Release date: 5/30/2013
San Francisco Opera Present's Mozart's Così fan tutte Starring Ellie Dehn, Christel Lötzsch, Francesco Demuro, Philippe Sly, Susannah Biller and Marco Vinco
An ingenious mix of hilarious farce and poignant drama, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, set to a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, follows two young soldiers who disguise their identities to test their lovers’ fidelity. Opening June 9, 2013 at the War Memorial Opera House, Così fan tutte will be presented in seven performances through July 1. The strong ensemble cast—entirely composed of artists making stage role debuts—is led by Ellie Dehn as Fiordiligi and Christel Lötzsch as Dorabella opposite Francesco Demuro as Ferrando and Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. Completing the cast is Susannah Biller as Despina and Marco Vinco as Don Alfonso. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts and Jose Maria Condemi directs this whimsical San Francisco Opera/Opéra de Monte-Carlo co-production. This production marks the final opera in the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy to be led by Nicola Luisotti following Le Nozze di Figaro in 2010 and Don Giovanni in 2011.
Conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti and Directed by Jose Maria Condemi June 9-July 1, War Memorial Opera House
Robert Perdziola’s production, which premiered at San Francisco Opera in 2005, re-envisions Mozart’s opera in a Mediterranean resort town in 1914. The story unfolds in a lavish hotel amidst the beginning of the First World War. Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara Jose Maria Condemi directs this revival following his most recent success with the Company—staging the world premiere production of The Secret Garden at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall this past March. This production features lighting design by Christopher Maravich. This production features the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, conducted by Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Chorus under the leadership of Chorus Director Ian Robertson.
San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti returns to the Bay Area following several months in Europe that included the successful premiere of a new production of Verdi’s Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London. Of that new production, Opera magazine wrote, “Nicola Luisotti's conducting was lively and detailed, the orchestral playing vivid and imposing.” In October 2013, Maestro Luisotti will lead a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass at the War Memorial Opera House featuring the combined forces of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus as well as the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, where he is also music director. This extraordinary undertaking will be presented in celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth.
American soprano Ellie Dehn returns to San Francisco Opera to make her role debut as Fiordiligi after her great successes with the Company as Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Described as “enchanting” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “wonderful” (San Francisco Classical Voice) the soprano’s performance was also praised by The Classical Review: “Possessed of a lovely radiant soprano, Dehn’s two arias were highlights of the evening.” German mezzo-soprano Christel Lötzsch makes her United States operatic debut singing her first Dorabella in this production; she is currently a resident artist at Dresden’s Semperoper.
Appearing alongside Dehn and Lötzsch as their gullible fiancés are Francesco Demuro as Ferrando and current Adler Fellow Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. Fresh from recent performances as Rodolfo in La Bohème at Seattle Opera, which were described by the Seattle Times as “appealingly youthful” and “gorgeous,” Demuro returns to San Francisco Opera following his Company debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto last fall. The tenor recently appeared as Fenton in Falstaff at Milan’s La Scala and will return to San Francisco Opera in that role in fall 2013.
A winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly makes his War Memorial Opera House stage debut as Guglielmo. A first-year Adler Fellow, Sly made his Company debut as Archibald Craven in the world premiere of Nolan Gasser and Carey Harrison’s The Secret Garden in a performance critics called “outstanding” (San Francisco Examiner) and “captivating” (Broadway World).
Former Adler Fellow Susannah Biller returns to San Francsico Opera for her role debut as the often hilarious maid Despina fresh from her success as Nannetta in Portland Opera’s Falstaff this month. Originally scheduled to appear as Despina in the final two performances, Biller will now sing the role throughout the run, replacing Heidi Stober, who has withdrawn for personal reasons. In fall 2013, Biller will create the role of Selena St. George in the Company’s world-premiere presentation of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne.
Italian bass Marco Vinco returns as the scheming philosopher Don Alfonso. Of his impressive debut as Leporello in 2011’s Don Giovanni, the San Jose Mercury News wrote, “Italian bass Marco Vinco, making both his S.F. Opera and his U.S. debuts, is a fellow we'll want to see more of. His irrepressibly entertaining Leporello, much-put-upon servant to Giovanni, was drawn in deep, robust voice and enlivened by his skittish, hyperactive stage antics.”
Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the seven performances of Così fan tutte are scheduled for June 9 (2:00p.m.), June 12 (7:30p.m.), June 18 (8:00p.m.), June 21 (8:00p.m.), June 26 (7:30p.m.), June 29 (8:00p.m.), July 1 (7:30p.m.), 2013.
Tickets and Information
Tickets for performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the War Memorial Opera House are priced from $22 to $340 and may be purchased at sfopera.com or through the San Francisco Opera Box Office [301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street), or by phone at (415) 864-3330]. Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.
The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmuni.com.
Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about Così fan tutte and San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2013 season, please visit sfopera.com.