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GRAND OPERA CINEMA SERIES

SERIES 4

Aida
by Giuseppe Verdi

The grandest of grand operas, and a brilliant balance of spectacular pageantry and emotional intimacy. A bitter love triangle plays itself out against a backdrop of war and cultural oppression in this compelling tale of conflicting loyalties and forbidden passion.
As Aida, soprano Micaela Carosi's "voice wasn't only luminous; she was alive in the role...every fear, frustration and outburst of love registered in her voice, face, body" (San Jose Mercury News). Tenor Marcello Giordani plays Radames, “mustering a ringing sound and suitably ardent phrasing" in the opera's climax (San Francisco Chronicle).

"Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick delivered a powerhouse performance as Amneris, cloaking her unstoppable dramatic fury in plush and impeccably controlled tones."
San Francisco Chronicle

"As Amonasro, baritone Marco Vratogna emitted gorgeous, orchestra-defying sounds."
San Francisco Classical Voice

"Glamour came from Zandra Rhodes's fantastically colorful production. Gold for days, patterns upon patterns (based upon authentic Egyptian designs), and costumes that more than a few singers undoubtedly wished they could take home forever."
San Francisco Classical Voice

Cast List/Synopsis


Boris Godunov
by Modest Mussorgsky

In this Mussorgsky masterpiece, a Russian czar is haunted by a horrible act he committed years earlier. The concise original version of the opera, focusing on the emotional disintegration of the title character, creates a theatrical experience of searing intensity.

Legendary bass Samuel Ramey wowed audiences in the title role, “singing with unflagging stamina, resonance and an air of tragic death, he created a character at once charismatic and fatally flawed” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Also from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Tenor Vsevolod Grivnov made a magnificent counterweight…And bass Vitalij Kowaljow gave a weighty, gorgeously precise performance as the monk Pimen.”

Cast List/Synopsis


Lucrezia Borgia
by Gaetano Donizetti

In this melodically rich bel canto masterpiece, a femme fatale renowned for her ruthless pursuit of power reveals poignant vulnerability when she comes face to face with her long-lost son.
Soprano Renée Fleming "uncorks the secret inner torments of history's most notorious poisoner. Her best singing was sumptuous and long-lined, airy and ravishingly rich" (San Jose Mercury News).

Tenor Michael Fabiano "made a dashing Company debut as Gennaro, breathing vivid life into the role...singing with both graceful lyricism and full-throated ardor" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, "sings like a vocal giant. Her lowest notes have body and depth, the midrange is especially rich, and she propels her secure, full, and rounded highs with aplomb" (San Francisco Classical Voice).

Bass-baritone Vitalij Kowaljow "gave a thrillingly robust and commanding account" of Duke Alfonso (San Francisco Chronicle).

"The production's execution is first-rate: fine singing, towering sets and outlandishly appealing costumes, as well as a robust chorus and a dazzlingly spot-on performance by the orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Frizza, a bel canto specialist in his company debut" (San Jose Mercury News).

Cast List/Synopsis


The Gershwins® Porgy and Bess℠
by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin

George Gershwin miraculously melded classical music, popular song, jazz, blues and spirituals in this quintessentially American masterpiece that tells the poignant story of a crippled beggar, the headstrong woman he loves, and the community that sustains them both.

San Francisco Chronicle praised Francesca Zambello’s production as a “powerful Porgy and Bess…persuasively led by conductor John DeMain and sung by a strong cast headed by Eric Owens and Laquita Mitchell in the title roles…. Owens brought vocal heft and dramatic sensitivity to the part of Porgy. Mitchell gave an evocative performance as Bess, compounded of tempestuous need and penitence.”

“Dazzling and remarkable!” –San Jose Mercury News
“Triumphant! A top-notch, sold-out Porgy and Bess.–San Francisco Examiner

Cast List/Synopsis