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Grand Opera Cinema Series

Series 1


Don Giovanni
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 The Don Juan legend crackles to life in the hands of the world's most well-known composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Carefully balancing brilliant comedy with heaping amounts of seduction and ultimate tragedy, Don Giovanni is often referred to as the greatest opera ever composed. From the sparkling overture to one hit musical number after another, this fast-paced San Francisco Opera production features extraordinary Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role. Maestro Donald Runnicles leads the world renowned San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

"Marius Kwiecien commands attention whenever he’s onstage.  His lustrous, virile tone and rugged, wide-eyed good looks provide immediate appeal."  (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running time: 3 hours and 5 minutes with one intermission
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis



La Rondine
by Giacomo Puccini

A thoroughly Italian work inspired by Viennese operetta, this rarely performed Puccini gem tells the story of love between a kept woman from high society and a naïve younger man of moderate means. From the composer’s fabled Act I aria, “Chi il bel sogno,” to the glorious Act II café scene, this San Francisco Opera production features two world renowned singers at their finest: Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Russian tenor Misha DidykIon Marin conducts La Rondine ("The Swallow") in an opulent Art Deco production design by Nicolas Joël that will dazzle your eye.

"[Gheorghiu's] tone was strong but tender, with an irresistible blend of earthiness and purity…and when she lofted the high notes…[she] seemed to make time stand still."  (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running time: 2 hours and 5 minutes with one intermission
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis



Madama Butterfly
by Giacomo Puccini

One of the world’s most beloved and dramatic operas, Madama Butterfly is a classic tale of colliding hearts and cultures set in 19th-century Japan.  Internationally acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette is Cio-Cio-San, a geisha tragically torn between two worlds and forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to retain her honor.  Maestro Donald Runnicles conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this stirring production that features some of Puccini’s most popular music. 

 "…a compelling and almost breathlessly taut rendition of this timeless tragedy. ......Patricia Racette’s portrayal is an incendiary performance." (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running time: 2 hours and 40 minutes with one intermission
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

 

 Cast List/Synopsis



Samson and Delilah
by Camille Saint-Saëns

One of the most compelling biblical tales to emerge from the Old Testament comes to life in this sweeping epic of a hero who is seduced by a woman and loses his heart, his hair and finally his strength. This riveting opera features lush music and one of the most thrilling bacchanalian dance spectacles ever conceived for the stage. Make no mistake, this production is a Cecil B. DeMille-like extravaganza. Tenor Clifton Forbis brings down the temple (and the house) in this sumptuous production featuring Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina and conductor Patrick Summers.

"[Borodina] soared through the part with ease and seductive allure…[with her] gloriously voluptuous singing..."  (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in French with English subtitles
  • Running time: 2 hours and 35 with two intermissions
  • Intermissions include backstage interviews with the cast

Cast List/Synopsis