The WFMT Radio Network continues the 2017 American Opera Series with seven performances by San Francisco Opera. Highlights from this year’s series include the world premiere of composer and co-librettist Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, and archival recordings featuring Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Luciano Pavarotti.
San Francisco Opera, one of the world’s leading opera companies for more than 90 years, is synonymous with what the Bay Area is known for: entrepreneurship, innovation, and community involvement. The Company was founded by Italian conductor and pianist Gaetano Merola, who presented its first season in 1923 at the Civic Center Auditorium. In 1932, the Beaux Arts 3,100 seat War Memorial Opera House opened and remains the home of San Francisco Opera. Maestro Merola, who led the Company until his death in 1953, was succeeded as general director by Kurt Herbert Adler (1953–81), Terry McEwen (1982–88), Lotfi Mansouri (1988–2001), Pamela Rosenberg (2001–05), and David Gockley (2006–2016). Matthew Shilvock is the general director of San Francisco Opera.
This program is a part of the American Opera Series, a series designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts to fill out the year with great Opera content. The series begins in May and lasts until November (exact dates are published in the first quarter of the year).