Release date: 7/30/2012

San Francisco Opera Returns for the 75th Anniversary of The Stern Grove Festival on August 19 at 2 p.m.

Concert Features Soprano Leah Crocetto and Tenor Michael Fabiano Performing a Selection of Opera Favorites

SAN FRANCISCO (July 30, 2012) — San Francisco Opera returns to the beautiful outdoor setting of Sigmund Stern Grove on Sunday, August 19 at 2 p.m. for a concert of celebrated opera arias at the Stern Grove Festival, located at 19th  Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco.  This annual admission-free concert is one of San Francisco Opera’s most popular community events, attracting thousands of Bay Area opera lovers. This season marks the 75th anniversary of the much loved summer music festival.

Soprano Leah Crocetto and tenor Michael Fabiano join the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in a concert performing opera standards from Puccini, Mozart, Verdi and more. Ms. Crocetto and Mr. Fabiano will be joined by current Adler Fellows along with San Francisco Opera Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi leading the orchestra and chorus in a program of beloved opera favorites.

Recognized as a rising star in the next generation of singers, Leah Crocetto represented the United States at the 2011 Cardiff BBC Singer of the World Competition where she was a finalist in the Song Competition. As a former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera, Ms. Crocetto was heard in productions of Turandot, Suor Angelica, and Cyrano de Bergerac. She recently made her stage debut with the Santa Fe Opera as Anna in Rossini’s Maometto II and in Houston Grand Opera’s production of The Rape of Lucretia as Female Chorus.

A Grand Prize winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Fabiano made his San Francisco Opera debut as the ill-fated Gennaro in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia in 2011. He recently made operatic history singing the same role in the first live, 3-D simulcast of an opera in European history, produced by English National Opera and Sky ARTS. This summer the tenor performed at the Florida Grand Opera as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, a role he reprised with the Dresden Semperoper.

San Francisco Opera’s performance at Stern Grove is sponsored by the Patricia Yakutis Endowment Fund.

ADMISSION AND ACCESS TO STERN GROVE FESTIVAL
All Stern Grove Festival concerts begin at 2:00 p.m. at Sigmund Stern Grove, located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard.  All Stern Grove Festival events are ADMISSION-FREE; no tickets are required.
 
Stern Grove Festival is accessible by MUNI bus and metro lines and concert-goers are encouraged to use public transportation. Due to construction at St. Francis Circle, MUNI Metro service beyond West Portal Station will be impacted. Patrons can take lines K, L or S to West Portal Station, transfer to an M Ocean View Bus or K Ingleside Bus, and exit at the first stop at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. Patrons are advised to allow for extra travel time. Visit sterngrove.org for updates.
 
Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early for the best lawn seating and may bring picnics, low beach chairs, and ground covers. Tall chairs, beach umbrellas, and pets are prohibited in Stern Grove during concerts.  Blankets and groundcovers are restricted in size to 8x10 feet due to space limitations. Unoccupied blankets are subject to removal. Designated benches are reserved for seniors over the age of 65 and disabled persons with one guest until 30 minutes prior to concert time.  To ensure the safety and comfort of patrons at each performance, the concert meadow will be closed to further entry if capacity is reached.  Patrons are not guaranteed seating in the meadow.
 
Free shuttle service within the Grove is provided to seniors and disabled patrons and a drop-off area is located at the entrance to the park at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard. A limited number of handicapped parking spaces are available at the 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard entrance to the park.
 
Picnics are welcome and food and drinks are available from the Grove Café. Festival merchandise and artist CDs are for sale at the Festival Shop. Sigmund Stern Grove is a 33-acre recreation area with meadows, picnic facilities, hiking trails, and a lake. The audience is advised to come prepared for both sun and fog.        
 
For additional information visit the Stern Grove Festival website at sterngrove.org or call
(415) 252-6252.
 
 
About the Artists
 
A winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, soprano LEAH CROCETTO made her San Francisco Opera debut as Sister Dolcina (Suor Angelica) in the 2009 production of Puccini’s Il Trittico. She also performed Liù (Turandot) and roles in Aida and Cyrano de Bergerac. A former Adler Fellow and Merola Opera Program alumna, Crocetto has worked with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony on the Verdi Requiem and was the soprano soloist in the work with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She also made her European debut this past season as Leonora (Il Trovatore) in Bordeaux. The soprano’s numerous awards include First Place, People’s Choice, and the Spanish Prize in the 2009 José Iturbi International Music Competition in Los Angeles; a 2009 San Francisco Foundation Artist’s Grant; a 2008 Shoshana Foundation Award; a Sara Tucker Award; and first prize in the Bel Canto Foundation Competition. She also represented the United States in 2011’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, where she was a finalist in the Song competition. Recent engagements include concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic; the Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) with Houston Grand Opera; and Anna (Maometto II) with the Santa Fe Opera.
 
A grand prize winner of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, MICHAEL FABIANO made his San Francisco Opera debut as Gennaro in 2011’s Lucrezia Borgia, a role he first performed at English National Opera. Recent engagements include the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) at the Dresden’s Semperoper and English National Opera; Edgardo (Lucia di Lammeroor) with Vancouver Opera and at the ABAO in Bilbao; Rodolfo (La Bohème) with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Limoges Opera; Cassio (Otello) with Paris Opera; Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and Greek National Opera; Raffaele (Stiffelio) with the Metropolitan Opera; Alfredo (La Traviata) at the Teatro San Carlo; and Nemorino (L’Elisir d’Amore) with Fort Worth Opera. Fabiano was awarded the 2009 Grand Prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation; first prize in the 2008 Opera Index Awards; first place in the 2007 Loren Zachary Competition; a 2007 Sarah Tucker Study Grant; first prize in the 2006 Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition; the José Carreras Prize for the best tenor in the 2006 Julián Gayarre Competition in Pamplona, Spain; and a 2007 George London Foundation Encouragement Award. Recent engagements include the Duke of Mantua in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale with Florida Grand Opera, and with Dresden’s Semperoper; a recital in Montreal; and the Verdi Requiem with Cologne Opera.

San Francisco Opera Resident Conductor GIUSEPPE FINZI made his Company debut in 2008 conducting The Elixir of Love for Families, and he returned for performances of La Bohème, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Faust, La Fanciulla del West, Aida, Turandot, and Carmen as well as the Company's performances at the 2009 and 2011 Stern Grove Festivals. He is also extensively involved in the San Francisco Opera Center, conducting Carmen for Families and the 2011 Adler Fellows gala concert. A native of Bari, Italy, he studied composition and conducting at Milan’s Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory and Siena’s Accademia Chigiana. Finzi previously served as assistant conductor, coach, and pianist at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. He made his conducting debut in 2003 with Tosca at the Teatro Rendano in Cosenza and returned in 2004 for La Traviata. Finzi has since led productions of L’Elisir d’Amore, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, La Traviata, L’Elisir d’Amore, and Così fan tutte as well as concerts in Italy, Russia, Albania, South Korea, and Japan. Most recently he made his debut in Germany conducting Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Actively involved in the community, Maestro Finzi led a master class with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and conducted their spring production of Così fan tutte this past March.
 
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For further press information, please visit www.sfopera.com/press or contact Gelane Pearson at
(415) 565-6470 / gpearson@sfopera.com.