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.


Tune in at noon for the Lyric Opera of Chicago broadcast of Andre Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire," based on the book by Tennesee Williams. A Lyric Opera premiere, "Streetcar" stars Renee Fleming as Blanche DuBois, Susanna Phillips as Stella, and Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Stanley. KCSC's Lane Whitesell hosts.


Join us this Saturday, June 29 at noon for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and experience a world where murder’s a sport and debauchery’s a way of life. Baritone Zeljko Lucic (pictured) shares the stage as Rigoletto with soprano Albina Shagimuratova as Gilda and tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as the Duke. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.


Saturday, June 22 marks the return of Wagner’s richly human comedy of manners, “Die Meistersinger,” a broadcast of the Lyric Opera of Chicago beginning at noon. Tenors James Morris and Johan Botha star along with soprano Amanda Majeski and baritone Bo Skovhus. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.


The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Puccini’s “La Boheme,” this Saturday at noon, starring soprano Anna Netrebko in her Lyric debut as the sickly seamstress Mimi and tenor Joseph Calleja as the impoverished poet Rodolfo. Follow this famous tale of love and loss among the young inhabitants of the Latin Quarter in mid-19th century Paris with KCSC host Lane Whitesell.


Double header for this Saturday’s noon opera schedule! First, you’ll hear soprano Christine Goerke make her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in the title role of Richard Strauss’ “Elektra.” Next, tune in to Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” starring mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Hansel and soprano Maria Kanyova as Gretel. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.

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