten are priced from $4,750 to $25,000. All tickets are available through San Francisco Opera Guild. For tickets or more information, please call (415) 565-3204 or visit https://sfopera.ejoinme.org/SpringGala. All proceeds from Sundown at the Golden West Saloon support the education and community outreach programs of San Francisco Opera Guild.
Sundown at the Golden West Saloon is generously supported by Bonhams & Butterfields, Scharffenberger Cellars and United Airlines.
About San Francisco Opera Guild
San Francisco Opera Guild was founded in 1939 to further musical education and appreciation and to sponsor and give assistance to operatic and musical education programs. Each year, more than 50,000 young people in more than 200 schools are introduced to opera through the work of the Guild. San Francisco Opera Guild strives to make opera accessible to everyone through its programs in schools, hospitals, senior centers and theaters, as well as special dress rehearsals in the War Memorial Opera House. The Opera Guild’s education fund, “A Gift for All Seasons,” was established in 1995 to provide permanent funding resources necessary to ensure the continuation of these programs for young people throughout Northern California. This professionally managed education endowment generates income to support programs such as Opera à la Carte, student dress rehearsals, and other education programs. Student dress rehearsals for the 2009–10 season have included The Daughter of the Regiment, Otello and will continue this summer with Faust and The Girl of the Golden West.
About Nicola Luisotti
Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti, music director of San Francisco Opera and principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony, made his international debut in 2002 leading a new production of Il Trovatore at the Stuttgart State Theater. His career trajectory since then can only be described as meteoric, with engagements in the world’s major opera houses and concert halls.
Maestro Luisotti made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2005 conducting La Forza del Destino and, following the announcement of his appointment as music director in 2007, he returned to the Company in November 2008 for critically acclaimed performances of La Bohème. In his inaugural season as music director, Luisotti has already conducted acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore, Salome, and Otello this past fall, and he leads La Fanciulla del West in the summer of 2010.
He has garnered enthusiastic praise from critics and audiences for his work at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore); the Metropolitan Opera (La Bohème, Tosca); Paris Opera (La Traviata, Tosca); the Vienna State Opera (Simon Boccanegra); Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice (Un Ballo in Maschera, La Fanciulla del West, La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Il Viaggio a Reims); Venice’s La Fenice (Madama Butterfly); Munich’s Bavarian State Opera (Macbeth, Tosca); Frankfurt Opera (Il Trittico); Madrid’s Teatro Real (Il Trovatore, La Damnation de Faust); Los Angeles Opera (Carmen, Pagliacci); Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company (Un Ballo in Maschera); Seattle Opera (Macbeth); and in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall (Turandot, Tosca, La Bohème, and Don Giovanni). Upcoming opera engagements include Salome at Bologna’s Teatro Comunale, Così fan tutte in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and Aida at the Royal Opera. In future seasons, he returns to the podium at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, among others.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Maestro Luisotti has established growing relationships with the orchestras of Tokyo (NHK Symphony, Tokyo Symphony), London (Philharmonia Orchestra), Genoa, Budapest, Munich (Bavarian Radio Orchestra), Rome (Santa Cecilia Orchestra), Zagreb, Sofia, and Hamburg. In conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Luisotti led special concerts in Beijing featuring artists Renée Fleming, Sumi Jo, Ramón Vargas, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. He made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic conducting Dvorák’s Requiem in December 2007 and will return to lead the orchestra in future seasons. Luisotti made successful debuts with the orchestras of San Francisco, London, and Atlanta in 2009, and his upcoming orchestral engagements include concerts with orchestras of Milan, Turin, and Frankfurt.
The conductor’s expanding discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic) with the orchestra of Trieste’s Teatro Verdi and the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon), featuring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. He is also on the podium of a DVD recording of the Met’s La Bohème, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas (EMI).
Born in the Tuscan city of Viareggio and raised nearby, Luisotti began studying music as a child, with lessons on the church organ; by age eleven he was the director of the church choir. He later trained as a pianist, with secondary degrees in composition, trumpet, and voice. Following completion of his formal study, Luisotti’s first professional years were spent working in Milan, where he was a rehearsal pianist for La Scala, and in Florence, where he served as a member of the chorus of the Maggio Musicale Festival. His earliest full-time position was as chorus master for La Fenice in Venice.
For more information on the San Francisco Opera Center and the Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program, visit www.sfopera.com.
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