Release date: 5/27/2014

San Francisco Opera Presents Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
June 11-July 13, War Memorial Opera House

Two International Casts Include
Nicole Cabell, Saimir Pirgu and Vladimir Stoyanov;
Ailyn Pérez, Stephen Costello and Quinn Kelsey

Free Live Simulcast of La Traviata July 5 at AT&T Park

Photos Available
Two spectacular casts bring to life one of Verdi’s most beloved opera, La Traviata, June 11 through July 13, 2014 at the War Memorial Opera House. Sopranos Nicole Cabell and Ailyn Pérez return as Violetta Valéry, tenors Saimir Pirgu and Stephen Costello share the role of Alfredo Germont and baritones Vladimir Stoyanov and Quinn Kelsey are Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont. The ten performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti and Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi. The July 5 performance will be simulcast live to AT&T Park for the Company’s eighth free Opera at the Ballpark.
 
For six performances in June, the high-spirited yet delicate Violetta Valéry will be portrayed by Nicole Cabell, a winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition who made her Company debut in 2012 to great acclaim in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Of those performances, the San Jose Mercury News described her as “remarkable” and wrote “for sheer sumptuous gorgeousness, Cabell's voice is hard to beat.” Complimenting Cabell as Violetta’s cherished Alfredo Germont in four performances is returning tenor Saimir Pirgu. Of recent performances of this role at the Metropolitan Opera, Associated Press wrote that “as Alfredo, Violetta's one chance for a loving relationship, Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu looked every inch the ardent suitor and sounded like one too.” And the Philadelphia Inquirer noted: “Tenor Pirgu is a major talent with a boyishly light voice and a statuesque presence.” Bulgarian baritone Vladimir Stoyanov makes his San Francisco Opera debut as Alfredo’s controlling father Giorgio Germont, a role he has performed to great success with the opera companies of Naples, Venice, Florence, Parma, Milan, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Madrid and Santiago.
 
For four performances in July, the ill-fated lovers are portrayed by off-stage husband and wife Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello. Richard Tucker Award-winners and frequent co-stars, the couple also appear as Violetta and Alfredo this season at Hamburg’s Saxon State Opera; Deutsche Oper Berlin; and recently London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden. The Guardian (UK) described Ailyn Pérez as an “ideal Violetta” and Opera News wrote: “A strikingly beautiful woman, Pérez is eminently suited to Violetta, not only physically but vocally.” The Daily Express (UK) commented that Stephen Costello “brought real depth” to the role of Alfredo and remarked that the tenor “has risen rapidly to claim a place among the world’s best tenors and recent performances show that he has the acting abilities to match his wonderfully smooth and powerful voice.” Costello will also appear as Alfredo opposite Nicole Cabell for the performances on June 17 and 20.
 
On June 3 Costello and Pérez will release their debut duo album Love Duets in the United States. The recording, just released by Warner Classics in Europe, is already garnering impressive reviews, citing “impressive singing throughout” and “palpable real life chemistry (Classical FM).”  The couple will be signing copies of their CD at the San Francisco Opera Shop on the South Mezzanine level immediately following the Sunday, July 13 matinee performances of La Traviata.  
 
Joining Pérez  and Costello, Hawaiian baritone Quinn Kelsey returns to San Francisco Opera as Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont, a role he has also performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Seoul Arts Center; he will reprise the role at Zurich Opera next season. Kelsey’s most recent San Francisco Opera performances were as Ezio in Verdi’s Attila, which were described as “warm and expressive” (San Jose Mercury News) and “gorgeously sung” with “suavity and vigor” (San Francisco Chronicle).
 
This opulent and classic San Francisco Opera production, conceived by John Copley and designed by John Conklin with costumes by David Walker, is directed by Laurie Feldman. Music Director Nicola Luisotti will conduct the June performances and Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi will lead the July performances. All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Ian Robertson, Director) and Bay Area flamenco authority Yaelisa is choreographer.
 
Sung in Italian  with English supertitles, the ten performances of La Traviata scheduled for June 11 (7:30 p.m.), June 14 (8 p.m.), June 17 (8 p.m.), June 20 (8 p.m.), June 25 (7:30 p.m.), June 29 (2 p.m.), July 5 (8 p.m.), July 8 (7:30 p.m.), July 11 (8 p.m.) and July 13 (2 p.m.), 2014.
 
 
Free Live Simulcast of La Traviata, AT&T Park (July 5)
Continuing what has become a popular Bay Area tradition, San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants to present the Company’s eighth free live simulcast at AT&T Park on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8 p.m. Verdi’s La Traviata, featuring Ailyn Pérez, Stephen Costello and Quinn Kelsey and conducted by Giuseppe Finzi, will be simulcast live from the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Park.

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 in the stands and on the baseball field itself. AT&T Park concessions will be open for the simulcast, providing audiences the rare opportunity to partner hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn with world-class opera.

In anticipation of the simulcast on July 5, La Traviata stars Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello will sing the National Anthem prior to the July 2 San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals game at AT&T Park.

The July 5 La Traviata simulcast marks the twelfth free simulcast presented by San Francisco Opera and the eighth at AT&T Park. San Francisco Opera’s free live simulcasts, part of General Director David Gockley’s mission to bring opera into the community and to wider audiences, to date have drawn nearly 200,000 people since 2006.
San Francisco Opera at the Ballpark is made possible through the extraordinary technology of the Koret-Taube Media Suite. For information and to register, visit sfopera.com/simulcast.

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 pre-registered and do not have pre-printed tickets will be allowed to enter AT&T Park beginning at 7 p.m. Fans registered for tickets will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a night at San Francisco Opera.