Backstage at San Francisco Opera > October 2013 > Falstaff: Where You've Seen the Cast Before
Falstaff: Where You've Seen the Cast Before
We here at San Francisco Opera are often asked, "Who was that great singer who played so-and-so in that one opera you did a few years ago? I feel like I have seen them here before." 
Our upcoming production of Falstaff features the San Francisco Opera debut of Italian baritone Fabio Capitanucci in the role of Ford, and is also the first time since 1995 that Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will have graced the War Memorial stage (he was last seen in a gala concert for Charles Mackerras). In addition to these stars, the rest of the Falstaff cast is comprised of incredibly talented artists who have recently appeared on our stage.

For today's photo blog, we highlight each of the artists in Falstaff who has had past roles at San Francisco Opera. This way, when you see the production and think to yourself, "I feel like I've seen them somewhere before...," you'll impress your seatmates by knowing where. [All photos by Cory Weaver.]

Soprano Ainhoa Arteta (Alice Ford) 

Ms. Arteta joins us as Alice Ford, but the Basque soprano made a memorable first impression on San Francisco Opera audiences as Roxane, the love of Cyrano's life, in our 2011 production of Cyrano de Bergerac opposite Placido Domingo.


Soprano Heidi Stober (Nannetta)

American soprano Heidi Stober made her San Francisco Opera debut as Sophie in our 2010 production of Werther, and she has been wowing San Francisco audiences ever since. In addition to performing the role of Susanna in selected performances of The Marriage of Figaro in 2010, in fall 2011 she took on the role of the love-sick Atalanta in Xerxes.

In 2012, Ms. Stober portrayed Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, in Jun Kaneko's fantastical production of The Magic Flute.


Contralto Meredith Arwady (Dame Quickly)

American contralto Meredith Arwady made her San Francisco Opera debut in our 2009 production of Puccini's Il Trittico, portraying the Abbess in Suor Angelica and showing that her comedic talent equals her vocal talent as Zita in Gianni Schicchi, seen above.

Later that season, Ms. Arwady (a Merola alumna) charmed audiences with her hilarious portrayal of the Marquise de Berkenfeld, the wealthy aristocrat in search of the child she gave up for adoption years before, in The Daughter of Regiment.

Tenor Francesco Demuro (Fenton)

Sardinian tenor Francesco Demuro made his San Francisco Opera debut as the seductive man you love to hate, the Duke of Mantua, in our 2012 production of Rigoletto.

Mr. Demuro returned in 2013 to portray the dashing and disguise-prone soldier Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte.

Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier (Meg Page)
Adler Fellow mezzo-soprano Renee Rapier made her San Francisco Opera debut as Giovanna, the maid with somewhat dubious intentions, in our 2012 production of Rigoletto.

Tenor Greg Fedderly (Bardolfo)

American tenor Greg Fedderly has made numerous appearances at San Francisco Opera, in recent years portraying such characters as Pang in our 2011 production of Turandot.

A master of disguise, Mr. Fedderly was almost unrecognizable as the hapless and hysterical Monostatos in our 2012 production of The Magic Flute.

This fall, San Francisco Opera audiences got to see Mr. Fedderly without makeup as he created the role of the fiery and frustrated Detective Thibodeau in the world premiere opera, Dolores Claiborne.

Tenor Joel Sorenson (Dr. Caius)

American tenor Joel Sorenson most recently appeared at San Francisco Opera as Spoletta, one of Scarpia's nefarious henchmen, in our 2012 production of Tosca.


Bass Andrea Silvestrelli (Pistola)

Booming Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli has performed at San Francisco Opera on multiple occasions over the years, including as Fasolt and Hagen in our 2011 Ring Cycle.

In 2009, Silvestrelli was featured in two roles in Il Trittico, including getting to show his comedic talents as Simone in Gianni Schicchi and his dramatic skills as the swarthy sailor Il Talpa in Il Tabarro.

And in 2012, Mr. Silvestrelli portrayed the hired henchman Sparafucile in our production of Rigoletto.


Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.


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