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 us at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16th for the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Riccardo Zandonai’s rarely performed opera, “Francesca Da Rimini,” starring soprano Eva-Maria Westbrook as the title heroine and Marcello Giordani, Robert Brubaker, and Mark Delavan. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.


The Metropolitan Opera broadcast begins early this weekend so tune in at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 9 for Nicholas Hytner’s powerful production of Verdi’s epic vision of the Spanish Inquisition, “Don Carlos.” The broadcast features a strong cast including Ramon Vargas (pictured) in the title role joined by Barbara Frittoli, Anna Smirnovo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and others.


The Metropolitan Opera broadcast begins a little earlier at 11 a.m. this Saturday, March 2. Join us for a new production of Richard Wagner’s final masterpiece, “Parsifal,” starring a dream cast: baritone Jonas Kaufmann as Parsifal (pictured), Peter Mattei as Amfortas, and soprano Katarina Dalayman as Kundry.


Tune in at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 23 for the Metropolitan Opera hit production and broadcast of Bizet’s “Carmen,” starring Anita Rachvelishvili as the sultry gypsy and Nikolai Schukoff performing the role of Don Jose, the soldier who’s doomed love for Carmen destroys them both. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.


Michael Mayer’s bold new production of “Rigoletto” locates Verdi’s tragedy of lust, betrayal and revenge to 1960 Las Vegas, broadcast by the Metropolitan Opera this Saturday, February 16 at noon. The performance stars Zeljko Lucic in the title role, with Diana Damrau as his beautiful daughter and Piotr Beczala as the womanizing duke. KCSC’s Lane Whitesell hosts.

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