Release date: 9/4/2018
Benefit Gala Inaugurates San Francisco Opera's 96th Season and Opening of José Cura's Bold Staging of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci
Opera Ball 2018 updated Sept.pdf Photos Available
To inaugurate San Francisco Opera’s 96th season and the opening night double bill of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (or Cav/Pag), San Francisco Opera Guild presents Opera Ball 2018: ¡Viva La Noche! on Friday, September 7, 2018. Co-chaired by Shannon Cronan and Kathy Huber, this sold out gala benefit to raise funds for the Company’s education and outreach programs features event design by J. Riccardo Benavides and dinner by McCalls Catering & Events. Debuting at this year’s event, Chalk Hill Estate Vinyards and Winery is the official Opera Ball Wine Sponsor, joining Roederer Estate as the Sparkling Wine Sponsor and Neiman Marcus, the Dinner Sponsor. Honorary Chairs for Opera Ball 2018 are John A. & Cynthia Fry Gunn and Diane B. Wilsey.
Opera Ball 2018 and the annual BRAVO! Club Opening Night Gala take place on the campus of the Beaux Arts-designed San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center in connection with the premier of Cav/Pag presented in the bold production by Argentine tenor, conductor and opera director José Cura. Italian conductor Daniele Callegari makes his Company debut leading the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Chorus and cast and the production is staged in revival by Argentine director Jose Maria Condemi.
Inspiration for Opera Ball 2018: ¡Viva La Noche! arose from a visit by Benavides and the co-chairs to the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, the atmospheric neighborhood that provides the setting of Cura’s vision for Cav/Pag. Channeling the Italianate elegance of the Caminito and La Boca’s vital street culture, Benavides has uses bandoneon, tango and cool colors to recreate a festive Argentine evening inside the tented pavilion adjacent to the Opera House. Following a chic cocktail reception at 5 p.m. in the grand foyer of the Opera House, guests will proceed to the pavilion at 6 p.m. to enjoy a dinner by McCalls executive chef Josip Martinovic. Attendees will then adjourn to the Opera House for the 8 p.m. performance of the verismo double bill and return to the tent at 11 p.m. for an after-party milonga featuring tango; a tempting, sweet and savory buffet and dancing to the sounds of Pop Rocks.
San Francisco Opera Guild President Jane Mudge said: “Opera Ball is the jewel in the crown of the Opera Guild’s mission. We take great pride in creating an evening that will surprise and delight, but most of all keep our guests attending and supporting this beautiful art form year after year. This year’s Ball is set in Buenos Aires, a beautiful city with a little grit and a lot of flair—perfect for San Francisco!”
One of the premier philanthropic evenings on the West Coast, Opera Ball brings together local and national corporate, political, civic and charitable leaders who are committed to making music education available to all and introducing students to the transformative experiences of seeing San Francisco Opera performances on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. Proceeds from Opera Ball benefit the education programs of the Opera Guild and San Francisco Opera Association. Mudge said, “The great motivator behind this year-long fundraising and organizational effort is knowing that our programs will make an impact on the lives of today’s youth in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.”
The annual BRAVO! Club Opening Night Gala, led by BRAVO! President Shannon Eliot and gala co-chairs Xanadu Bruggers and Anjali Menon, begins with a pre-performance reception on the Opera House Loggia at 6:30 p.m. Following the performance of Cav/Pag, the BRAVO! gala festivities continue at the Green Room in the Veterans Building with an after-party beginning at 11 p.m. featuring dancing to the sounds of DJ Chris Fox and an outdoor Bourbon and Rye tasting hosted by Wright & Brown Distilling Co. The BRAVO! gala is designed by Kate Siegel Fine Events with catering by Paula LeDuc.
San Francisco Opera’s BRAVO! Club is a dedicated and dynamic group of young professionals throughout the Bay Area. With a love of opera and a burgeoning interest in exploring arts and culture, members enjoy discounted tickets and exclusive educational and social events, while helping to build the future audience for San Francisco Opera.
The double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci was last presented by San Francisco Opera in 2003. Cavalleria Rusticana features Russian mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Semenchuk as Santuzza, Italian tenor Roberto Aronica as Turiddu and, in his first performances in the United States, Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias as Alfio. Pagliacci stars Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian as Nedda, Italian tenor Marco Berti as Canio, Platanias as Tonio and American baritone David Pershall as Silvio.
*For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.