Release date: 5/21/2010

San Francisco Opera Presents Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure June 10-30, War Memorial Opera House
Nina Stemme, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Mark Delavan and Christopher Ventris Headline International Cast

Photos Available
SAN FRANCISCO (May 21, 2010)—San Francisco Opera presents Die Walküre, the second installment of Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) beginning June 10 with five subsequent performances through June 30 at the War Memorial Opera House. Celebrated sopranos Nina Stemme and Eva-Maria Westbroek appear as Brünnhilde and Sieglinde respectively alongside baritone Mark Delavan as Wotan and tenor Christopher Ventris as Siegmund. Maestro Donald Runnicles conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Francesca Zambello directs her new production, which premiered at Washington National Opera in 2007.
Nina Stemme, whose portrayal of Senta in the Company's 2004 production of The Flying Dutchman garnered rave reviews, makes her role debut as Die Walküre’sBrünnhilde. Stemme has previously appeared as Sieglinde in Die Walküre in Cologne, Vienna, Helsinki, Naples and Stockholm, and she performed her first Brünnhilde in Vienna State Opera’s 2009 production of Siegfried. The soprano will return to San Francisco Opera next summer to sing Brünnhilde in the Company’s presentation of Der Ring des Nibelungen. One of the biggest operatic stars of the Netherlands, Eva-Maria Westbroek makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Sieglinde in this production. Westbroek has previously appeared as Sieglinde with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and at the Salzburg, Bayreuth and Aix-en-Provence Festivals; she will reprise the role next season in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Die Walküre directed by Robert Lepage.
British tenor Christopher Ventris, who has starred in San Francisco Opera’s productions of Wagner’s Parsifal and Der Fliegende Holländer, returns to sing Siegmund. An acclaimed Wagnerian tenor, Ventris has performed the role of Siegmund at Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Cologne Opera, and he has previously appeared in the title role of Parsifal in London, Paris, Vienna and Bayreuth and the title role of Lohengrin in Madrid, Bologna, Dallas and Geneva. Former Adler Fellow Mark Delavan, whose Wotan in San Francisco Opera’s Das Rheingold (2008) washailed as "robust and commanding" by the San Francisco Chronicle, returns to the role in Die Walküre. Delavan recently performed Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at Deutsche Oper Berlin with Maestro Runnicles and will return to sing the role in San Francisco Opera’s 2011 presentation of Wagner’s complete Ring cycle.
German mezzo-soprano Janina Baechle makes her U.S. operatic debut as Fricka in this production of Die Walküre. A regular artist at the Vienna State Opera, her many Wagnerian roles with that company have included Ortrud in Lohengrin and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde as well as Fricka and Erda in Das Rheingold and Fricka inDie Walküre. Bass Raymond Aceto returns to San Francsco Opera as Sieglinde’s husband Hunding. He has previously appeared with the Company as the Bonze in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the King of Egypt in Verdi’s Aida, Pietro in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, and Banquo in Verdi’s Macbeth.
Former San Francisco Opera music director and noted Wagnerian Donald Runnicles returns to San Francisco Opera to lead a world-class cast of soloists and the acclaimed San Francisco Opera Orchestra. San Francisco Opera Artistic Adviser and director Francesca Zambello gives this epic tale of a powerful god torn by conflicting loyalties a distinctly American touch in this theatrical and innovative production with sets by Michael Yeargan and costumes by Catherine Zuber. This production of Die Walküre, appearing for the first time in San Francisco after a successful debut at Washington National Opera, will be part of the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen—in addition to Das Rheingold, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung—presented in three cycles in June-July 2011.
San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2010 production of Wagner’s Die Walküre will be recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House and will air on Classical 102.1 KDFC on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at
8 p.m. As program host, popular KDFC radio announcer Dianne Nicolini offers lively introductions to each opera with historic facts and brief plot synopses.
Sung in German with English supertitles, the six performances of Die Walküre are scheduled for June 10 (7 p.m.), June 13 (1 p.m.), June 19 (7 p.m.), June 22 (7 p.m.), June 25 (7 p.m.) and
June 30 (7 p.m.), 2010.
San Francisco Opera Guild Panel Insight Discussion
San Francisco Opera Guild will present an Insight Panel Discussion featuring members of the cast and production team from Die Walküre. The discussion will take place on Monday, June 7 at 6 p.m. in the Herbst Theatre at the War Memorial Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue). Insight panels are free for Opera members and $5 for the general public; tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to the discussion.
Tickets and Information
Tickets for Die Walküre range from $15-360 each and may be purchased online at or from the San Francisco Opera Box Office either in person or by phone at (415) 864-3330. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.
All performances will feature an informative Opera Talk by San Francisco Opera Head of Music Staff John Parr. Talks begin fifty-five minutes before each performance in the orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House and are presented free of charge to patrons with tickets for the corresponding performance.
The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit and
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about Die Walküre and San Francisco Opera’s 2010 summer season, please visit