No opera in San Francisco before April ’21

No opera in San Francisco before April ’21


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2020

Statement by San Francisco Opera:

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of our 2020 fall season, including our opening-night celebration and productions of “Fidelio,” “Rigoletto,” “Cosí Fan Tutte,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “La Bohème.” Our 2021 spring programming is not affected by this announcement.

Matthew Shilvock, our general director, shares these thoughts, articulating the grief rippling through our company in the wake of today’s announcement.

“We were so proud of the works that were to have been on stage this fall. I am heartbroken that we cannot share them with you. They are pieces that would have spoken powerfully to the world that we are now living in and that would have brought us together with themes of liberty and humanity.”

“I want to thank all of the artists, creative teams and company members who have given so much already in preparing these works.”


  • Beckmesser says:

    Not unexpected…now awaiting SFS to do same.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Disappointing – I haven’t seen a live Rigoletto in years.

    • Edgar Self says:

      You’re lucky, Greg, I’ve never seen “Rigoletto” on stage, only Domingo:s video that I didn’t much enjoy. .

      I have seen “Il Trovatore” once at Lyric. As Caruso said, all you need for it are the four greatest singers in the world. We had one, Dolora Zajick, whose Azucena is burned into memory, along with the wrong barbequed baby. The others were fair, but he’s what Iremember, along with Ewa Podles the best contralto I’ve seen. I’m too young for Louise Homer or Schumann-Heink, though I heard her on radio.

      • Greg Bottini says:

        That Rigoletto I saw was so long ago that I don’t even remember who sang in it. At the time, way back in my early college days, I confess that I was more interested in getting to know the work than the singers.
        Podles is superb! At Tower, we jokingly referred to her as “Poodles” after a customer mispronounced her name in that way. I believe the correct pronunciation is something like “Ava PAWD-lesh”.
        And Zajick was not chopped liver either – she was a stalwart at the MET. I’ve heard her on some of the broadcasts, never live.
        I’m also quite fond of Nathalie Stutzmann, a master of the Melodies francaises.
        Louise Homer and Ernestine Schumann-Heink – ah, the good old days! (No reflection on your age, friend Edgar.)

  • fflambeau says:

    Medical practitioners seem to think that singing really spreads the virus so this is smart. Come back in style!