Release date: 10/24/2011

Kendall Gladen and Anita Rachvelishvili to Share the Title Role of Carmen with Kate Aldrich

Gladen to Sing November 6-9; Rachvelishvili to Sing November 12-23; Aldrich to Sing November 26-4

Photos Available
Mezzo-sopranos Kendall Gladen and Anita Rachvelishvili join the cast of Carmen to share the title role with Kate Aldrich, whose arrival is delayed by illness. Gladen will appear as Carmen on November 6 and 9 and Anita Rachvelishvili, who is currently performing Carmen at Seattle Opera, will sing the role in five performances from November 12 through November 23. Kate Aldrich will appear as Carmen for the final four performances from November 26 through December 4. Additionally, the role of Mercédès, originally scheduled to be sung by Adler Fellow Maya Lahyani, will now be performed by mezzo-soprano Cybele Gouveneur.
American mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladenhas appeared as Carmen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Los Angeles Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Sarasota Opera. A former Adler Fellow, her past Company appearances include Mercédès (Carmen), a Singer (Manon Lescaut), Giovanna (Rigoletto), the Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and creating the role of Elizabeth Keckley in Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton’s Appomattox. Other career highlights include Maddalena (Rigoletto) with Los Angeles Opera, New Orleans Opera, and for her Italian debut in Padova; Lily (Porgy and Bess) with Washington National Opera; Mercédès with Los Angeles Opera; Lucia (Cavalleria Rusticana) at Sarasota Opera; and Flora (La Traviata) with Opera North. On the concert stage, Gladen has been a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, New World Symphony, and the National Philharmonic. Upcoming engagements include Maddalena with Canadian Opera Company, Meg Page (Falstaff) with Lausanne Opera, and Carmen with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Gladen will sing the role of Carmen on November 6 and 9.
A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Anita Rachvelishvili makes her San Francisco Opera debut in this production of Carmen. She has previously appeared as Carmen at Milan’s La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Canadian Opera Company, the Arena di Verona and Seattle Opera. The mezzo-soprano’s other recent engagements include Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri) at La Scala, Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice) at the Perelada Festival, and Dalila (Samson et Dalila) in concert with Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra. A graduate of La Scala’s young artist program, she served as a member of the Tbilisi Opera House from 2006 to 2007 and won second prize in the Georgian International Voice Competition. Later this season, Rachvelishvili will sing Dalila with Deutsche Oper Berlin, a reprisal of Carmen at the Met, and a gala concert with CulturArte in Puerto Rico. She will come to San Francisco Opera immediately following a performance of Adriana Lecouvreur with Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann at Carnegie Hall. Rachvelishvili will sing the role of Carmen on November 12, 15, 17, 20 and 23.
American mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich made her San Francisco Opera debut in the title role of Carmen in 2006, a role she has performed to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and in Verona, Baden Baden, Detroit, and Portland. Career highlights include Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) at Milan’s La Scala and in Lisbon; Nerone (L’Incoronazione di Poppea) at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Adalgisa (Norma) at Bologna’s Teatro Comunale and in Vancouver and Montreal; Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda) at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo and San Diego Opera; Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) in Marseille; Charlotte (Werther) in Turin and Lyon; Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia) with Washington National Opera and in Turin; and the title role of Giulio Cesare in Hamburg. Aldrich will sing the role of Carmen on November 26 and 29 and December 2 and 4.
Mezzo-soprano Cybele Gouveneur replaces Adler Fellow Maya Lahyani as Mercédès in order to allow Lahyani to focus on her debut as Carmen in Carmen for Families. Maya Lahyani remains main stage cover for Carmen through November 9 and will sing Carmen in the two performances of Carmen for Families on November 27 and December 4. Cybele Gouverneur, who most recently appeared at San Francisco Opera as Schwertleite in 2011’s Ring cycle, made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2008 as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor. The Venezuelan-American mezzo-soprano’s recent engagements include performances with la Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de la Juventud at Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas, Venezuela; soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and soloist in Verdi's Requiem with Modesto Symphony Orchestra. 
Thrilling but dangerous, the captivating, capricious Carmen is one of the most vivid characters in all of opera. Mezzo-sopranos Kendall Gladen, Anita Rachvelishvili and Kate Aldrich star in the title role in this classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle/San Francisco Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen, conducted by Nicola Luisotti. Tenor Thiago Arancam, fresh from his success in last fall’s Cyrano de Bergerac, is Don José, the man who unwisely falls under Carmen’s spell. Baritone Paulo Szot, a Tony Award–winner for South Pacific and highly regarded for his role in the Metropolitan Opera’s recent production of Shostakovich’s The Nose, makes his Company debut as Escamillo. Jose Maria Condemi directs, and Assistant Music Director Giuseppe Finzi leads the final two performances. 
Ticket Information
Tickets for Bizet’s Carmen are priced from $21 to $330 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.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about Carmen and San Francisco Opera’s 2011–12 season, please visit