SAN FRANCISCO OPERA PRESENTS BERLIOZ’S EPIC SAGA THE TROJANS (LES TROYENS) WITH SUSAN GRAHAM, BRYAN HYMEL, ANNA CATERINA ANTONACCI, MICHAELA MARTENS, SASHA COOKE AND CONDUCTOR DONALD RUNNICLES; JUNE 7–JULY 1, WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE

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SAN FRANCISCO OPERA PRESENTS BERLIOZ’S EPIC SAGA THE TROJANS (LES TROYENS) WITH SUSAN GRAHAM, BRYAN HYMEL, ANNA CATERINA ANTONACCI, MICHAELA MARTENS, SASHA COOKE AND CONDUCTOR DONALD RUNNICLES
JUNE 7–JULY 1, WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 5, 2015)—San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2015 Season opens June 7 with the long-awaited return of one of the most significant pieces in the operatic repertoire—The Trojans (Les Troyens). The monumental and epic French grand opera by Hector Berlioz stars Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel (in his Company debut), Anna Caterina Antonacci, Michaela Martens (also a Company debut) and Sasha Cooke, conducted by Donald Runnicles and featuring the United States debut of a new David McVicar production.

French composer Hector Berlioz, one of the leading innovators of 19th-century French grand opera and symphonic music, set his five-act opera to Virgil’s classical poem The Aeneid in two parts: “The Capture of Troy,” the Greek siege of ancient Troy including the famed Trojan Horse, and “The Trojans at Carthage,” the escape of the Trojans to the North African Mediterranean city of Carthage.

San Francisco Opera’s presentation of this epic French opera features an international roster of the world’s leading singers, headlined by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and tenor Bryan Hymel as the ill-fated lovers Dido and Aeneas. The dramatic role of the prophetess Cassandra is shared by Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci—who also stars in the Company’s world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara) this summer—and American mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens. Sasha Cooke, who shone in the title role of San Francisco Opera’s world premiere of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, returns as Dido’s sister Anna. The cast also features Brian Mulligan (Chorebus), Christian Van Horn (Narbal) and René Barbera (Iopas). Former San Francisco Opera Music Director Donald Runnicles, who is currently general music director at Deutsche Oper Berlin, returns to conduct the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Ian Robertson, chorus director).

The massive San Francisco Opera co-production by the esteemed director Sir David McVicar is the biggest and heaviest physical production ever to be presented on the War Memorial Opera House stage and requires 134 artists on stage and 95 musicians in the orchestra pit and backstage. The production first opened in 2012 at London’s the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and later at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Following the San Francisco Opera performances, the production will be seen at the Vienna State Opera. The Trojans (Les Troyens) is presented in six performances June 7–July 1, 2015 at the War Memorial Opera House.

San Francisco Opera has a distinguished history with The Trojans, having staged an abridged version of the opera in 1966 billed as the “American professional stage premiere,” following an earlier stage presentation of the work by the New England Opera Theater in 1955. The Company premiere featured Régine Crespin as both Cassandra and Dido, and Jon Vickers as Aeneas. San Francisco Opera previously presented The Trojans in 1966 (San Francisco), 1968 (San Francisco and Berkeley) and 1969 (Los Angeles tour).

The Trojans (Les Troyens) Commemorative Poster & Ancillary Events

San Francisco Opera has commissioned famed Bay Area artist Michael Schwab to create a series of posters for operas of special significance to the Company. This season sees the debut of Schwab’s striking rendering of Hector Berlioz’s The Trojans (Les Troyens). The artwork will be available as a limited edition poster and is also featured on the cover of the Company’s performance magazine. This marks the fifth San Francisco Opera poster created by Schwab, available through the San Francisco Opera Shop at the War Memorial Opera House and online at shop.sfopera.com.

San Francisco Opera partners with cultural and educational institutions throughout the Bay Area to present lectures and symposia, many of them free, for audiences to further explore The Trojans (Les Troyens).  A calendar of remaining ancillary events to date follows below; please visit sfopera.com/trojans for more information and event updates.
TICKETS AND INFORMATION

Tickets for The Trojans (Les Troyens) begin at $32 (prices subject to change); for tickets and information, call (415) 864-3330, visitsfopera.com or visit the San Francisco Opera Box Office, 301 Van Ness Avenue (at Grove Street). Standing Room tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the day of each performance; tickets are $10 each, cash only.

Before every opera performance, listen to charismatic music scholars present a 25-minute Opera Talk including an overview of the opera, with insights on the music, composer and historical background.  Talks begin fifty-five minutes before each performance in the orchestra section of the War Memorial Opera House and are presented free of charge to patrons with tickets for the corresponding performance.

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street. Patrons are encouraged to use public transportation to attend San Francisco Opera performances. The War Memorial Opera House is within walking distance of the Civic Center BART station and near numerous bus lines, including 5, 21, 47, 49 and the F Market Street. For more public transportation information, visit bart.gov and sfmta.com.

Casting, programs, schedules and ticket prices are subject to change. For further information about San Francisco Opera’s Summer 2015 season, please visit sfopera.com.
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THE TROJANS (LES TROYENS) by Hector Berlioz
June 7● (1 p.m.), 12 (6 p.m.), 16 (6 p.m.), 20 (6 p.m.), 25● (6 p.m.);
July 1● (6 p.m.), 2015
War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco Opera co-production with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala; and the Vienna State Opera

Libretto by Hector Berlioz, after Virgil’s Aeneid
Approximate running time: 5 hours with two intermissions
Sung in French with English supertitles
First Complete Performance:                          Karlsruhe, December 6–7, 1890
First SFO Performance:                                  November 1966
Most Recent SFO Performances:                   September 1968
(SFO presented The Trojans on tour to Los Angeles, March 1969)

Cast:  
Cassandra                                             Anna Caterina Antonacci (6/7, 6/16, 6/25, 7/1)
Michaela Martens* (6/12, 6/20)
Dido                                                       Susan Graham
Aeneas                                                  Bryan Hymel*
Anna                                                      Sasha Cooke♪
Chorebus                                               Brian Mulligan♪
Narbal                                                    Christian Van Horn♪
Iopas                                                      René Barbera♪
Priam                                                     Philip Skinner
Pantheus                                               Philip Horst

Production Team:                          
Conductor                                             Donald Runnicles
Production                                             David McVicar
Revival Director                                     Leah Hausman
Associate Directors                                Richard Jones
Jose Maria Condemi
Set Designer                                          Es Devlin*
Costume Designer                                 Moritz Junge*
Original Lighting Designer                     Wolfgang Göbbel
Lighting Designer                                  Pia Virolainen*
Chorus Director                                     Ian Robertson
Original Choreographer                        Lynne Page*
Associate Choreographer                     Gemma Payne*

* San Francisco Opera Debut   ♪ Role Debut   ● OperaVision Performance

The Wagner Society of Northern California presents D. Kern Holoman, June 13, 1pm
The Wagner Society presents Professor D. Kern Holoman, U. C. Davis Distinguished Professor of Music emeritus and U.C. Davis Symphony Conductor emeritus: “‘Like Stalactites in Humid Caves’: the Genesis of Les Troyens” at Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (3200 California Street).  Free for members of the Wagner Society of Northern California and $10 for non-members.

Exploring The Trojans, June 20, 11am–1pm
This free seminar at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak Street) features Maestro Donald Runnicles, who shares his thoughts on bringing this masterpiece to life; Berlioz scholar D. Kern Holoman, will speak on the unusual sound world Berlioz creates in The Trojans; and Stanford University professor Heather Hadlock, noted scholar on women in 19th-Century opera, will speak on “Women and Heroes and Noble Mezzo-Sopranos, and the Noble Failure of Berlioz’s Classicism.”

San Francisco Opera is sponsored, in part, by Norby Anderson, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Franklin and Catherine Johnson, Edmund W. and Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Fund, Steven M. Menzies, Bernard and Barbro Osher, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Phyllis C. Wattis Endowment Funds and Diane B. Wilsey. San Francisco Opera is supported, in part, by a grant from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Wells Fargo is San Francisco Opera’s Season Sponsor. San Francisco Opera is proud to recognize its corporate partners: United Airlines, the Official Airline of San Francisco Opera, and Chevron, fueling great performances everywhere.

Company Sponsors John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn are proud to support The Trojans. This production is made possible, in part, by The Goatie Foundation, Roberta and David Elliott, the Edmund W. and Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Fund, Koret Foundation and Tad and Dianne Taube. Additional support is provided by the Columbia Foundation and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Graham’s and Ms. Antonacci’s appearances are made possible by a gift to the Great Singers Fund by Joan and David Traitel. Yamaha is the official piano of San Francisco Opera. Pianos provided by Music Exchange.

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