KUCO presents:   San Francisco Opera

A leader among international opera companies for nine decades, San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953) and incorporated in 1923. The Company's first performance took place on September 26, 1923 in the City's Civic Auditorium. Originally presented over two weeks, San Francisco Opera's season now contains approximately 75 performances of ten operas between September and July.

Since 1923, San Francisco Opera has presented the United States debut performances of numerous artists, including Vladimir Atlantov, Piotr Beczala, Marie Collier, Mafalda Favero, Tito Gobbi, Sena Jurinac, Anna Netrebko, Leontyne Price, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Renata Tebaldi, and Ingvar Wixell; conductors Marco Armiliato, Valery Gergiev, Charles Mackerras, Georg Solti, and Silvio Varviso; and directors Francis Ford Coppola, Harry Kupfer, and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

Since its inception, San Francisco Opera has embodied a spirit of innovation by presenting the world premieres of Blood Moon (1961), Angle of Repose (1976), The Dangerous Liaisons (1994), A Streetcar Named Desire (1998), Dead Man Walking (2000), Arshak II (2001) and Doctor Atomic (2005). Under David Gockley’s leadership, the Company has added five new operas to that list: Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton’s Appomattox (2007); Stewart Wallace and Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2008); Christopher Theofanidis and Donna Di Novelli’s Heart of a Soldier (2011); Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison's The Secret Garden (2013), a co-commission with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley; and Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene(2013).

In 2007, San Francisco Opera  created the Koret-Taube Media Suite. The first permanent high-definition broadcast-standard video production facility installed in any American opera house, the Koret-Taube Media Suite gives the Company the permanent capability to produce simulcasts and other projects including OperaVision, where retractable screens provide full stage, close-up and mid-range ensemble shots in high-definition video for patrons in balcony seats. In 2007, San Francisco Opera also launched radio partnerships the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago, returning regular San Francisco Opera broadcasts to the national and international radio airwaves for the first time in 25 years.


Post-opera programming is locally produced by volunteer Lane Whitesell

Opera Links

     Austin Lyric Opera www.austinlyricopera.com

     Dallas Opera www.dallasopera.org

     Houston Grand Opera www.houstongrandopera.org/

     San Antonio Opera www.saopera.com

     Santa Fe Opera www.santafeopera.org

     Tulsa Opera  www.tulsaopera.com

     Wichita Grand Opera  www.wichitagrandopera.org

Opera in HD

Click here for theater showtimes and ticket information.


The tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet inspired some of Shakespeare’s finest verse and some of Vincenzo Bellini’s most beautiful melodies. Join us this Saturday at noon for the San Francisco Opera broadcast of Bellini’s “The Capulets and the Montagues.” This bel canto masterpiece features international stars Joyce DiDonato and Nicole Cabell. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell is your host.


San Francisco Opera presents Die Walkure, the second installment of Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen this Saturday, August 31 at noon. Celebrated sopranos Nina Stemme and Eva-Marie Westbroek star as Brunnhilde and Sieglinde respectively alongside baritone Mark Delavan as Wotan and tenor Christopher Ventris as Siegmund.


Join us Saturday at noon for one of opera’s most popular, and yet intense dramas, “Tosca,” a passionate tale set to some of Puccini’s most openly beautiful and passionate music. The LA Opera broadcast stars Sondra Radvanovsky as Floria Tosca, Marco Berti as Mario Cavaradussi, and Lado Ataneli as Baron Scarpia.


LA Opera brings you the broadcast of Rossini’s warmhearted retelling of “Cinderella,” this Saturday at noon. The delightfully romantic comedy is brought to life by the dazzling vocal fireworks of an exciting young cast including mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Angelina/Cinderella and tenor Rene Barbera as the prince. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell is your host.


The legend of a ghostly ship condemned to wander the oceans forever has fascinated opera lovers. Join us Saturday, Aug. 10, at noon for the LA Opera broadcast of “The Flying Dutchman,” Richard Wagner’s enthralling score, conducted by James Conion, one of the foremost Wagner interpreters of our times. Stars baritone Tomas Tomasson as the Dutchman.

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