Release date: 6/9/2014

San Francisco Opera Guild Announces Details of
92nd Season Opening Night Gala, September 5, 2014
Opera Ball 2014: Passione

Vincenzo Bellini's Norma Opens San Francisco Opera 2014-15 Season

Opera Ball 2014 Culminates Opera Guild's 75th Anniversary Year

Photos Available
San Francisco Opera celebrates the opening of its 92nd Season on September 5, 2014 with a gala opening night highlighted by Opera Ball 2014: Passione and the season-opening performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto masterwork Norma starring Sondra Radvanovsky, one of the world’s leading singers of the lyric stage, in a dramatic new production conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti. 
 
A highlight of the City’s cultural and philanthropic season, Opera Ball is an extraordinary event that brings together local and national corporate, political, civic and philanthropic leaders.  Proceeds from this signature fundraising event support San Francisco Opera’s and San Francisco Opera Guild’s award-winning education and community programs throughout the Bay Area that together reach more than 60,000 students each year.  Opera Ball 2014, the culminating event of the Opera’s Guild’s 75th anniversary year celebrations, is co-chaired by Teresa Medearis and Cynthia L. Schreuder; Opera Ball 2014 honorary chairs are Cynthia Fry Gunn and Diane B. Wilsey.  Karen J. Kubin is president of San Francisco Opera Guild. 
 
Opera Ball celebrates the start of a new grand and glorious opera season,” stated Opera Guild President Karen J. Kubin.  “It will be a dazzling occasion, symbolic of how much San Francisco Opera is cherished as one of the most important cultural institutions in the United States.  It has been the Opera Guild’s honor and privilege to have supported San Francisco Opera for the last 75 years.”
 
"We are honored to be chairing Opera Ball, one of our beautiful city's premier galas," remarks Teresa Medearis.  "Opera Ball proceeds benefit much needed youth education in our community, bringing music and joy into the hearts of more than 60,000 Bay Area children.  Vincenzo Bellini's Norma is an enthralling opera full of drama and passion made legendary by famed soprano Maria Callas.  Cynthia and I drew inspiration from Norma to select our Opera Ball theme, Passione."  "As Norma takes place in 50 B.C., when Julius Caesar's army was conquering Gaul,” continues Cynthia L. Schreuder, “Teresa and I are transforming San Francisco City Hall into a resplendent imperial Roman palace.  Once our guests step on the red carpet, they will be transported through time for a grand evening of festivities and celebration."
           
San Francisco’s landmark City Hall will serve as the dramatic setting for Opera Ball 2014: Passione, designed by internationally acclaimed event stylist J. Riccardo Benavides of Ideas Event Décor & Production, who also created the Opera Guild’s 75th Anniversary Holiday Dinner and POPera! galas earlier this season.  The evening will begin at 5 p.m. as guests are escorted down a red carpet by Roman legionnaires into San Francisco City Hall for an elegant cocktail reception.  Guests will then adjourn to Julius Caesar's stately imperial palace for a lavish banquet orchestrated by celebrated caterer, McCalls Catering & Events.  At 8 p.m. the curtain will rise at the historic War Memorial Opera House for the season-opening performance of Norma.  Following the dramatic conclusion of Bellini’s masterwork, patrons will return to City Hall for a night of decadence with cocktails, desserts and dancing the night away to the Dick Bright Orchestra.
 
Opera Ball 2014 is made possible through the generous support of Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey, Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, Cocktail Reception Sponsor TriplePoint Capital, Technology & Innovation Sponsor Morrison & Foerster LLP, Youth Education Sponsor Neiman Marcus Group, Supporting Sponsor Nordstrom, Luxury Watch & Jewelry Sponsor Cartier, Benefactor Party Sponsor Baird, Luxury Automotive Sponsor Rolls-Royce Motorcars Los Gatos/Los Gatos Luxury Cars, Official Airline United Airlines, Sparkling Wine Sponsor Roederer Estate, Wine Sponsor William Hill Estate Winery, and Media Sponsors Nob Hill Gazette, Red Carpet Bay Area and Town&Country.
 
Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, starring American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in one of opera’s most demanding roles, opens San Francisco Opera’s 92nd Season on September 5, 2014.  Featuring “Casta Diva,” one of the most sensational arias in the operatic repertoire, Norma tells the story of a Druid high priestess who betrays her people by falling in love with an occupying Roman soldier, only to be betrayed herself; her conflicted state of mind threatens the lives of the innocent and guilty alike.  The cast also features American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (Adalgisa), Italian tenor Marco Berti (Pollione), and American bass-baritone Christian Van Horn (Oroveso).  Maestro Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus and stage director Kevin Newbury returns to San Francisco Opera for this vivid, large-scale new co-production with Canadian Opera Company, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and Lyric Opera of Chicago. 
 
Opera Ball 2014 culminates San Francisco Opera Guild’s year-long 75th anniversary celebrations commemorating the success of its past, its vision for the future, and its rich tradition of enthralling and nurturing students throughout the Bay Area with its innovative K–12 arts education programs.  Founded in January 1939, San Francisco Opera Guild has supported San Francisco Opera for 75 years through its fundraising efforts and by creating award-winning education programs that extend the impact of opera. Each year, the organization reaches more than 50,000 students across nearly 200 Bay Area schools.  San Francisco Opera Guild also serves the community with acclaimed outreach programs for adults and families. Its six Bay Area chapters reach thousands of individuals annually through lectures and events that encourage an appreciation of opera, helping to ensure the ongoing relevance of and interest in the art form.  For more information about San Francisco Opera Guild, its anniversary celebrations and its programs, visit sfoperaguild.com.