Release date: 9/13/2010

San Francisco Opera Presents Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, September 21-October 22, War Memorial Opera House

Luca Pisaroni and Danielle de Niese Star, Music Director Nicola Luisotti Conducts

Director John Copley Celebrates His 30th San Francisco Opera Engagement

Photos Available


SAN FRANCISCO (September 3, 2010)—San Francisco Opera presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s eternally popular comedy Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) in nine performances running September 21–October 22 at the War Memorial Opera House. A cast of vivid characters is headlined by soprano Danielle de Niese in her highly-anticipated Company debut as Susanna and young Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as Figaro. American soprano Ellie Dehn debuts as the Countess Almaviva and Lucas Meachem is her philandering husband. Making her Company debut as Cherubino is Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier. Performing in the final three performances of this production are Kostas Smoriginas as Figaro, Heidi Stober as Susanna and Trevor Scheunemann as Count Almaviva. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the Company’s beloved production directed by John Copley.
Vocally and visually stunning lyric soprano Danielle de Niese brings one of her signature roles to San Francisco Opera for her Company debut as the beautiful maid Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Of her recent appearance in the role at the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Times wrote: “Most notably Danielle de Niese, a natural comic actress . . . brought an ebullient playfulness to the role.” After she reprised the role at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New City Stage wrote: “Soprano Danielle de Niese, the reigning Mozart soprano extraordinaire, is a sexy Susanna who not only sings rapturously but who brings layers of meaning to her every action.” In addition to her acclaimed performances as Susanna in New York and Chicago, de Niese’s credits include the title role of L’Incoronazione di Poppea in Paris, Madrid, London, Amsterdam and Glyndebourne; and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Chicago, Brussels and Glyndebourne.
Captivating young bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni returns to San Francisco Opera in the title role of this production after first appearing with the Company as Masetto in 2007’s Don Giovanni. Pisaroni has previously appeared as Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Netherlands Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Following his performances in San Francisco, Pisaroni will bring the role to Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera. Since his impressive 2007 debut as Figaro at the age of 26, Pisaroni’s other credits have included Leporello in Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas in London, Amsterdam and Vienna; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in Paris; and Achilla in Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Amsterdam and Brussels.
American soprano Ellie Dehn makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, a role she will also perform this season at Houston Grand Opera. Dehn’s other recent roles include Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Ravinia Festival, Mimì in La Bohème at the San Diego Opera and Minnesota Opera, and Freia in Das Rheingold at Los Angeles Opera. Former Adler Fellow Lucas Meachem returns to San Francisco Opera as Count Almaviva, a role he recently performed at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera. Other roles Meachem has recently performed include Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Colorado and Los Angeles Opera and the title role of Don Giovanni at New Orleans Opera and Santa Fe Opera. Canadian mezzo-soprano Michèle Losier brings her portrayal of the humorous young page Cherubino to San Francisco Opera following her recent appearances in the role at Washington National Opera. Her other recent and diverse credits include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Wellgunde in Der Ring des Nibelungen and Charlotte in Werther.
The final three performances of this production (October 10, 16 and 22) feature Heidi Stober, Kostas Smoriginas and Trevor Scheunemann. Soprano Heidi Stober makes her San Francisco Opera debut this season as Sophie in Werther and returns in this production as Susanna, a role she recently performed at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Winner of the 2009 Operalia Competition, Kostas Smoriginas appears at San Francisco Opera for the first time as Figaro, which he has previously performed at Washington National Opera and the Lithuanian National Opera. Baritone Trevor Scheunemann appeared last season at San Francisco Opera as Jake Wallace in La Fanciulla del West and returns as Count Almaviva, a role he has performed at Washington National Opera.
British opera director and producer John Copley made his San Francisco Opera debut directing Handel’s Giulio Cesare in 1982 and this year celebrates his 30th engagement with the Company. His impressive list of San Francisco Opera credits include six seasons of La Traviata, the U.S. premiere of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage, Handel’s Orlando and Semele, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Queen of Spades, Il Trovatore, Idomeneo, Anna Bolena, Peter Grimes, Manon and Ariodante.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the nine performances of Le Nozze di Figaro are scheduled for September 21 (8 p.m.), September 23 (7:30 p.m.), September 25 (8 p.m.), September 30 (7:30 p.m.), October 3 (2 p.m.), October 5 (7:30 p.m.), October 10 (2 p.m.), October 16 (8 p.m.), and October 22 (8 p.m.), 2010.
Tickets and Information
Tickets for the performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) are priced from $20 to $360 and may be purchased at or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), 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.
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 Le Nozze di Figaro and San Francisco Opera’s 2010–11 season, please visit