S.F. Opera to offer Domingo, 'Ring' and more 

Plácido Domingo is coming to San Francisco.

The tenor, who turns 69 on Thursday, has been great for an incredible half a century. This month, he is conducting one Verdi opera at the Metropolitan Opera (“Stiffelio”) and is singing the baritone title role of another, “Simon Boccanegra” – although not at the same time.

He is also general director of both the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera –  in his spare time, which is too little, according to some in those companies.

To prove that he does not intend to slow down, Domingo has signed on with San Francisco Opera – where he first sang in a staged production in 1969 ("La Boheme") and last in  1994 ("Hérodiade") – to appear in the title role of the premiere here of Franco Alfano's “Cyrano de Bergerac” in the fall.

Domingo's appearance and the scheduling of the rarely-performed opera by the composer who completed Puccini's “Turandot” were announced today by General Director David Gockley, who presented the schedule for San Francisco Opera's 2010-11 season, its 88th.  

There will be 66 performances of 10 productions, seven new to San Francisco.

Given the continued fiscal constraints, the fall portion of the season is being cut back to six productions. The current operating budget is reduced to $63 million from the previously planned $69 million, still including a projected $3.2 million deficit.

Yet there are casts rich in talent and renown, and in a heroic gesture, the season will close in the summer of 2011 with the four works of Richard Wagner's “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” the mightiest, and most expensive, of productions in all opera (June 14-July 3).

Opening the season Sept. 10 is Verdi's "Aida," conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti,  featuring Micaela Carosi, Dolora Zajick and Marcello Giordani (through Oct. 2).

Next is Massenet's "Werther," conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, with Ramón Vargas, Elina Garanca and Heidi Stober (Sept. 15-Oct. 1).

From Sept. 21 through Oct. 22 is Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro," conducted by Luisotti, with Luca Pisaroni, Danielle de Niese, Ellie Dehn and  Michele Losier.

Following is Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," conducted by Luisotti, with Svetla  Vassileva and Stefano Secco (Oct. 12-Nov. 27).   

“Cyrano de Bergerac," conducted by Patrick Fournillier, with Domingo, Ainhoa Arteta and  Thiago Arancam runs Oct. 24-Nov. 12.

Leoš Janacek's "The Makropulos Case," conducted by Jiri Belohlávek, with Karita Mattila and  Miro Dvorsky, runs Nov. 10-28.

San Francisco Opera 2010-11 season  

War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.., San Francisco
When: Sept. 10 through July 2011
Tickets: $96 to $1,824 for full-season, $48 to $1,215 for half-season subscription; $120 to $2,800 for “Ring” cycle on sale now; $40 to $320 single tickets on sale July 11
Contact: (415) 864-3330; www.sfopera.com

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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