Operatic Future Seasons

Found on the web or heard from little birds, tidings of San Francisco Opera. Pro tip: one reason to read other opera companies' web sites is to look for the phrases "co-commission with San Francisco Opera" or "co-production with San Francisco Opera."

SF Opera 2024-25


A short season of six operas and two concerts.
  • Un Ballo in Maschera, Verdi
  • Tristan und Isolde, Wagner
  • The Handmaid's Tale, Ruders
  • Carmen, Bizet
  • Concert: Beethoven, 9th Symphony
  • La Boheme, Puccini
  • Idomeneo, Mozart
  • Pride concert, works, singers, conductor(s) TBD


Hit me up with rumor and gossip! I keep hoping that Matthew Shilvock will finally be able to stage his dream opera, which is Schoenberg's formidable Moses und Aron. As I mentioned a few years back, when he said this at a Wagner Society. meeting, there was an audible gasp in the room. The only staging in the US that I can recall offhand was at the Met, decades ago, with John Tomlinson.

  • Wagner TBD, conducted by Eun Sun Kim. We know it won't be Lohengrin.
  • Verdi TBD, conducted by Eun Sun Kim. Maybe next season we will get Ernani, which was cancelled owing to the pandemic.
  • Puccini, La Boheme. At the opening night gala for 2022-23, Matthew Shilvock slipped in the news that Pene Pati would be singing Rodolfo here soon. Pati is singing Nemorino in 23-24, so maybe next year.
Operas from the canceled 2020-21 season that haven't been staged included Rigoletto, which will surely be back at some point; Der Zwerg, and The Handmaid's Tale. I hope the latter two are staged eventually. The Handmaid's Tale, sadly, goes well with one of the more eye-rolling messages of Die Frau ohne Schatten. I also heard rumors of Barber of Seville with Lawrence Brownless and Ahkhnaten, which I would have loved to see.


Reality: The pre-announced new works, and let me say for the 100th time that it is astonishing that over two seasons SFO is presenting five new operas out of 16 total. Let me note further that three of the works are composed by women and two are women of color. (Gabriela Lena Frank lives at a complex cultural crossroad. Per Wikipedia, "Her father is an American of Lithuanian Jewish heritage and her mother is Peruvian of Chinese descent.")
  • Mason Bates, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. 
  • Kaija Saariaho, Innocence.
  • Rhiannon Giddens, Omar.
And after that:
  • Lohengrin, with Julie Adams and Simon O'Neill
  • Il Trovatore, with Angel Blue and Arturo Chacón-Cruz
  • L'elisir d'amore, new production and cast mostly making SFO debuts except for the lovely tenor Pene Pati. 
  • The Magic Flute, in an intriguing and well-traveled production by Barrie Kosky.
  • Partenope, the return of a production that I didn't love the first time around.

Speculation: Unusually, the announcement for the centennial season also included news of the following season, which will include three new operas, all SFO co-commissions. This is truly remarkable in an eight opera season. (I can hope that the season is 9 or 10 operas, I guess.) The first three operas are the new works:

Other rumors & guesses:
  • Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde or Lohengrin. Whichever, it'll be Eun Sun Kim conducting.
  • Puccini, La Boheme. Added because at the opening night gala for 2022-23, Matthew Shilvock slipped in the news that Pene Pati would be singing Rodolfo here soon. And a season with three new operas needs a big seller to help balance this out.
  • Something by Verdi, with Eun Sun Kim conducting.
Upcoming San Francisco Opera Commissions
  • Laura Kaminsky, libretto by Kimberly Reed (?), Opera for All commission 
  • Augusta Read Thomas's Opera for All commission might come to SFO, if I'm accurately reading between the lines.

Out There Someplace
  • La Boheme, with Pene Pati. Announced from the stage at the centennial season opening concert by Matthew Shilvock, so this one's for real.
  • Verdi: Eun Sun Kim to conduct one Verdi opera annually. This was in an article by Joshua Kosman in August or September, 2021, and is based on an interview with Kim.
  • Wagner:  Eun Sun Kim to conduct one Wagner opera annually. This was in an article by Joshua Kosman in August or September, 2021, and is based on an interview with Kim. The Ring will come "in a few years," according to both the article and reliable source Matthew Shilvock at the centennial season opening concert. Rumor: Tristan und Isolde in 2023-24?! Not my choice to start a run of Wagner, but I'm not Eun Sun Kim.
  • Samson et Dalilah, Brandon Jovanovich as Samson. Given when I heard about this, maybe in 2023-24 or the season after.
  • Madame White Snake, by Zhou Long. A friend spotted "this will be done at SFO in 2023" in the composer's bio in a San Francisco Symphony program. I asked SFO about it and the response was "San Francisco Opera has not made any announcement about this." Well, I knew that, and would bet that the composer's agent broke the usual restrictions on premature announcements and also that various people at SFO are now banging the walls or have their heads in their hands.
  • Let me go out on a limb and guess that we'll have another opera from John Adams around his 80th birthday, so 2027. I mean, considering that Antony and Cleopatra was commissioned for the centennial season even before GGW was on staged.
2022-23 Centennial Season

Updated February 21, 2022.

The actual season:
  • Bay Area composers; I scored 50% because Steve Jobs will be in the following season.
    • Anthony and Cleopatra, John (Coolidge) Adams
    • El Último Sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of  Frida and Diego), Gabriela Lena Frank
  • Two new productions from the core rep; again, I scored 50%.
    • Madama Butterfly, co-production with Tokyo Nikikai Opera
    • La Traviata, SFO production directed by Shawna Lucy
  • Two operas that had their U.S. premieres here. I scored 100% here, so I'm jumping for joy.
    • Die Frau ohne Schatten
    • Dialogues of the Carmelites
  • Two operas in styles not heard in a number of years. I scored 50%.
    • Eugene Onegin
    • Gluck's Orfeo
There's a nice group of new-to-SFO singers, and I'm definitely having that feeling of generational changes. The singers who were new stars in the 80s and 90s are retired or nearing retirement. Not in the upcoming season: Susan Graham, Renee Fleming, Karita Mattila, Patricia Racette, for example.

Updated December 3, 2021. At a donor event last night, Matthew Shilvock dropped a few hints about what might be in the centennial season, without revealing any specifics. Here are the hints; he suggested that we write down our guesses and check them on January 19, when the season announcement will be made. He also said that the brochures went to press on December 1, so, whatever is in them is final (excepting unpredictable cast changes, of course):

There will be eight operas in the centennial season. (YES I wish there were MORE.)
  • Two new operas by Bay Area composers
  • Two new productions from the core repertory
  • Two operas that had their US premieres here
  • Two operas in styles not heard in a number of years (I might have gotten this a bit wrong.)

Here are my guesses:
  • Two new operas by bay area composers
    • The Revolution of Steve Jobs, by Mason Bates, postponed from 2021-21
    • Antony and Cleopatra, John (Coolidge) Adams, widely rumored for SFO
  • Two new productions from the core repertory. The information below suggests this might be, SIGH:
    • Madama Butterfly, co-production with Tokyo Nikikai Opera
    • Elixir of Love, co-production with LOC, production originated by Opera North
  • Two operas that had their U.S. premieres here. If I had my druthers:
    • Die Frau ohne Schatten
    • Dialogues of the Carmelites
  • Two operas in styles not heard in a number of years (I might have gotten this a bit wrong.)
    • As noted a while back, Wagner has been thin on the ground. Could this be the long-promised Parsifal?
    • One of the Adler Fellows sang Prince Gremin's aria from Eugene Oregin, and Matthew Shilvock specified that Abduction from the Seraglio, from which the other Adler sang an aria, is not one of the centennial season operas. So maybe something Russian?

Apparently the Saariaho will not be next season.

This must be where the Saariaho commission will land. The July, 2020 premiere was canceled owing to the coronavirus pandemic. I think Mälkki will be conducting; I chatted with Matthew Shilvock and former communications director Jon Finck at SFS one night a few years backwhen she was conducting there, so....

And presumably, this is when The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, cancelled owing to the coronavirus, will be performed.

And maaaaaaybe this is when Anthony and Cleopatra, by a noted...local composer....will be. Or maybe this is where The Handmaid's Tale will make its West Coast debut. And maybe Rigoletto?


Sadly, 2021-22, the post-coronavirus year, is nothing to write home about
  • Tosca. At least we won't be seeing this in the centennial season. And perennial Cavaradossi Brian Jagde is replaced by Michael Fabiano.
  • Cosi fan tutte, postponed from 2020-21
  • Fidelio, postponed from 2020-21
  • Don Giovanni, last of the new productions in the Mozart/da Ponte series.
  • Dream of the Red Chamber, an SFO commission. It's good to revive new works; I guess we can be grateful they picked this instead of GGW, but I'm sorry it wasn't Delores Claiborne.

Upcoming San Francisco Opera Co-Productions
  • Adriana Lecouvreur, with ROH, Covent Garden. This has been rumored for...years.
  • Madama Butterfly, with Tokyo Nikikai Opera
  • Elixir of Love, co-production with LOC, production originated by Opera North
  • What about that Parsifal? Did HGO really make such a big mistake? Matthew Shilvock promised a new Parsifal a while back.

Confirmed Rumors/Season Announcements

2020-21 - FALL SEASON CANCELLED. Awaiting news of spring/summer 2021.
  • Macbeth, Verdi, September 2020, cond. Sir Mark Elder. Found in Opera Magazine. Turned out to be Rigoletto.
  • Cosi fan tutte, second in the Mozart/da Ponte series; John Chest as Guglielmo (Opera Magazine)
  • Poul Ruders, The Handmaid's Tale; Sasha Cook as Offred (Santa Fe Opera program; Opera Magazine). 
  • Kaminsky commission
  • Nicola Luisotti to conduct sometime during the fall of 2020 (source is Steven Winn's profile of Luisotti in the Elektra program guide)
  • Fidelio, Beethoven; opening weekend; MDD Eun Sun Kim conducts. Simon O'Neill is Florestan.
  • Donald Runnicles conducts something in the 2020-22 time frame; maybe it is here. Have heard a rumor of something "big and German"; I suspect this one might be Die Frau ohne Schatten, after a 30 year gap in performances or maybe something by Wagner. Note, wasn't his year or Frau's.


At the Adler Fellow concert, Michael Fabiano told me he'd be singing in SF next year, so yeah, perhaps my guess on Romeo was good. I don't see any other opera here where he fits, unless he has been learning Vere, but I'd bet on William Burden for that. 50% here: yes, Burden as Vere, no sign of Fabiano.

The latest I have, from Darrick Chen:

  • Romeo & Juliette, Gounod, to open the season. No idea of the casting. Hoping for Fabiano as Romeo. Maybe they'll try pairing him with Sierra for this one, since Manon didn't work out? Maybe Pretty Yende or Golda Schultz or Andriana Chuchman? It's Bryan Hymel and Nadine Sierra. Sierra is a two-time canceler (Carmen and Manon) and Hymel has maybe a 50% chance of singing. [Sierra sang, Hymel didn't; Pene Pati was great.\
  • Bates, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, now a San Francisco Opera co-commission. It'll be the Santa Fe production, cast unknown - Seattle is not using the original cast. SF has the original cast and will use the expanded / revised version that Seattle is doing. Was actually in 20-21, was postponed.
  • Nicola Luisotti to conduct sometime during the fall of 2019 (source is Steven Winn's profile of Luisotti in the Elektra program guide - but another Luisotti article says he is conducting here in 2018 and 2020. So we know he isn't conducting here in 2018.)
  • Manon Lescaut, with Brian Jagde as Des Grieux and Lianna Haroutounian as Manon. This looks like the Luisotti gig, if there's a Luisotti gig in 2019. Yes, Luisotti.
  • Billy Budd, with John Chest. Published in Opera. Found on the SFO auditions page in the chorus section: "Positions for all voice parts may be available in the full-time Regular Chorus, and all voice parts in the part-time Extra Chorus will be available with a special need for male voices for 2019 productions." 
  • Nozze di Figaro, new production by Erhard Rom. dir Michael Cavanaugh
  • Hansel und Gretel. Watch the London papers for reviews of the ROH bring-up this year. My witchy suggestions: Jaime Barton, and, since this role is sometimes sung by a tenor, Stefan Margita. One could cast the team of Dehn and Stober (yes, Hansel is supposed to be a soprano role! back, ye thieving mezzos!). Brian Mulligan as Peter! This production has now opened; the only review I've seen is from my friend Mark Berry, whose style it most definitely isn't, though he liked the singing well enough. Just noting that there is a former music director who was very good in this opera last time around.
  • Ernani, with Sonya Yoncheva and Russell Thomas. Well, this would be a lot more exciting than the production I saw in London in 2004. There are two more male leads in this thing. Maybe Rucinski and Van Horn? Thomas and Michelle Bradley. Rumors were rife about Yoncheva, and yes, Van Horn is in this. Canceled or postponed in the coronavirus wreckage.
  • Gluck's Orfeo. No clue as to the casting; there are a number of good singers who could be in this. Actually, a revival of Partenope with an almost entirely new cast.


Rumor, gossip, and published:
  • Heggie, It's a Wonderful Life. This is firm for fall, 2018, because it has been announced by SFO. (From the past: 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.)
  • Arabella, with Ellie Dehn, according to Opera Magazine
  • Tosca new production. Maybe Rad, whom we've been promised would be back, but not if she's in Roberto Devereux. Maybe Crocetto? Maybe Yoncheva?
  • Roberto Devereux; Rad/Barton
  • Cav & Pag.  Lianna Haroutounian is Nedda. Anyone want to bet on Brian Jagde for Turridu in Cav?
  • Rusalka?
  • Carmen (but not the Bieito; supposed to be Zambello)
  • Orlando Furioso? (Vivaldi). NO actually Handel's Orlando).


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)

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, and at the March, 2017 Wagner Society meeting. Those items are marked MS. 
  • Macbeth, Verdi, September 2020, cond. Sir Mark Elder. Found in Opera Magazine. Oops no, this turned out to be Rigoletto.
  • Parsifal: The production appearing at Houston Grand Opera in the 2020-21 season is may or may not be a co-production with San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. It would be a fine thing if the production comes to SFO with Russell Thomas and Christine Goerke. 
  • The most recent I've heard is that Parsifal isn't current being planned (early 2019).
  • Higdon, Cold Mountain. Which was almost an SFO commission, became a SFeO commission.
  • In November, 2017, Michael Fabiano notes on Twitter that he'll be singing Verdi in SF in a few years. No hint as to role or year, although he subsequently tweeted that "Ballo is coming" to his repertory. These two bits could intersect. Also, he told me in December, 2018, that he would be singing here "next year," by which perhaps he meant Fall, 2020, since he's not on the 2019-20 roster. He is in the 20-21 Boheme, though. This might be whatever Luisotti is conducting.
  • More Janacek? Maybe this was 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.
  • I'm no longer hearing William Tell. And given Bryan Hymel's worldwide cancellation record, this isn't a surprise.
  • 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.
  • 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, Arabella, and rumors of 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.)
  • Maybe, just maybe, Moses und Aron, which would be one of those 20th c works. (MS)
  • It's around 35 years since the last Dialogs of the Carmelites, an opera I don't love didn't love until the 2019 Met HD broadcast, which is important.
  • A tweet suggests that maybe Sonya Yoncheva will make an overdue debut here in the nearish future (written in Dec. 2016). BUT she is not on the 19-20 season. Maybe she really was booked for Ernani? I think this was correct.
  • A friend of mine spotted David (we think) Alden with Matthew Shilvock at an event in the vicinity of the opera house. This could be for something Baroque, if they were talking, if you know what I mean. Also noting that David Alden's Jenufa at Santa Fe in 2019 was absolutely scorching, and Santa Fe's Alcina was excellent in 2017. Be nice to have him back.
  • Samson et Dalilah, no date attached, but Samson is rumored to be Brandon Jovanovich.
  • The Fix, new opera, date in comments can't be correct (summer, 2020, already announced)
Be sure to keep an eye on Opera Tattler's SFO Future Seasons page. She mentions Orfeo ed Euridice and other works.

Here's a page that has Opera National de Paris rumors: http://fomalhaut.over-blog.org/2016/11/pronostic-des-futures-saisons-de-l-opera-national-de-paris-2018/2019/2020/2021/2022.html

General SFO Rumors, All of Which Seem Untrue
  • 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 2017201819-20? some future season?
  • 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. This rumor also has Evelyn Herlitzius's name attached.
  • Karita Mattila to make her debut as Ortrud here? I dunno, her low register doesn't seem right for this role. And her debut, we now know, was at the Bayerische Staatsopera, November, 2019.
  • 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 (or if not, during the 2018-19 season) At this point (May, 2018), I think Lenny is not happening.
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, 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 ClemenzaWe now know that the Da Ponte operas are coming in a unified production.

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


Found on the web or wherever, tidings of other opera companies:

Christine Goerke to sing Isolde, date and location unknown, but this is not a rumor: she said so in public. Pure speculation: the first revival of the new Met Tristan. (My speculation about the Met turned out to be correct, but that was in the canceled 2020-21 season. Currently, she is on the Bayreuth schedule for 2022; not sure if this will be in the Katharina Wagner "Mean Marke" production that I saw in 2015 or if there will be a new production. After that, a new production at LOC or Houston, where she sings a lot, or even at SF, but I would consider Houston and LOC to be more likely.

Berlioz, Here and There

Because we can't get enough of Hector.

Also coming up: several future performances of La Damnation de Faust, all in Europe.

Already in the past:

Les Troyens in Paris, part of the Paris Opera 350 celebration, January - February, 2019. I was there! 

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.  

3. There were two productions of Les Troyens in Germany during the fall of 2017.

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 SFUpdate: Yes, Goerke as Cassandre, and French mezzo Sophie Koch as Didon. No, Koch out, Susan Graham in as Didon.

Seattle Opera produced Beatrice and Benedict, in English, in February, 2018, during the 2017-18 season.


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!

Unknown 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....

Sacto OperaFan 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.

Unknown 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.

Sacto OperaFan 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.

Robert said...

Why on God's Green Earth has Jonas Kaufmann not appeared at SFO. Please mount a Tristan or Lohengrin for him and let's have debut already; a most perplexing and depressing issue I must say.

Lisa Hirsch said...

As far as I know, he has never sung opera west of the Metropolitan Opera, and I will fall over in a faint if he ever does.

He has made it pretty clear that he does not really WANT to sing opera west of the Royal Opera because he doesn't want to be that far from his family for the length of a typical rehearsal and performance period, which would be from six to eight weeks. In addition, he makes a lot more money singing in Germany than he would in the US. Supposedly he earns around $30,000 per performance; US top is something like $17,000.

He has also never sung a complete Tristan. He'll be appearing with the Boston Symphony this season in some concert performances of Act II only.

SFO is certainly due for Tristan, since it's been 11 years.

Sacto OperaFan said...

Hi Lisa,

At a recent performance, a reliable source with the opera confirmed the upcoming 18/19 season:

Cav/Pag - opener
Roberto Devereux (Rad/Barton)
Arabella (confirmed Dehn will sing Arabella, I was hoping she was going to sing the sister and a Big Star Soprano would be cast as Arabella)

Tosca (NP)
It's a Wonderful Life

Carmen (Zambello production)
Orlando Furioso

So your source is right on the money. I expressed my surprise at the lack of Madama Butterfly and was told that we will be seeing those less often now that we have a new GD.

I hope there is another Fall opera to make six, but looks like they are cutting back. When I first started to attend the opera in 1990 they used to schedule ten operas in the Fall. *sigh*

Overall I think the season looks good. Will get more excited (or not) when the singers are announced; I didn't press for who was singing. I am not sure why SFO is doing Arabella without a superstar soprano to help them sell tickets. Ms. Dehn may be a fine singer, but she isn't really from the Superstar A list. So I was surprised by this offering.

Just thought I'd share what I heard.

Happy Holidays to all !!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you!

I am confident of Haroutounian. If it's Rad/Barton in the Donizetti, then maybe Crocetto is Tosca. We just had Butterfly last year and I think that got....complaints. Glad to hear we will have less of the Puccini big three.

I don't have a lot of Big Sopranos in mind for Arabella - Mattila, but who else has the glamour and stature? I doubt we will have Fleming again, ever (okay with me). It's not really a Goerke role. Amber Wagner? Erin Wall?

Oh, actually: Pieczonka would be a great Arabella, I think, after the wonderful Chrysothemis.

Really curious who will be in the summer operas, especially Orlando Furioso, which calls for three contraltos and two contralto castrato.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Also curious about which Rusalka production we'll get. Not the moth-eaten Schenk, I'm assuming.

CruzSF said...

My eyebrows are raised at the prospect of Carmen again in 2018-19. It's still one of my favorite operas (partially because it was my introduction to the art form) but it feels like it was just here.

I'm in favor of less frequent revivals of Butterfly, Turandot, and Boheme, too.

Lisa Hirsch said...

that's because it was just here. :)

CruzSF said...

then ARGH. Haha.

Sacto OperaFan said...

My idea of Arabella is Lisa Della Casa and Kiri Te Kanawa; to a lesser extent Renee Fleming. Today I can only think of two sopranos I'd like to hear in that role: Anja Harteros and Anne Schwanewilms. These two are European superstars, not sure they would help sell tickets in America as they don't sing here often.

Pieczonka might work, but I think her voice is a little chilly for Arabella. I know she has sung it in the past and after her fab Chrysothemis, why not??

Do you think Haroutounian will open in Pag/Cav? I can't imagine SFO to invite her back for Tosca so soon.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Pretty sure Haroutounian is Nedda and someone else (maybe Crocetto?) is Tosca. Drop me an email (lhirsch@gmail.com) and I will tell you a bit more.

Harteros never sings in the US owing to her husband's health, and....does Schwanewilms sing anywhere other than the Met? I saw her in Frau four years ago and found her very cold. Goerke was an amazing Dyer's Wife and more or less obliterated her dramatically.

I've seen Arabella twice; the last time SFO did it (bleagh) and in London in 2004 with Mattila, who was great. (As was everyone - Bonney was Zdenka, Hampson was Mandryka, Damrau Fiakermilli.)

JSC said...

I found out that 2019-20 Manon Lescaut will also have Lianna Haroutounian in the title role. Woo hoo!

Lisa Hirsch said...


Darrick Chen said...

My spies tell me:

Fall 2019
Romeo & Juliet will open the season;
Billy Budd - but you knew that;
Nozze di Figaro - NP??
Hansel & Gretel - already suspected;
Manon Lescault - again, no shock;

Summer 2020
Ernani - Yoncheva/Thomas;
Steve Jobs - everyone was expecting this;
Orfeo - Gluck. Shock.

Wish SFO would get back to presenting six operas in the Fall. When I first started to attend in the 90s, SFO did 9 or 10 productions in the Fall and usually three more in the summer as a themed festival.

Looking forward to Ernani - never seen that one. R/J doesn't thrill me. Will go to Budd as its on my "see before I die" list. Hope the Figaro glitters with a starry cast, but will see.



Lisa Hirsch said...


Your spy knows more than mine. :)

R&J has been rumored for a couple of years. Nozze is a new production by Erhard Rom, who previously designed Nixon, Susannah, and Lucia productions that were seen here; don't know who is directing. I reported on this in July.

Ooooo, Ernani with Yoncheva and Thomas!!!!

Opera Tattler has been predicting Orfeo for a few years.

I would also really like a nine or ten opera season. :( And yeah, I remember those 12 and 13 opera seasons.

I'm not a huge Billy Budd fan. For Nozze, I have no information, only suspicions based on the last few years of casting.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Must mention that SFO announced they'd be doing Jobs in the upcoming season.

JSC said...

Some of those 2019-20 operas I've heard about from staffers and others I had not, but I'm glad to see you have the full scoop! :-)

Perhap it's just wishful thinking my part, but I think Pretty Yende could be a possibility for Juliette. She knows the role and after her dazzling Met Lucia this past spring, I commented to her how much I loved it and that I wish for her to make her SFO debut sometime soon and she said she and her team are working on it.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I have nothing on the Gounod casting, only wishes. I think I've heard that Fabiano won't be back for a couple of years, so probably he is not Romeo.

JSC said...

I was chatting with one of the orchestra musicians and she mentioned Faust next season. Not sure if she really meant season AFTER next or what, but thought it was worth mentioning to you.

So nice to finally get to meet you in person briefly the other night at the Adler Concert!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yes! It was great, finally!!

Faust?? Oh dear. There is no good reason to stage Faust, ever. Presumably she didn't mean Damnation of Faust? Or Doktor Faustus?

JSC said...

I'm thinking she might have gotten her Gounods mixed up and meant R&J and said Faust or maybe it's the season after next. It would be odd to have two by him in one season.

Lisa Hirsch said...

THAT makes perfect sense.

Dr.B said...

Any rumors about a musical director?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Alas, no. Everyone who is or has recently guest-conducted should be regarded as a candidate, including Nanasi, Gaffigan, Franklin, Rennes, Kim, etc.

Not Moulds, I would think; he is a specialist and Orlando was dully conducted.

JSC said...

I've heard Simon O'Neill will star in a new Lohengrin in 2023-24. Nothing about Tristan though.

I'll still keep my fingers crossed for Parsifal and Macbeth at some point before I die. LOL

Lisa Hirsch said...

I heard O'Neill in Tristan. Matthew Shilvock did swear to do Parsifal!

RWB said...

Regarding Moses und Aron: NYCO did it in 1990. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/24/arts/review-opera-in-moses-und-aron-a-debate-with-the-self.html