With its marble foyer and vaulted ceilings, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue can be more than a little intimidating — and maybe a tad over budget for families with young children, college students, and the elderly on fixed incomes.
On Friday, Sept. 28, however, the people behind the elegant galas will team up with AT&T Park to offer a live simulcast of "Samson and Delilah" straight from the opera-house stage to the ballpark’s new high-definition scoreboard — for free.
With a backdrop of the San Francisco Bay, consider it a blend of hot dogs and beer and updos and sports coats. Those interested in attending should print free tickets from www.sfopera.com/giants and bring blankets for limited lawn seating for the 8 p.m. show. So far, about 30,000 people have reserved seats.
"We are excited to bring a new twist to the traditional opera in the park that only we can with one of the most technologically advanced ballparks in the country," said Larry Baer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the San Francisco Giants.
Since becoming general director of the San Francisco Opera in 2006, David Gockley has worked to bring opera to The City’s larger community. Tonight’s event will be the Bay Area’s fourth free simulcast under Gockley’s direction.
Saint-Saëns’ "Samson and Delilah," the epic musical story of a hero who loses his heart, his hair and finally his strength, will be broadcast from the War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue to a 3,200-square-foot high-definition scoreboard at the ballpark. While Barry Bonds will likely not be there, baseball-opera fans will be able to enjoy baseball concessions.
"We have a desire to share what we’re doing with a much wider audience because opera has a huge impact on people emotionally and artistically," said Matthew Shilvock, director of new initiatives for the San Francisco Opera.
"There’s a lot of barriers people bring to opera because it’s a quite complex art from, by taking it outside and where people can come for free, they candecide whether they like it," he added