Operatic Future Seasons

Found on the web or wherever, tidings of San Francisco Opera.

Be sure to read my blog posting about a letter David Gockley sent to subscribers in 2013. Of the singers and productions he mentioned, we haven't yet heard a word about Elektra, including who will sing in it and what production it will be. Here are the singers he mentioned and what they have or have not sung in:

Radvanovsky (Norma), Vargas (Mefistofele, Ballo), Hampson (Ballo), Stoyanova (sigh), Zajick (Ballo), Pisaroni (Nozze), D'Arcangelo (Don Giovanni), Graham , Antonacci, Hymel (all in Troyens), Fabiano (Boheme, Luisa Miller, Don Carlo, Manon), Kwiecien (Don Carlo), Mattila (Jenufa), Monastryska (? Andrea Chenier?), Alagna (? Andrea Chenier?), Crocetto (Boheme, Luisa, Aida, Turandot), Finley (sigh), Jovanovich (Meistersinger, Susannah).


What we know:

  • Heggie, It's a Wonderful Life. News of a new Heggie was buried in the David Gockley retirement press release and mentioned at that time for fall, 2017. I have been told since that it is not happening in fall, 2017. An article by (the late) David Littlejohn in the WSJ said that Heggie's (It's a) Wonderful Life would be coming to San Francisco, so I bet  that is what was referred to in an SFO press release or two. This is firm for fall, 2018, because it has been announced by SFO.
Upcoming San Francisco Opera Commissions
  • The Jake Heggie commission, It's a Wonderful Life (Fall, 2018)
  • John Adams/Peter Sellars, Girls of the Golden West (Fall, 2017)
Out there someplace, rumored or no, at SFO:

Some of the below is based on what Matthew Shilvock said at a Medallion Society event on November 4, 2016, according to a friend who was there. Those items are marked MS. 
  • A friend tells me that Matthew Shilvock has said that we're overdue for Parsifal. Right he is. I am not sure whether he said this during the press conference announcing his appointment or at a subsequent event.
  • More Janacek? Maybe this is the 2016-17 Makropoulos Case, maybe it's something else. We haven't had Katya in years; we've never had Excursions of Mr. Broucek or From the House of the Dead.
  • New production of Guillaume Tell, with Bryan Hymel as Arnold.
  • Ariadne auf Naxos. No idea who might be in this, though the great Karita Mattila has added Ariadne to her rep and Christine Goerke has it in hers too. I hope it'll be the same fabulous production done with Voigt more than ten years back. Personal to SFO: hire Emma McNairy or Shawnette Sulker for Zerbinetta.
  • Future appearances by Lianna Haroutounian, but I heard this in 2014 and this might have referred to the 2016 Butterfly. Yeah, I'd like to hear her again!
  • Nabucco. Um, could this be with guaranteed-sellout-guy PD? Further rumor suggests this opera isn't on the schedule.
  • Tosca new production (MS)
  • New productions of various standards. (MS) I would bet expect that two will be Traviata and Nozze; but MS said that Tosca would be the first revised warhorse.
  • Future appearances by Fabiano, Sierra, Pape, Radvanovsky. We can be pretty sure that Fab and Sierra are in Manon; Rad could be the next Tosca. Pape? Who knows; he's a versatile guy. If there's a Parsifal in our future, he could be Gurnemanz. He also has Procida in Vepres Sicilienne/i Vespri Siciliani in his rep.(MS)
  • Some talk of French baroque rep and of mixing up world premieres with 20c rep by Britten, Strauss, Schoenberg, etc. (MS) (For Strauss, see Elektra and rumors of both Arabella and Ariadne. My personal hope is for the return of Die Frau ohne Schatten, not performed at SF Opera since 1989. Frau's US premiere was at SF Opera, so it would be good to have in the centenary year.
  • Christian Van Horn will be back at some point in the next couple of years (yay!).
  • A tweet suggests that maybe Sonya Yoncheva will make an overdue debut here in the nearish future (written in Dec. 2016).
Be sure to keep an eye on Opera Tattler's SFO Future Seasons page. She mentions Orfeo ed Euridice and other works.

General SFO Rumors
  • Arabella
  • Adriana Lecouvreuer, co-production by David McVicar with the ROH, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Vienna State Opera, San Francisco Opera and L’Opéra National de Paris. Beczala? Maybe in 20172018?
  • Cav & Pag. Has not been done in some years. Amazingly, I have seen this former repertory staple only once, back in the 80s.
  • Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, rumored Brandon Jovanovich, soprano unknown. Patricia Racette and Eva-Marie Westbroek have both sung the soprano role. Westbroek does not sound good on the Met Cav video, alas.
  • Bernstein's A Quiet Place, dir. Christopher Alden, with Sasha Cooke and Corinne Winters (found in Opera Magazine, apparently not in fall 2017). My bet? It's for the Bernstein centenary, in fall 2018.
What's wrong with this? No Verdi, no Puccini, no Mozart. With so much Tosca / Boheme / Butterfly / Turandot recently, if there's a Puccini, we're left with Manon Lescaut, Trittico (does the NYCO production survive? I suspect not), and Fanciulla. Maybe the Nabucco I had at one time for fall 2017 will be this season instead, or maybe it's not happening at all.

For Verdi, we'll have more or less recently had Don Carlo, Traviata (2x), Ballo, Aida, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Luisa Miller, Traviata, leaving a mere 20 to choose from. I have never seen Vespri and have seen only a few of the pre-Rigoletto operas (Giorno di Regno, Nabucco, Ernani, Luisa Miller, Attila, Macbeth (both versions)), so I vote for anything I've never seen or for a really fire-breathing production of Ernani. Can you say Fabiano, Radvanovsky (or Mead), Pape, Kwiecien? I can, but that's pure daydreaming. Okay, I once sang in the chorus of Il Corsaro, which counts.

For Mozart, the three Da Ponte operas were all done in the last ten years, plus two rounds of Magic Flute, and I remember both Idomeneo and Abduction not too long ago. Maybe Clemenza?

We will probably not have Wagner this soon after the giant effort of staging the Ring.


Found on the web or wherever, tidings of other opera companies:
  • Future Met Wiki, full of rumor and gossip about you-know-where.
  • A public Twitter exchange suggests it's possible that Christine Goerke and Elizabeth Bishop are under contract somewhere to sing, respectively, Isolde and Brangaene. I'll be first in line to buy a ticket.
  • Christine Goerke to sing Isolde, date and location unknown, but this is not a rumor: she said so in public.
Berlioz, Here and There

Because we can't get enough of Hector.

1. Rob Gordon reports the following in a comment to one of my Troyens postings:
The Liceu in Barcelona is doing [Benvenuto Cellini] in November (John Osborn again, with one performance by someone named Enea Scala -- how's that for a Berliozian name). The Rome opera is doing it in March of 2016 (Osborn again), and the Bastille opera has it planned for the 2017-18 season, part of a Berlioz cycle that has in consecutive seasons Damnation of Faust, Béatrice et Bénédict, Cellini, and Troyens.  
2. Seattle Opera produces Beatrice and Benedict, in English, in February, 2018, during the 2017-18 season.

Already in the past:

Les Toyens at LOC, Fall, 2016. Brandon Jovanovich as Enee. (Now there is a dream match of voice and role.) Now confirmed by Opera Magazine. Well, perhaps a trip to the Met (Tristan) can be combined with a trip to Chicago. Rumor on Parterre Box is that Cassandre will be Christine Goerke (see "dream match of voice and role"). It is public knowledge that Sasha Cooke covered Didon in SF. Update: Yes, Goerke as Cassandre, and French mezzo Sophie Koch as Didon. No, Koch out, Susan Graham in as Didon.

Confirmed Rumors

Haven't really got any of these except to note Stefan Margita in SFO Ring and Christine Goerke in SFO Elektra.


Season announced on January 17, 2017. Comments in brackets below.

Adjusted to take into account the official announcement of the Adams commission and the probability that fall 2017 will have no more than six operas and might have fewer given that the Ring is expensive and four operas.
  • Turandot. I have removed previous prognostications about casting. Jagde, not Kaufmann; Nina Stemme in the title role according to someone posting at Opera Tattler (Goerke's name had been linked with Kaufmann). Production is again the Hockney (groan). [Martina Serafin starts the run, Stemme completes it; we have three Lius: Maria Agresta, Toni Marie Palmertree, and Leah Crocetto.)
  • John (Coolidge) Adams commission with Peter Sellars. Subject: the California Gold Rush. Reported in Opera Magazine, April 2016; performance date will be fall, 2017. The opera is called The Girls of the Golden West (GROAN). No casting announced yet. JCA's web site has a synopsis, which I haven't read yet.
  • La TraviataArtur Rucinski as Giorgio Germont. We can hope for Yoncheva and Fabiano. [We didn't get them, because it's an all-debutant cast.]
  • Elektra, new production mentioned by David Gockley in a letter to subscribers in 2013, a co-production with Prague, by Keith Warner, seen in 2016 in that city. The most likely possibilities in the title role seem to me to be Stemme, Herlitzius, and Goerke (maybe Theorin?). If Stemme is singing Turandot, she's not likely to also be singing Elektra. For Chrysothemis, Pieczonka, Barkmin, and Magee (maybe Schwanewilms? Heidi Melton, who told me she knows the part, but hasn't sung it yet? Tamara Wilson, who is singing the part in Houston in 2017-18?). Lise Lindstrom must know one of those roles, also. Klytemnestra, who knows. As of November, 2016 I have heard a report that our girl with the ax will be Goerke, but I don't know where the friend reporting this heard it. Given the Houston announcement, which has Patrick Summers conducting there, we might get him here.[Okay, it's Goerke, Pieczonka, and Stephanie Blythe, with Henrik Nanasi conducting.]
  • Manon, a co-production with Israeli Opera, shown in Vilnius already. I speculated we might get Beczala and Damrau, but I hear there was a lot of nudge, nudge, wink wink at the David Gockley gala on June 16, 2016 that implied Michael Fabiano and Nadine Sierra - who sang the St. Sulpice scene at the gala. Vincent Boussard directs and is costume designer. (He directed the recent I Capuleti.)
  • Summer, 2018: A revival of the Zambello Ring, with Donald Runnicles conducting. Casting details so far are Greer Grimsley (Wotan) and Evelyn Herlitzius (Brunnhilde, but really, can't SFO just hire Christine Goerke???), discussed by David Gockley at a member event of some kind in 2015. Stefan Margita's web site lists Loge in SF for this year. Full cast announcement was made in September, 2016; I discuss it here.
And.....it is amazing what you can turn up with a search of the public web, such as this dancer audition PDF. Note the apparent double run of Turandot, which has happened before.

2016-17 SFO

Season announced 1/11/2016. Let's take a look. Comments in brackets.
  • Andrea Chenier, opening night; Roberto Alagna. Co-production with NCPA (China), Royal Opera House and San Francisco Opera. Photos here. [If you were expecting or hoping for Alagna or Jonas Kaufmann, it's rising Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee, plus Anna Pirozzi, George Gagnidze, J'nai Bridges, and Jill Grove.]
  • Bright Sheng's Dream of the Red Chamber, libretto by David Henry Hwang. (This is not a rumor.) September, 10-29, 2016. [With a mostly debuting cast of singers from China and Korea.]
  • Don Pasquale, October, 2016; Laurent Pelly, dir.; Lawrence Brownlee. Co-production with Santa Fe Opera. [Also Heidi Stober, Maurizio Muraro, and Lucas Meacham]
  • Aida, October 2016, with Leah Crocetto and Brian Jagde. [Ekaterina Semunchuk as Amneris, Gagnidze as Amonasro, and Raymond Aceto as Ramfis.]
  • Madama Butterfly (again!). Guessing it'll be Haroutounian in the title role. [It is, with Zande Svede as Suzuki, Maxim Aksenov as Pinkerton, and Anthony Clark Evans as Sharpless]
  • Maybe Boheme? [Yes, it is. Erika Grimaldi/Julie Adams, Ellie Dehn, who was a great Musetta.....in 2014...]
Plus Don Giovanni and Makropoulos, making for a terrible season that led me to write angry letters and (temporarily) drop my subscription. Gosh, no, I am not happy about that at all.

What I missed:
  • Don Giovanni (AGAIN). Idlebrando d'Arcangelo, Erin Wall (Anna), Ana Maria Martinez (Elvira), Sarah Shafer (Zerlina), Marco Vinco (awful in the last Cosi, Leporello), Michael Sumuel (Masetto), Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Ottavio)/Marc Minkowski.
  • Rigoletto (AGAIN). Cast I heard about was Quinn Kelsey, Michael Fabiano, Olga Peretyatko. Presumably a new production, as the Yeargan is on the auction block. Possibly this is postponed. [In fact, Yeargan sets with new other stuff; Nino Machaidze rather than Peretyatko, Pene Patti rather than Fabiano.]
  • Makropoulos Case, with (sigh) Nadja Michael. [Okay, she exceeded expectations]

2015-16, SFO

The season has been announced; let's take stock of what follows. It's mostly correct. What I got wrong: not Zambello, but Tambosi, for Jenufa. Not Vitalj Kowaljow in Don Carlo, but Rene Pape (now Pape & Furlanetto) and Andrea Silvestrelli (can't complain!). The additional operas are Bieito's Carmen and Barber of Seville
  • Sweeney Todd with Stephanie Blythe, Gerald Finley; Patrick Summers (September or October).  Co-Production with HGO.
  • Manon Lucia di Lammermoor with Damrau, Beczala (Oct.)
  • Double bill:  Robert Orledge's completion of Debussy's Fall of the House of Usher, and Gordon Getty's Usher House.
  • Die Meistersinger; co-production with Glyndbourne and LOC. Sir Mark Elder conducts. Greer Grimsley as Hans Sachs.
  • Don Carlo, June 2016; Michael Fabiano, Vitalj Kowaljow / Luisotti. Actually Rene Pape, not Kowaljow.
  • Jenufa, with Malin Bystrom (Jenufa) and Karita Matilla (Kostelnicka!); Zambello directs, so presumably the production seen more than a decade ago with Patricia Racette (June). Actually the stone-in-my-heart Olivier Tambosi production, seen in LA and at the Met.
  • Luisa Miller (Leah Crocetto? She will be singing in SF next fall. She is not singing Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo(s).)
  • Die Zauberfloete (Jun Kuneko production)


Henry Holland said...

I don't think I want to contemplate what horrors await us at LA Opera.

Per the Classical Iconoclast blog, the Getty piece is being pair with a new orchestration of Debussy's unfinished Fall of the House of Usher in 2015. Hmmmm.....

Lisa Hirsch said...

Sigh, and sorry. Season announcement season starts in January!

CruzSF said...

I'm glad you've started this page, IronTongue. Where can I send you info that I've learned re: future SFO seasons?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Lhirsch at g mail! And thank you!

Steve Hicken said...

Saariaho at the Met in 16-17.

CruzSF said...

Surprised that we haven't seen an R Strauss work since 2010. I predicted one for 2014-15, but after re-reading this page, I'm not so sure now.

Lisa Hirsch said...

There's an Elektra planned, but I have heard nothing about it. This was in the subscriber letter Gockley sent out last year some time.

CruzSF said...

Thanks. I hope they've lured Goerke out to do the Elektra.

CruzSF said...

Thanks. I hope they've lured Goerke out to do the Elektra.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I hope so too, but I am not holding my breath....

Darrick Chen said...

I would love for SFO to do a Frosh but that would be asking for too much I guess. How about Salome with Lise Lindstrom?? I'm sure she'd be fab.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I think it's only 3 or 4 years since the last Salome, with the paint-peeling Nadja Michael, so, alas, it may be a wait.

I'm with you on FROSCH.

JSC said...

I discovered through an audition notice that the Bright Sheng work Dream of the Red Chamber, will have six performances, Sept. 10 - 29, 2016.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you - making that update now. There's a press conference about the show in...uh...three hours. I will be there.

Glen K Dunbar said...

hi Iron Tongue. I am Glen. Nice to meet You Sir. I am a lover of opera all my life. I have never been able to go to the SF Opera. I so want to go.

BUT, I live in New Canaan, CT USA. So, I do get to The Met when I am not too depressed about a Girl. I LOVE Girls

Anyhow, I found out Tristan/Isolde will open The Met 2016-17 Nina Stemme (sp?) and Stuart Skelton ?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes, you're right. The NY Times published an article in February about the upcoming new production and cast of Tristan. Stemme and Skelton; Simon Rattle.

Darrick Chen said...

Hi Lisa,

I had lunch with other Medallion Society members in the Sacramento area hosted by SFO. They showed us some of the costume designs for Aida and Red Chamber. The new Aida setting will be updated to some middle east country - looks dreadful. Red Chamber had very pretty costume designs, but I have no idea how the singing will go.

There were groans about the 2016/17 season, so to placate us to buy subscriptions they mentioned what some of the 2017/18 productions will be. My memory is so bad, but I do think they said Turandot and Traviata. The shock was we were told Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk is scheduled. I asked about who was singing, but they had no comment. I think they also mentioned the Jake Heggie opera....but since it was new, I wasn't too interested. I asked if they were ever going to do Vanessa or revive Deadman Walking, but they couldn't comment. And of course they confirmed that the Ring cycle was on for the summer.

So looks like your list is correct: Turandot (I doubt Kauffmann will appear), Traviata, Nabucco, the Haggie, Elektra and I think a Mozart - probably Flute.

I think I'll see Andy again in the summer, so I'll ask about the Fall season again.

Just thought I'd share...

Lisa Hirsch said...

SFO showed the designs for Red Chamber some time ago at a press event that I did not report on (and probably should). Ahahaha, to GROANS about next season. I hope a few people said "I canceled my subscription."

I already had Lady MacBeth, and it's supposed to be Jovanovich in the tenor lead, but I have heard nothing about who else is singing. The Heggie was announced in a footnote to a press release when David Gockley announced his retirement. Yeah, I don't think it will be JK singing tenor in Turandot but I don't know who it is.

Magic Flute again? That's totally embarrassing.