Venue Details

129 Star Starred
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102
415-865-2000
Venue website Get directions

Member Tips

Goldstar Member
No dress code. Casual is ok since this is a tourist town.
info Sep 12 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
Street parking is easy is you get there a few hrs ahead and eat.
info Sep 12 2012 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
Get your tix first before eating to avoid long lines later.
info Sep 12 2012 star this tip starred
ElizB
Dress as nice or casual as you want
info Sep 17 2012 star this tip starred
ElizB
Street parking is possible if you come early
info Sep 17 2012 star this tip starred

Reviews & Ratings

2 ratings
5.0 average rating
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28 events
7 reviews
0 stars
attended Sep 11 2012

Excellent performance for this tragic Italian opera. Great seats, especially with the 50% discount. Seats in this theater are a little tight. Like flying in coach. My... continued

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More Information

Website

http://sfopera.com/Season-Tickets/2012-2013-Season/Rigoletto.aspx

Description

One of opera’s most vivid and compelling characters, a vengeful court jester, desperately tries to protect his daughter from disaster in this heart-wrenching tragedy. The first of two world-class casts led by Music Director Nicola Luisotti stars Zeljko Lucic, “whose vocal artistry is exceptional” (The New York Times_); Aleksandra Kurzak, “a superstar in the making” (_The Guardian, London); and, as the lecherous Duke, Francesco Demuro, “whose open, bright, superbly focused tone was reminiscent of Pavarotti” . The equally impressive next cast stars Marco Vratogna, who, as the sinister Iago in Otello (2009), thrilled San Francisco Opera audiences with his “vocal power and theatrical electricity” (San Francisco Chronicle_); Albina Shagimuratova, “a phenomenon that must be heard to be believed” (Opera News); and Merola Opera Program graduate Arturo Chacon-Cruz with his “clarion tone and piercingly clean top notes” (Washington Times).

About the Ticket Supplier: San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera is the second largest opera company in North America. Gaetano Merola and Kurt Herbert Adler were the Company's first two general directors. Merola led the Company from its founding in 1923 until his death in 1953; Adler was in charge from 1953 through 1981. Legendary for both their conducting and managerial skills, the two leaders established a formidable institution that is internationally recognized as one of the top opera companies in the world--heralded for its first-rate productions and roster of international opera stars. Following Adler's tenure, the Company was headed by three visionary leaders: Terence A. McEwen (1982-1988), Lotfi Mansouri (1988-2001), and Pamela Rosenberg (2001-2005). Originally presented over two weeks, the Company's season now contains approximately seventy-five performances of ten operas between September and July. San Francisco Opera recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of its performing home, the War Memorial Opera House. The venerable beaux arts building was inaugurated on October 15, 1932 and holds the distinction of being the first American opera house that was not built by and for a small group of wealthy patrons; the funding came thanks to a group of private citizens who encouraged thousands of San Franciscans to subscribe. The War Memorial currently welcomes some 500,000 patrons annually.

David Gockley became San Francisco Opera's sixth general director in January of 2006 after more than three decades at the helm of Houston Grand Opera. During his first months as general director, Gockley took opera to the center of the community with a free outdoor simulcast--the first in the Company's history--of Puccini's Madama Butterfly in May 2006. Subsequent simulcasts included Rigoletto in October 2006, reaching 15,000 people in San Francisco and Stanford University's Frost Amphitheater; Don Giovanni in June 2007, which was broadcast to 7,000 people in four theaters across Northern California; and Samson and Delilah for an audience of 15,000 at AT&T Park in September 2007. In 2007, Gockley led San Francisco Opera to take these innovations even further and created the Koret-Taube Media Suite. The first permanent high-definition broadcast-standard video production facility installed in any American opera house, the Koret-Taube Media Suite gives the Company the permanent capability to produce simulcasts and other projects including OperaVision, where retractable screens provide full stage, close-up, and mid-range ensemble shots in high-definition video for patrons in balcony seats. Gockley ushered in another first for San Francisco Opera in December 2007 when the Company announced an agreement for distribution of six operas per year to movie theaters across the globe. This agreement with The Bigger Picture, a subsidiary of Access Integrated Technologies, Inc., marks the first time that any opera company will utilize the feature film quality digital cinema format and underscores how the era of digital cinema is transforming how and where great entertainment reaches new audiences.

Gockley's partner in artistic programming and musical issues is Music Director and Principal Conductor Donald Runnicles, appointed in 1992. During his tenure, Runnicles has championed new repertory ranging from the world premieres of John Adams's Doctor Atomic (2005) to Conrad Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons (1994), in addition to the spectacular American stage premiere of Olivier Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise (2002) and the West Coast premiere of Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk (1996). After seventeen years with the San Francisco Opera, Maestro Runnicles will step down as music director in the summer of 2009. He will continue his relationship with the Company, conducting a new production of Peter Grimes and the "American" Ring Cycle, which continues into the 2010-11 season. Nicola Luisotti, a rising star in the opera world, will succeed Donald Runnicles as music director in the fall of 2009.

San Francisco Opera offers a comprehensive array of acclaimed training programs and performance opportunities for young artists under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program (each a separate institution). Both are led by renowned soprano Sheri Greenawald.