Backstage at San Francisco Opera > August 2012 > A Local Take on the August Issue of Opera News
A Local Take on the August Issue of Opera News
Have you seen the August issue of Opera News? The cover story is called “Opera’s Next Wave: The Voices and Faces of the Future.” It’s a great article, and well worth reading while it’s still out on newsstands. Here at San Francisco Opera, we couldn’t help but swell with pride at how many familiar faces graced the pages of this article. Quite a good number of these up and coming opera stars have performed on the War Memorial Opera House stage in the last several years or are scheduled to make debuts in the near future. Which of these fine young musicians, which Opera News predicts will “break out and become major forces in the field in the coming decade,” have we brought to Bay Area audiences lately? Allow us a trip down memory lane. [Left: Luca Pisaroni in The Marriage of Figaro]


Michael Fabiano
This intense and talented tenor made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2011 starring as Gennaro opposite Renée Fleming in the title role of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia. If you didn’t get enough Fabiano back then, fear not—he’s coming back in less than a week to sing at our free concert at the Stern Grove Festival on August 19. We’re looking forward to hearing Michael’s renditions of some favorite opera arias from Massenet’s Manon, Puccini’s Le Villi and Verdi’s Il Corsaro as well as some stunning duets from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Manon when he pairs up with soprano Leah Crocetto! [Right: Michael Fabiano in Lucrezia Borgia]
Luca Pisaroni
Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni recently appeared at San Francisco Opera as two of our favorite Mozart characters—Masetto in 2007’s Don Giovanni and Figaro in 2010’s The Marriage of Figaro. But our connection with the singer doesn’t end there. We were treated to a surprise visit from Luca last fall when he was in the audience for the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis and Donna DiNovelli’s Heart of a Soldier. Why was he there? Luca’s father-in-law is American baritone Thomas Hampson, a frequent guest at San Francisco Opera and the star of that opera. P.S. Want to see more of Luca’s dogs (see above photo for a cameo appearance in Opera News)? Check out their Facebook page.
Alek Shrader
Who in San Francisco doesn’t know Alek Shrader? If we may, we like to consider this rising star one of our very own. A participant of the Merola Opera Program and a former Adler Fellow, Alek developed some of his operatic star power right here on our stage. From his very first mainstage role (a very small part in Erich Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt), to his unexpected debut as Nemorino in The Elixir of Love when star tenor Ramón Vargas came down with an illness the day of a performance, Bay Area audiences have watched Alek grow swiftly into a star in his own right. Most recently, Alek returned to San Francisco Opera as Tamino in The Magic Flute—and the result was, well…magic. [Left: Alek Shrader in The Magic Flute]
Ailyn Pérez
It was short, but it was sweet. This hot, young soprano has been making quite a few headlines lately for her renditions of such operatic heartbreakers as Violetta Valéry in La Traviata and Mimì in La Bohème. It seems we saw the writing on the wall back in 2009 when we brought her in to sing Violetta in our final La Traviata performance of the summer.

Kate Lindsey
This American mezzo-soprano has been performing to widespread acclaim all over this season—and usually in pants. Her voice type as well as her dynamic stage presence make her a perfect fit for some of the best-known trouser roles in the repertoire such as Cherubino, Hansel and Nicklausse. But when San Francisco Opera audiences met Kate in 2011, she was all woman—bringing to life the beautiful and innocent Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with irresistibly clear-toned singing and spot on comedic timing. [Right: Kate Lindsey with Lucas Meachem in Don Giovanni]
Quinn Kelsey
For fans and patrons of San Francisco Opera, Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey is becoming an increasingly common sight on the War Memorial Opera House stage. A 2002 graduate of the Merola Opera Program, Quinn has returned for five roles in the years since, most recently in a star turn as Ezio in Verdi’s Attila. You’ll have to read the Opera News article to see the extremely kind things veteran Verdian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto—Quinn’s co-star in Attila—had to say about the young singer. It’s enough to make you blush.  Other San Francisco appearances in recent years have included Marcello in La Bohème, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Amonasro in Aida and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. [Left: Quinn Kelsey in Attila]

Michael Christie
This last one isn’t a trick. For those of you trying to rack your brains and remember when this handsome young conductor led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, fret not. He hasn’t yet. Michael Christie, the recently appointed music director for Minnesota Opera, has been forging an adventurous career of challenging 20th and 21st century music, recently including John Adams’ Death of Klinghoffer, John Corigliano and William M. Hoffman’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. His latest world premiere was Kevin Put’s Silent Night, and he will add another to his resume soon—he comes to San Francisco Opera this June to lead the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. [All photos by Cory Weaver]
Posted: 8/10/2012 5:26:15 PM by San Francisco Opera
Filed under: 2011-12Season, 2012-13Season, Adamo, Attila, conductor, DonGiovanni, LucreziaBorgia, SFOHistory, singer, TheGospelOfMaryMagdalene, themagicflute


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