Four new titles of San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series come to Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

All operas were recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House.

Vargas Mula

Vargas Mula

San Francisco Opera has partnered with Sundance Cinemas to present HD screenings of the Company’s acclaimed productions of Puccini’s La Bohème and Tosca as well as Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco.

The monthly Tuesday evening (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday matinee (10 a.m.) screenings begin in January with La Bohème and continue through May 2011. All operas were recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House.

These screenings mark the second series of San Francisco Opera’s cinema presentations to be shown at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, following a highly successful run of four titles in 2010.

The series begins on January 11 and 15 with La Bohème, Giacomo Puccini’s exceedingly popular opera that tells the moving tale of starving artists falling in and out of love in 19th-century Paris. A seamless mix of romantic passion, poignant tragedy and high spirited fun, this opera boasts an outstanding cast featuring superstar Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu as the ill-fated Mimì and Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as her lover, the poet Rodolfo. Baritone Quinn Kelsey sings the role of Marcello and Musetta, his flirtatious and fickle lover, is sung by soprano Norah Amsellem. Bass Oren Gradus sings Colline, baritone Brian Leerhuber is Schaunard and bass Dale Travis sings the dual roles of Benoit and Alcindoro. Nicola Luisotti, San Francisco Opera’s music director and master of the Italian repertoire, conducts this beautiful San Francisco Opera production that is directed by Harry Silverstein.

 Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo) and Angela Gheorghiu (Mimì) in La Bohème. Photo by Terrence McCarthy.
Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo) and Angela Gheorghiu (Mimì) in La Bohème. Photo by Terrence McCarthy.

The series continues on February 19 and 22 with Puccini’s Tosca, a fierce melodrama set to magnificent music. This beloved San Francisco Opera production brings to life a tempestuous world of cruelty and deception through the tragic story of Floria Tosca, a beautiful yet volatile singer; Mario Cavaradossi, the idealistic painter that she loves; and Baron Scarpia, an amoral police chief who uses his power to satisfy his lecherous appetite. Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka appears in the title role opposite tenor Carlo Ventre as Cavaradossi and baritone Lado Ataneli as Baron Scarpia. Italian conductor Marco Armiliato leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and Jose Maria Condemi directs.

Carlo Ventre (Cavadarossi), Adrianne Pieczonka (Floria Tosca) and Lado Ataneli (Scarpia) in Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver.
Carlo Ventre (Cavadarossi), Adrianne Pieczonka (Floria Tosca) and Lado Ataneli (Scarpia) in Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver.

Lucia di Lammermoor, Gaetano Donizetti’s famed saga of a woman driven mad by her arranged marriage is presented on March 22 and 26. The production features celebrated French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, whose vocal agility and dramatic charisma have established her as one of the role’s foremost interpreters. Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti is Lucia’s beloved Edgardo and baritone Gabriele Viviani is her brother, Lord Enrico Ashton. The striking Teatro del Maggio Musicale production, conceived by Graham Vick, is led by French conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce.

Giuseppe Filianoti (Edgardo)and Natalie Dessay (Lucia) in Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo by Terrence McCarthy.
Giuseppe Filianoti (Edgardo)and Natalie Dessay (Lucia) in Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo by Terrence McCarthy.

The series concludes on May 10 and 14 with Gaetano Donizetti’s boisterous comedy The Elixir of Love. A flirtatious tale of innocent love and boundless devotion, the opera tells the story of the shy, love-struck Nemorino as he naïvely relies on a “love potion” to help him win the heart of the beautiful Adina. Stunning Albanian soprano Inva Mula and internationally renowned Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas headline a brilliant cast. Director James Robinson ingeniously updates this classic Italian tale to the delightful innocence of a Napa Valley county fair circa 1915, and Bruno Campanella conducts.

Recorded live in high definition at San Francisco’s historic War Memorial Opera House, all shows include English subtitles and a brief intermission with behind the scenes interviews. All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and San Francisco Opera Chorus (Ian Robertson, Chorus Director). Please see attached calendar for a complete schedule and screening information.

San Francisco Opera’s education department presents free, informative 25 minute pre-screening lectures prior to each Saturday matinee performance. Lectures begin at 9:30 a.m. inside the theater and will be presented at La Bohème (January 15), Lucia di Lammermoor (March 26) and The Elixir of Love (May 14) by music educator Alexandra Amati-Camperi. The speaker for the February 19 screening of Tosca will be announced at a later date.

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S GRAND OPERA CINEMA SERIES AT THE SUNDANCE KABUKI CINEMAS

San Francisco Opera's La Bohème, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor and The Elixir of Love Come to Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, January-May 2011JANUARY-MAY 2011

SUNDANCE KABUKI CINEMAS, 1881 Post Street, San Francisco

TICKETS: Tuesday evenings: $13 for adults and $11 for seniors; available only for patrons age 21 and over; light food, snacks and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the Sundance bistro and bar and may be brought into the theater. Saturday matinees: $11 for adults and seniors and $9.25 for children. Patrons may purchase tickets and select seats in advance at sundancecinemas.com.  Tickets are also available at the Sundance Kabuki Box Office.

INFORMATION: For more information about Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, visit sundancecinemas.com or call (415) 346-3243‎.  For more information about San Francisco Opera’s Grand Opera Cinema Series, and to view video clips of these operas, visit sfopera.com/cinemaseries.

San Francisco Opera’s La Bohème in HD

Tuesday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m.                                            Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Saturday, January 15 at 10 a.m. 1881 Post Street, San Francisco

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes with one ten-minute intermission

Rating: General Audiences

La Bohème, Giacomo Puccini’s exceedingly popular opera, tells the moving tale of starving artists falling in and out of love in 19th-century Paris.  A seamless mix of romantic passion, poignant tragedy and high spirited fun, this opera boasts an outstanding cast featuring superstar Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu as the ill-fated Mimì and Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as her lover, the poet Rodolfo. Baritone Quinn Kelsey sings the role of Marcello and Musetta, his flirtatious and fickle lover, is sung by soprano Norah Amsellem. Bass Oren Gradus sings Colline, baritone Brian Leerhuber is Schaunard and bass Dale Travis sings the dual roles of the quartet’s landlord Benoit and Alcindoro, Musetta’s wealthy admirer. Nicola Luisotti, San Francisco Opera’s music director and master of the Italian repertoire, conducts this beautiful San Francisco Opera production with sets by Michael Yeargan and directed by Harry Silverstein. Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House in Fall 2008.

San Francisco Opera’s Tosca in HD

Saturday, February 19 at 10 a.m.                                             Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. 1881 Post Street, San Francisco

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes with two ten-minute intermissions

Rating: General Audiences

A fierce melodrama set to magnificent music, Puccini’s Tosca brings to life a tempestuous world of cruelty and deception through the tragic story of Floria Tosca, a beautiful yet volatile singer; Mario Cavaradossi, the idealistic painter that she loves; and Baron Scarpia, an amoral police chief who uses his power to satisfy his lecherous appetite. Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka appears in the title role opposite tenor Carlo Ventre as Cavaradossi and baritone Lado Ataneli as Baron Scarpia. Italian conductor Marco Armiliato leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus and Jose Maria Condemi directs. This San Francisco Opera production, which was first conceived by Lotfi Mansouri and Production Designer Thierry Bosquet, is a re-creation of Armando Agnini’s Tosca production that opened the War Memorial Opera House in 1932.  Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House in Summer 2009.

San Francisco Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor in HD

Tuesday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Saturday, March 26 at 10 a.m. 1881 Post Street, San Francisco

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Running time: 3 hours and 15 minutes with one ten-minute intermission

Rating:  General Audiences

Lucia di Lammermoor, Gaetano Donizetti’s famed saga of a woman driven mad by her arranged marriage, features celebrated French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, whose vocal agility and dramatic charisma have established her as one of the role’s foremost interpreters. Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti is Lucia’s beloved Edgardo and baritone Gabriele Viviani is her brother, Lord Enrico Ashton. The striking Teatro del Maggio Musicale production, conceived by Graham Vick and with sets deisgned by Paul Brown, is led by French conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce. Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House in Summer 2008.

San Francisco Opera’s The Elixir of Love in HD

Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.                                                 Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. 1881 Post Street, San Francisco

Sung in Italian with English subtitles

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes with one ten-minute intermission

Rating: General Audiences

A flirtatious tale of innocent love and boundless devotion, Gaetano Donizetti’s boisterous comedy The Elixir of Love tells the story of the shy, love-struck Nemorino as he naïvely relies on a “love potion” to help him win the heart of the beautiful Adina.  Stunning Albanian soprano Inva Mula and internationally renowned Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas headline a brilliant cast which also includes bass-baritone Alessandro Corbelli as Dulcamara, baritone Giorgio Caoduro as the dashing Sergeant Belcore and soprano Ji-Young Yang as Gianetta. Director James Robinson and set designer Allen Moyer ingeniously update this classic Italian tale to the delightful innocence of a Napa Valley county fair circa 1915, and Bruno Campanella conducts. Recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House in Fall 2008.

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