Release date: 1/10/2012

San Francisco Opera's The Magic Flute, Otello, Salome and Il Trittico Come to Sundance Kabuki Cinemas January, February, March and May 2012

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San Francisco Opera partners with Sundance Cinemas to present HD screenings of the Company’s acclaimed productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Otello, Richard Strauss’ Salome and Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco. The monthly Tuesday evening (7:00 p.m.) and Saturday morning
(10:30 a.m.) screenings begin in January with The Magic Flute and continue in February, March and May 2012. These screenings mark the third series of San Francisco Opera’s popular cinema presentations to be shown at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.  
 
The series begins on January 24 and 28 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved opera, The Magic Flute. Filled with ritual and symbolism, Mozart’s masterpiece is a playful, yet profound look at the human quest for love, wisdom, and virtue. Donald Runnicles conducts an enchanting cast headed by acclaimed lyric tenor Piotr Beczala as Tamino and soprano Dina Kuznetsova as Pamina. The cast also features Erika Miklósa as the Queen of the Night, baritone Christopher Maltman as Papageno, and bass Georg Zeppenfeld as Sarastro. Directed by Stanley Garner, the production is designed by renowned artist Gerald Scarfe, whose captivating vision of The Magic Flute features a menagerie of fantastical creatures and a 30-foot-tall pyramid that morphs as the opera’s plot unfolds. A long-time political cartoonist for London’s Sunday Times, Scarfe’s extensive work in opera, theater, and film includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd’s The Wall concerts and film. 
 
On February 28 and March 3, the series continues with Giuseppe Verdi’s masterwork Otello, conducted by San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti.  Considered by many to be one of Verdi’s greatest operas, Otello is based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name.  Starring in the title role of the flawed warrior Otello is tenor Johan Botha, one of today’s preeminent interpreters of the role. Soprano Zvetelina Vassileva sings the role of Otello’s faithful and falsely accused wife Desdemona, and Italian baritone Marco Vratogna is the manipulative soldier Iago. Rounding out the cast is tenor Beau Gibson (Cassio), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum (Emilia), and bass Eric Halfvarson (Lodovico). The Lyric Opera of Chicago production, conceived by Sir Peter Hall, is directed by Stephen Barlow.
 
Richard Strauss’ biblical drama Salome is presented on March 27 and 31. Inspired by the Oscar Wilde play of the same name, the story of Salome and her lecherous stepfather Herod has shocked opera audiences since its first performance. Starring in the title role is soprano Nadja Michael, who has sung the role to great acclaim at Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Milan’s La Scala. Tenor Kim Begley sings the role of King Herod, with bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as Jokanaan (John the Baptist), mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura as Herodias, and tenor Garrett Sorenson as Narraboth. This San Francisco Opera co-production with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and L'Opéra de Montréal is directed by Seán Curran. San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts. 
 
The series concludes on May 15 and 19 with Giacomo Puccini’s complete triptych Il Trittico. A trio of one-act operas that runs the gamut from heart-wrenching tragedy to sparkling comedy, Il Trittico stars soprano Patricia Racette, one of the premiere American dramatic sopranos of our time, as the heroine in each of Il Trittico’s three one-act operas—Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. The cast also features baritone Paolo Gavanelli, tenor Brandon Jovanovich, celebrated contralto Ewa Podleś and bass Andrea Silvestrelli. San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers leads these performances, and James Robinson directs this inventively updated production from New York City Opera.
 
Recorded live in high definition at San Francisco’s historic War Memorial Opera House, all shows include English subtitles and a brief intermission with behind the scenes interviews.  All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Chorus (Ian Robertson, Chorus Director). 
 
San Francisco Opera’s education department  presents free, informative 25 minute pre-screening lectures prior to each Saturday morning performance.  Lectures begin at 10:00 a.m.(doors open at 9:30 a.m.)inside the theater and will be presented at The Magic Flute (January 28), Otello (March 3), Salome (March 31) and Il Trittico (May 19). 
 
Tickets for San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Seriesat the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas are priced at $11 for adults and $8.75 for seniors for the Tuesday evening screenings; and $8.75 for adults and seniors and $8 for children (under 13) for the Saturday morning screenings.  Tuesday evening screenings are available only for patrons age 21 and over; light food, snacks and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the Sundance bistro and bar and may be brought into the theater. Tickets are available via sundancecinemas.com and at the Sundance Kabuki Box Office. For more information about Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, visit sundancecinemas.com or call (415) 346-3243‎. 
                                                                 
For more information about San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series, including additional theaters screening the series, and further information and video clips of The Magic Flute, Otello, Salome and Il Trittico, visit sfopera.com/cinemaseries.
 
San Francisco Opera launched its digital cinema series in Spring 2008 with its presentation of La Rondine, Samson and Delilah, Don Giovanni and Madama Butterflyto movie theaters across the country.  In Fall 2010, La Bohème, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love were added to the series. These operas are available to theaters and performing arts venues as part of the Company’s Grand Opera Cinema Series, which focuses on distributing San Francisco Opera cinema presentations to arts centers, independent film theaters, universities, and other venues in the western region of the country.