Posted by Zach Dumas on 08/18/2011

The grandest of grand operas, a brilliant balance of spectacular pageantry and emotional intimacy, returns to San Francisco Opera for the first time in nearly a decade. A bitter love triangle plays itself out against a backdrop of war and cultural oppression in this compelling tale of conflicting loyalties and forbidden passion.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti, the Company’s "ideal new maestro" (The New York Times), leads the first of two extraordinary casts in an "eye-popping production" (Houston Chronicle) created by legendary British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

The cast features soprano Micaela Carosi, "a noble, full-hearted diva of considerable power" (The Times of London) in the title role, along with Marcello Giordani, "arguably the greatest leading tenor of his generation" (Opera News) and mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, who is "unequaled in major Verdi roles" (Washington Post). Baritone Marco Vratogna, whose “striking infusion of vocal power and theatrical electricity” as Iago (San Francisco Chronicle) thrilled San Francisco audiences in 2009’s Otello, sings Amonasro. Bass Hao Jiang Tian sings Ramfis, returning to San Francisco Opera after his triumphant debut as Chang the Coffin Maker in The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2008).