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Grand Opera Cinema Series

Series 2

La Bohème
by Giacomo Puccini

Nicola Luisotti, San Francisco Opera's music director and a master of the Italian repertoire, conducts Puccini's most beloved opera. This heartwarming story of starving artists falling in and out of love in 19th-century Paris is a seamless mix of romantic passion, poignant tragedy and high spirited fun. The outstanding cast is headed by superstar Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu as the ill-fated Mimì and by Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as her lover, the poet Rodolfo. Recorded Fall 2008, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

"This is opera truly not to be missed." (San Francisco Examiner)

"Audiences adore 'La Bohème,' and the San Francisco Opera's latest revival makes it easy to see why… Glorious singing, gripping music and a touching love story...were on brilliant display." (San Jose Mercury News)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running Time of Opera: 2 hours and 3 minutes with one intermission
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis



Lucia di Lammermoor
by Gaetano Donizetti

The emotionally fragile Lucia is driven to madness when manipulated to marry a man she does not love. Featuring the most famous mad scene in the repertory and full of ravishingly beautiful melodies, this timeless bel canto masterpiece evokes the passion and desperation of a woman used by her brother as a political pawn. Superstar Natalie Dessay owns this virtuosic role. Also starring Giuseppe Filianoti, Gabriele Viviani and Oren Gradus. Recorded Summer 2008, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

Natalie Dessay gives"A precise, luminous and impeccably controlled performance… marked by luscious, inviting legato phrases and crowned by nimble, precise coloratura." (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running Time of Opera: 2 hours and 48 minutes with one intermission
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis



The Elixir of Love
by Gaetano Donizetti

Donizetti's charming comedy is a celebration of innocence, so what setting could be better than a small Italian-American community in the Napa Valley, circa 1915? In this ingenious update, the naïve Nemorino believes that a love potion will win him Adina's heart. Blossoming from a shy Italian immigrant to a plucky entrepreneur, he captures both his sweetheart and the American dream over the course of this delightful opera buffa. Tenor Ramón Vargas superbly embodies the role of the lovesick Nemorino. The beautiful but aloof Adina is sung by soprano Inva Mula. Recorded Fall 2008, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

"It's saucy, it's sweet, it's a stream of laughs and lovely melody… you just can't ask for more." (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running Time of Opera: 2 hours and 38 minutes with one intermission.
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis



Tosca
by Giacomo Puccini

An idealistic artist, a celebrated singer and a corrupt police chief engage in a fierce battle of wills in this tempestuous tale of cruelty and deception. With its themes of political intrigue, sexual intimidation and official hypocrisy, Puccini’s great melodrama set in 1800 is anything but dated. Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka makes her Company debut in the title role. Baritone Lado Ataneli (Scarpia) and Italian tenor Carlo Ventre make up the other sides of this fatal love triangle. Recorded Summer 2009, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

"The voices are superb in Tosca, Adrianne Pieczonka, making her company debut, sang… with strength and heart… her voice had a prismatic quality, light and color-filled, like Puccini's music itself." (San Jose Mercury News)

  • Sung in Italian with English subtitles
  • Running Time of Opera: 2 hours and 5 minutes with two intermissions.
  • Intermission includes a behind-the-scenes interview

Cast List/Synopsis