Release date: 8/27/2012

San Francisco Opera, Webcor Builders and the San Francisco Giants partner to bring Rigoletto FREE to AT&T Park on September 15 at 8 p.m.

Ticket registration for Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark available at sfopera.com/simulcast

Photos Available
SAN FRANCISCO, August 27, 2012San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants and Webcor Builders once again to bring grand opera to AT&T Park on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. This free live simulcast of Verdi’s Rigoletto is led by San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti, and features an all-star cast including Serbian baritone Željko Lučić in the title role, Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak as Gilda and Sardinian tenor Francesco Demuro as the lecherous Duke of Mantua. Register now for early entry and to assure best seating at sfopera.com/simulcast.

Through state-of-the-art technology, the simulcast will be transmitted in 1920x1080 high definition (HD) to AT&T Park’s 103-feet wide Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision scoreboard—one of the highest quality outdoor scoreboards in the nation—live from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. Concert quality audio combined with AT&T Park’s huge screen creates an unmatched operatic experience for attendees sitting both in the stands and on the baseball field itself.

Only registered ticket holders will be allowed early entrance for best seating beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Field seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  All others who have not registered and do not have pre-printed tickets will be allowed to enter AT&T Park beginning at 7 p.m.

AT&T Park concessions will be open for the simulcast, providing audiences the rare opportunity to combine hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn with world-class opera.  No lawn chairs will be allowed for field seating, and glass containers, alcohol, and hard-sided coolers are not permitted into the ballpark. For a complete list of AT&T Park rules, restrictions and public transportation information please visit sfopera.com/simulcast.
 
San Francisco Opera and Classical KDFC 89.9/90.3/92.5/104.9FM partner again this year to host the “KDFC Star-Spangled Sing-Off,” a public singing competition that accepted video submissions in search of a winner who will sing the National Anthem at AT&T Park prior to Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark on September 15. Over 70 contestants submitted videos to KDFC’s website and online viewers helped to decide the winner by voting for their favorites. Finalists will be judged by San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley and Music Director Nicola Luisotti, as well as KDFC Program Director Bill Lueth, and the winner will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” a cappella prior to the simulcast.

San Francisco Opera kicks off the 90th anniversary season with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, one of opera’s most compelling characters, a vengeful court jester desperately attempting to protect his daughter from disaster in this tragic tale. Set designer Michael Yeargan captures the dangerous and seductive world of 19th century Italy in San Francisco Opera production led by renowned theater and opera director Harry Silverstein. Serbian baritone Željko Lučić returns to San Francisco Opera as Rigoletto, a role he has performed around the world to great acclaim.  Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Gilda a role she recently performed at the Metropolitan Opera and Milan’s LaScala. Sardinian tenor Francesco Demuro also makes his San Francisco Opera debut as the lecherous Duke of Mantua. For more information, please visit www.sfopera.com.

Free live simulcasts are among the first innovations of San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley’s tenure and part of the Company’s campaign to bring opera into the community and to wider audiences. The first simulcast debuted in May 2006 with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, drawing 8,000 people to San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. An audience of approximately 14,000 gathered in October 2006 for Verdi’s Rigoletto at Civic Center Plaza and Frost Amphitheatre at Stanford University.  In June 2007 a live simulcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni played to capacity crowds at four venues (San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis, and the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa). In September 2007, Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah wowed nearly 15,000 opera fans at the first AT&T Park simulcast; 23,000 fans enjoyed summer madness at the ballpark with Lucia di Lammermoor in June 2008; Tosca brought tears and cheers to over 27,000 in June 2009; Il Trovatore brought the ballpark crowd of 25,000 to its feet in September 2009; Verdi’s Aida brought an unprecedented crowd of 32,000 to AT&T Park in 2010; and in 2011 despite gloomy weather forecasts, 16,000 people enjoyed Puccini’s Turandot al fresco on a beautiful San Francisco day.   
 
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Company Sponsors John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, and Mrs. Edmund W. Littlefield, are proud to support this production. This production is made possible, in part, by Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey. Major support for this production also provided by the Great Interpreters of Italian Opera Fund established by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem. Nicola Luisotti’s appearance made possible by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Chairs, Amici di Nicola of Camerata. Mr. Lučić’s appearance is made possible by a gift to the Great Singers Fund by Joan and David Traitel. Webcor Builders Presents Opera at the Ballpark is supported by Presenting Sponsor Webcor Builders, Gold Sponsors Charles Schwab, Chevron and United Airlines. San Francisco Opera simulcasts are made possible through the extraordinary technology of the Company’s Koret-Taube Media Suite. A grant from the Koret Foundation provided lead funding for the Koret-Taube Media Suite, with additional support provided by Tad and Dianne Taube.

Media sponsors include the San Francisco Examiner, KDFC 89.9/90.3/92.5/104.9, Bay Area CW–CBS 5, Clear Channel Outdoor and SFCV.org.
 
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For further press information or to obtain photographs of the production of Rigoletto and the September 2012 Simulcast at AT&T Park, please visit www.sfopera.com/press, or contact:
 
Gelane Pearson (415)565-6470 / gpearson@sfopera.com
Robin Freeman (415)565-6451 / rfreeman@sfopera.com
Julia Inouye (415)565-6430 / jinouye@sfopera.com