Classical KDFC to Air Archival San Francisco Opera Broadcast of Richard Strauss' Arabella on February 4

Release date: 1/23/2018    


1980 Performance Features Kiri Te Kanawa as Arabella, Barbara Daniels as Zdenka, William Lewis as Matteo and Ingvar Wixell as Mandryka

KDFC Arabella archival broadcast.pdf  Photos Available

On February 4 at 8 p.m., the Bay Area’s Classical KDFC will broadcast a 1980 San Francisco Opera performance of Richard Strauss’ romantic opera Arabella starring soprano Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role, soprano Barbara Daniels as Zdenka, tenor William Lewis as Matteo and baritone Ingvar Wixell as Mandryka, with German conductor Wolfgang Rennert. This performance from the Company’s archives will be hosted by KDFC radio announcer Dianne Nicolini.

The capstone of the artistic partnership between Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arabella premiered in 1933 and quickly joined the artists’ other collaborations including Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau ohne Schatten in the repertories of opera companies around the world. Set in Vienna’s golden age, the opera follows Arabella, a beautiful young woman who is expected to marry for wealth to save her family from financial ruin, but she yearns for a soulmate. The opera, which features one of Strauss’ most lush and refulgent scores, premiered at San Francisco Opera on October 29, 1980.

New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa sings Arabella, one of her most celebrated portrayals, for which the San Francisco Chronicle praised her “voice which spins lines of precious tone, soaring softly or arching out to you, always in a living, dynamic state.” A few months after her critical and popular success in Arabella at San Francisco Opera, Te Kanawa’s fame grew to unprecedented proportions when she sang at the royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, a televised event seen by an estimated 750 million people. American soprano Barbara Daniels portrays Arabella’s lovesick sister, Zdenka. Swedish baritone Ingvar Wixell, a San Francisco Opera favorite since making his American debut with the Company in 1967, portrays Mandryka and William Lewis sings the role of Matteo. German conductor Wolfgang Rennert leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in this classic performance.

Classical KDFC can be heard on the FM dial at 90.3 (San Francisco), 89.9 (Wine Country), 92.5 (Ukiah-Lakeport), 104.9 (Silicon Valley), 103.9 (Santa Cruz and Monterey); on Comcast Cable 981; or online at  The historic Arabella performance from 1980 may also be streamed on demand at up to four weeks following the February 4 broadcast.

During San Francisco Opera’s 2018–19 Season at the War Memorial Opera House, Arabella will be presented for the first time in two decades with a cast featuring Ellie Dehn in her role debut as Arabella, Heidi Stober as Zdenka, Brian Mulligan as Mandryka, Daniel Johansson as Matteo and Hye Jung Lee as the Fiakermilli in the acclaimed production by Tim Albery. Chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera and renowned Strauss interpreter, Marc Albrecht will make his American operatic debut on the podium.

*For the complete press release, including calendar listings, please view the attached PDF.