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.


Don’t miss Lyric Opera of Chicago noon broadcast of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” The eponymous barber Figaro (baritone Nathan Gunn) is the ultimate fixer in this rollicking comedy. He struts during the famous "Largo al factotum" aria, "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!" He takes sides in a love triangle, helping Count Almaviva (tenor Alek Shrader) woo the beautiful Rosina (mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard) from her lecherous guardian Dr. Bartolo (baritone Alessandro Corbelli). Lane Whitesell hosts.


Waltzes galore and more in this Saturday’s Lyric Opera of Chicago noon broadcast of Johann Strauss Jr.’s “Die Fledermaus,” Two friends angle to "out-prank" each other, a wife contemplates a fling, her maid schemes to break into showbiz, and Vienna's favorite prince encourages us all to party on! Featuring soprano Juliane Banse and baritone Bo Skovhus. Lane Whitesell hosts.


It’s Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” this Saturday at noon presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago. Meet Violetta, the most desirable courtesan in Paris. Sought after by society's most important men and wealthy in her own right, she is perfectly content-until she falls in love with Alfredo Germont whose family disapproves. Will their love survive? The opera features Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka as Violetta and Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as Alfredo. Lane Whitesell hosts.


The sacred and the profane vie for supremacy in Wagner's final, revelatory masterpiece, “Parsifal,” presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago. An elite cadre of knights is charged with guarding the Holy Grail, but their power is lost when their king succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh. Can the innocent wanderer Parsifal bring salvation? Tenor Paul Groves is featured as Parsifal and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas plays Kundry. The broadcast begins at noon and is hosted by Lane Whitesell.


She watches the harbor every day hoping he'll return, and finally, he does. But he's back with a new American wife, crushing the geisha's heart-and ours. Shunned by her family, shamed in her community, and rejected by the man she loves, Butterfly sees only one way out. This Saturday at noon, tune in to hear Lyric Opera of Chicago's broadcast of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly," featuring a most memorable character marvelously sung and fully realized by soprano Patricia Racette. Lane Whitesell hosts

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