Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu knows a thing or two about Alfredo Germont—the dashing young man who falls in love with, is heart-broken by, reconnects with, and ultimately loses the love of his life. He has performed La Traviata
around the world at many of the most important opera houses and opposite some of opera's most saught-after leading ladies as the fickle, beautiful and terminally ill courtesan Violetta. He returns to San Francisco Opera to perform the role with Nicole Cabell as Violetta and Vladamir Stoyanov as Giorgio Germont. What has Saimir learned from his many portrayals of Alfredo? We asked him 5 questions to find out.
Posted: 06/10/2014 by
Saimir Pirgu (Alfredo, La Traviata)
American soprano Heidi Stober makes her role debut as the innocent, but resilient Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat
. Heidi made her San Francisco Opera debut in the 2010-11 Season as Sophie in Werther
and has since returned as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro
, Atalanta in Xerxes
, Pamina in The Magic Flute
and Nannetta in Falstaff
. Currently a principal artist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Heidi took time out of her busy performance schedule to answer our five questions. Take a look and be sure to catch her thrilling performance in Show Boat
at San Francisco Opera this summer.
Posted: 06/04/2014 by
Heidi Stober (Magnolia, Show Boat)
You might know actress Harriet Harris from her recurring roles on hit TV shows like Frasier
, Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal, Nurse Betty
, and more. Or from her many feature films, or her Tony Award-winning turn on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie
. But one place that Harris has yet to make her debut is on the San Francisco Opera stage, which she will do in this summer's grand production of Show Boat.
In today's blog post, we ask Harris six questions about her experience here at San Francisco Opera.
Posted: 06/03/2014 by
Harriet Harris (Parthy Anne Hawks, Show Boat)
John Bolton is one of a number of "triple threats" in the cast of Show Boat.
A staple on Broadway stages, Bolton has brought characters as diverse as King Arthur in Spamalot
, the Evil Critic in Curtains
, and The Old Man (the dad) in A Christmas Story: The Musical
to Broadway audiences. But the Great White Way is not the only place you may have seen John Bolton. No matter what your taste in television, chances are you've been addicted to at least one of the shows he's been on--whether it's HBO's Boardwalk Empire
where he portrays Carl Switzer, the CW's Gossip Girl
where he spent four seasons as Bruce Caplan, or The Good Wife
, Law and Order
or even All My Children
and As the World Turns
. But this month Bolton is here in San Francisco starring as comedian, singer, dancer and all around good guy Frank Schultz in Show Boat.
We can assure you that what he's bringing to this production is unlike anything the War Memorial Opera House stage has seen. And we mean that in a good way!
Posted: 05/31/2014 by
John Bolton (Frank, Show Boat)
“Ol' Man River” is arguably the most recognizable tune in all of Show Boat. What’s it like to interpret a song that the entire audience likely knows and has heard their entire life?
Well, honestly, as a Bass it's quite rare to have the "hit tune" as a responsibility. With that responsibility comes a tremendous amount of pressure to deliver the goods. I liken it to the pressure of singing "Nessun Dorma" in Turandot
or "Celeste Aida" in Aida
, "Pace Pace mio Dio" from Forza
or "Der Holle Rache" from Die Zauberflote
. People know it's coming and everyone has an ear for their FAVORITE interpretation of the piece. I can't compete with those preferences (Robeson, Warfield etc.), so I just try to be honest and in the moment. Certain nights may be different vocally because things change according to how one is feeling physically etc. But an honest offering, full of emotion and connection to the music and lyrics is the best one can give. Astute audiences pick up on that, and they are usually quite appreciative.
Posted: 05/27/2014 by
Morris Robinson (Joe, Show Boat)