San Francisco Opera to present three American world premieres in 2013

January 18, 2012

Ben Heppner will star in Jake Heggie's "Moby Dick," which will have its San Francisco debut on Oct. 10. Photo: Karen Almond/The Dallas Opera

San Francisco Opera announced its 2012-13 season Tuesday, and unveiled plans for three world premieres next year, all by American composers.

The three new operas are The Secret Garden by composer Nolan Gasser, based on the Francis Hodgson Burnett children’s classic, to debut March 1, 2013. On June 19, the company will unveil The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo starring Sasha Cooke, Maria Kanyova, William Burden, and Nathan Gunn, to be conducted by Michael Christie. And on Sept. 13, SFO will debut Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, based upon the Stephen King novel with a libretto by J.D McClatchy.

San Francisco Opera will open its 2012-13 season on Sept. 7 with a double-cast production of Verdi’s Rigoletto starring Željko Lučić, Marco Vratogna, Aleksandra Kurzak, Albina Shagimuratova, Francesco Demuro, and David Lomelí  Nicola Luisotti and Giuseppe Finzi will conduct. I Capuleti e i Montecchi follows Sept. 29 with Nicole Cabell and Joyce Di Donato in Bellini’s bel canto take on the doomed star-crossed lovers, conducted by Riccardo Frizza.

Jake Heggie’s acclaimed Moby Dick will have its San Francisco premiere Oct. 10 with Stephen Costello, Ben Heppner and Jay Hunter Morris, conducted by Patrick Summers. Wagner’s Lohengrin will return to the War Memorial Opera House stage Oct. 30 starring Brandon Jovanovich, Camilla Nylund, Petra Lang and Gerd Grochowski, conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

Angela Gheorghiu and Patricia Racette will split performances as the doomed title diva in Puccini’s Tosca, opening Nov. 15. Tales of Hoffmann returns June 5 with Matthew Polenzani as the title poet and Natalie Dessay as the four heroines. Alice Coote is Nicklausse and Christian Van Horn will tackle the four villains.

Finally, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte opens June 9 with Ellie Dehn, Christel Lotzsch, Heidi Stober and Susannah Biller, conducted by Luisotti.

Subscriptions for San Francisco Opera’s 2012–13 season are priced from $144 to $2,584 and now on sale. Call 415-864-3330 or go to

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