Release date: 8/29/2012

Francesco Demuro and Arturo Chacón-Cruz to Share the Role of the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Replacing David Lomelí in his Previously Announced Performances

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San Francisco Opera today announced a casting change for the Company’s season-opening production of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the War Memorial Opera House, September 7–30, 2012. Internationally praised artist Arturo Chacón-Cruz will now sing the principal tenor role of the Duke of Mantua for four performances on September 8, 12, 16 and 19 replacing the previously announced singer David Lomelí, who has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons. Renowned Italian tenor Francesco Demuro, who was already scheduled to sing the Duke of Mantua on six dates, will now perform the role an additional two times on September 23 and 30, replacing David Lomelí.
“It is with regret I announce today that tenor David Lomelí has withdrawn from our Rigoletto production,” stated San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley. “However, we look forward to presenting the Company debuts of both Francesco Demuro and Arturo Chacón-Cruz—two well-established tenors with histories of great success in this important role.”
Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz makes his San Francisco Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua, a role he has performed in Oslo, Liège, Mexico City, and Milwaukee. He will reprise the role later this season at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. An alumnus of the 2003 Merola Opera Program and the Houston Grand Opera Studio, his recent engagements include Rodolfo in La Bohème in Stockholm and Bavarian State Opera, the title role of Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, Rodolfo and the title role of Werther in Moscow, and the title role of Idomeneo in Milwaukee. Other career highlights include Werther in Lyon; Hoffmann with Sweden’s Malmö Opera and in Turin; Rodolfo in Liège; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata, and Rodolfo with Washington National Opera; and Ruggero in La Rondine with Venice’s Teatro la Fenice. Chacón-Cruz sings the role of the Duke of Mantua with San Francisco Opera on September 8, 12, 16 and 19, 2012.
A native of Sardinia, Francesco Demuro makes his San Francisco Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua, a role he has performed in Hong Kong, Parma, Turin, Vienna, Beijing, and Dresden. Career highlights include Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore at Milan’s La Scala and the Vienna State Opera; Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Vienna State Opera and in Bari and Detroit; Alfredo Germont in La Traviata with Seattle Opera and in Dresden, Verona, and Santiago, Chile; Ferrando in Così fan tutte in Tokyo; and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Hamburg. Recent and upcoming engagements include Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Rodolfo with Seattle Opera; Alfredo Germont at Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Covent Garden; Fenton in Falstaff at La Scala; and Banquo in Macbeth in Munich. Demuro returns to the Company in the summer of 2013 as Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. He will sing the role of the Duke of Mantua on September 7, 11, 15, 18, 21, 23, 25 and 30, 2012.
San Francisco Opera’s 2012–13 Season opens on Friday, September 7 with Verdi’s Rigoletto, the vivid and compelling story of a vengeful court jester desperately attempting to protect his daughter from disaster. Conductor Nicola Luisotti leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, together with an international cast of singers including acclaimed Serbian baritone and Verdi specialist Željko Lučić in the title role, and the Company debuts of Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda and Italian tenor Francesco Demuro as the Duke of Mantua. On Saturday, September 8, San Francisco Opera opens Rigoletto with a second renowned cast featuring Marco Vratogna, Albina Shagimuratova and Arturo Chacón-Cruz. Rigoletto runs for 12 performances through September 30, alternating between the two casts of principals.