Music by George Frideric Handel


Trapped inside his war-torn mind in a military hospital during WWII, the pilot Orlando can’t tell reality from delusion. The trauma of war has turned his love into madness, and only through the help of his friends can he overcome the lasting effects of war. Experience this powerful and gripping story through Handel’s colorful music.

Production New to San Francisco Opera

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

See a Performance

Great Availability on Tuesday, June 18

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours 21 minutes including two intermissions

Who Should See It

Fans of Dunkirk, Saving Private Ryan, Through the Looking Glass, 1940s fashion, The Source and Handel's Julius Caesar.

Invite a Friend

Sunday 06/09/19 2:00PM *
Saturday 06/15/19 7:30PM *
Tuesday 06/18/19 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Friday 06/21/19 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Thursday 06/27/19 7:30PM * Buy Tickets

Select three operas to save up to 30% off individual tickets and unlock exclusive subscriber benefits. Design Your Own package today.


* OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for this performance, is made possible by the Koret/Taube Media Suite.


Events During Orlando

Pre-Opera Talks

Free to Ticketholders. For every performance, join us in the Orchestra section 55 minutes prior to curtain.

CD Signing with Sasha Cooke and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen

Meet Sasha Cooke and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen in person at a special CD signing following the performance of Orlando on June 15. Learn more.

Open Curtain

Join us for an open curtain intermission on Tuesday, June 18.

The Buzz


 “In this intelligent second-world-war take on Orlando for Scottish Opera, Harry Fehr has created a moving and provocative human drama.”
The Guardian

Cooke "brings an extraordinary wealth of tonal color to a performance, as well as a degree of emotional intensity.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[Van Horn] is one of those treasurable singers in whose presence one can entirely relax, assured that everything he does will be delivered with solid interpretive insight and unfailingly attractive tone”
Opera News


A mentally tormented warrior becomes entangled in a love triangle set by an ambiguous agent.


Read Complete Synopsis >


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Notes on Orlando

George Frideric Handel—who spent most of his life in London, a naturalized Englishman, and settled on that spelling of his names—was born in 1685, like J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. Read more.

Marilyn Horne: Orlando’s Champion

In San Francisco Opera’s near-100 years of presenting opera on the grandest scale, there are a few elite artists who stand apart from the Company’s esteemed and lengthy roster of greats—the cream of the cream of the crop. Read more.

Director’s Perspective on Orlando

It is perhaps surprising to learn that, of the 35 or so libretti which George Frideric Handel set for the London stage, very few were entirely original pieces of work. Read more.


Cast and Creative

Orlando Sasha Cooke
Angelica Heidi Stober
Dorinda Christina Gansch *
Medoro Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen *
Zoroastro Christian Van Horn


June 9, 15, 18, 21, 27, 2019

Conductor Christopher Moulds *
Director Harry Fehr *
Production Designer Yannis Thavoris *
Original Lighting Designer Anna Watson *
Revival Lighting Designer Tim van ‘t Hof *
Projection Designer Andrzej Goulding *
Fight Director Dave Maier

*  San Francisco Opera debut

A production of Scottish Opera.


Previous performance of Orlando can be found in our Archive.


Bernard and Barbro Osher; and Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Emerging Stars Fund; and Joan & David Traitel, through the Great Singers Fund.


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Photo (top): Scottish Opera production of Orlando/Richard Campbell.