The ruler of the Huns fully intends to invade fifth-century Italy until a fierce female captive enchants him with her valiant defiance. In the popular imagination, Attila the Hun was a ruthless barbarian. But to Giuseppe Verdi, he was a far more complex and compelling figure: a brave, ambitious warrior tormented by fierce internal doubts. The intense, conflicted anti-hero comes vividly alive in this “vibrant and engrossing musical drama” (The New York Times).
John Adams' rhythmically rich re-creation of a presidential trip to Beijing has established itself as a great American opera, a work of “clarity, simplicity, shocking elegance” that “will be around for the long haul” (The New York Times). A quarter-century after premiering at Houston Grand Opera under the leadership of David Gockley, this modern masterpiece made its San Francisco Opera premiere earlier this year featuring baritone Brian Mulligan. Lawrence Renes, whose conducting of Adams’ Doctor Atomic won praise from London critics, leads the orchestra.
Renée Fleming sings the title role of this melodically rich bel canto masterpiece. A femme fatale, renowned for her ruthless pursuit of power, reveals poignant vulnerability when she comes face to face with her long-lost son. Saturday, September 22, 1 to 3:15 pm
It may have been Faust who sold his soul to the devil, but the innocent Marguerite takes the fall in this classic story that dates back to the 1400s; the opera premiered in Paris in 1859. Patricia Racette, Stefano Secco, and John Relyea star in this 2010 production conducted by Maurizio Benini. Saturday, September 15th, 1 to 4 pm.