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.


Saturday’s Houston Grand Opera broadcast presents one of Mozart’s masterpieces, “Don Giovanni,” starring baritone Adrian Erod, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and soprano Rachel Willis-Sorensen. Mozart’s alternately playful and powerful music illustrates the story of Don Juan with charm, wit, and the gravity of impending doom. Join KCSC’s host Lane Whitesell at noon.


Join us at noon Saturday, November 16 for the Houston Grand Opera broadcast of one of George Frideric Handel’s most popular operas, “Xerxes.” Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham leads an all-star cast, including counter-tenor David Daniels, in this tale of entangled love set in a garden. Lane Whitesell is your host.


Join us this Saturday, November 9 for the Houston Grand Opera broadcast of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” starring soprano Tamara Wilson as Leonara, the noble lady in love with the troubadour and officer, Manrico, sung by Italian tenor Marco Berti. Lane Whitesell is your host at noon.


This week’s Houston Grand Opera broadcasts brings you Giochino Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” the brilliant production and madcap comedy starring mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona as Isabella; tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Lindoro; and bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi as Mustafa. Tune in at noon Saturday, November 2. Lane Whitesell is your host.


This week’s broadcast from San Francisco Opera comes from the archived 1974 production of Verdi’s “Luisa Miller,” starring tenor Luciano Pavarotti and soprano Katia Ricciarelli as Rodolfo and Luisa, respectively. This was Pavarotti's debut performance in the role. Lane Whitesell hosts at noon.

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