Tchaikovsky's Joan of Arc from San Francisco Opera
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The last date listed for Joan of Arc was Wednesday June 14, 2006 / 7:30pm.
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In a brand new San Francisco Opera production, the set is a stage within a stage. The story, set in 15th century France, unfolds as a play viewed by modern-day spectators.
Having just finished his great ballet Swan Lake and his first operatic masterpiece Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky turned to the Joan of Arc legend just as he had come into his own. In ascendant and searing arias, including the celebrated “Adieu, forêts,” the spotlight shines on the title role.
Joan hears divine voices that tell her to lead France to victory over the English. She sweeps them out of Orleans and guides her king to a lavish coronation. However, she falls in love, betraying her vow of chastity. The voices return to condemn her disobedience and sentence her to death on earth. She is burned at the stake but welcomed into heaven by celestial choirs.
Dramatic mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick returns to the San Francisco Opera stage, where she made her debut, to claim the spotlight. Likened to the great voices of Birgit Nilsson and Marilyn Horne, and lauded by The New York Times as “a mezzo in a class by herself,” Zajick is an artist who redefines “memorable!”
About the Ticket Supplier: San Francisco Opera
A leader among international opera companies for nine decades, San Francisco Opera was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953). Merola and his successor as general director, Kurt Herbert Adler, established a formidable institution heralded for its first-rate productions and roster of international opera stars. The landmark War Memorial Opera House has been the Company’s home since October 15, 1932.
After Adler’s tenure, the Company was led by Terence A. McEwen (1982–1988), Lotfi Mansouri (1988–2001), and Pamela Rosenberg (2001–2005). In January 2006 David Gockley became the Opera’s sixth general director after more than 30 years at the helm of Houston Grand Opera. That May, Gockley took opera to the center of the community with a free outdoor simulcast of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Subsequent simulcasts, including nine at AT&T Park, have collectively drawn nearly 200,000 opera fans. Created in 2007 the Koret-Taube Media Suite has enabled the Company to produce simulcasts and other projects including OperaVision (screens providing HD close-up shots for patrons in balcony seats), the Grand Opera Cinema Series in theaters and performing arts centers, an annual series of KQED telecasts and releases of DVDs and Blu-Rays of recent performances. Regular San Francisco Opera radio broadcasts returned to national and international airwaves in 2007.
Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti, one of the opera world’s most exciting conductors, has been music director since the fall of 2009.