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.


Join KCSC host Lane Whitesell this Saturday at 11 a.m. for the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of “Khovanshchina,” Mussorgsky’s sweeping epic, set during the reign of Peter the Great. Starring Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as Marfa and tenor Misha Didyk as Prince Andrei.


Baritone Gerald Finley (pictured) performs the title role of Mozart’s unprincipled, womanizing scoundrel in the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of “Don Giovanni,” this Saturday, March 10, at 11 a.m. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts this famous opera where comedy meets tragedy.


Giuseppe Verdi’s vision of ancient Egypt is grandly realized in this Metropolitan Opera broadcast of “Aida,” this Saturday at noon, hosted by KCSC’s Lane Whitesell. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe plays Amneris for the first time for the Met. Soprano Violeta Urmana (pictured) and tenor Marcello Giordani star as the ill-fated lovers.


Soprano Angela Meade (pictured) takes center stage in Saturday’s Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Ernani,” at noon, hosted by KCSC’s Lane Whitesell. Tenors Marcello Giordani and Roberto DeBiasio join all-stars Verdians Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto in Verdi’s early masterpiece.


Baritone Rodion Pogossov takes the stage as Figaro in Saturday’s Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia at noon Saturday, February 18. Soprano Diana Damrau joins the cast in this masterpiece of comedy within music, one of the first operas to be performed in America. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell will be your host. (photo: Rodion Pogossov)

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