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San Francisco Opera's 2010-11 season features complete 'Ring' Cycle, big stars

January 19, 2010 |  6:09 pm

Warmemorial Opera stars Plácido Domingo, Karita Mattila and Danielle de Niese will appear in the San Francisco Opera's 2010-11 season, which was formally announced today. The company also said it will mount the complete "Ring" Cycle in a new production directed by Francesca Zambello.

The company, which performs at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, will stage 10  productions in the upcoming season, including the four operas that compose Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung."

Domingo will perform the lead role in "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Franco Alfano, which will run Oct. 24 through Nov. 12. The production comes from Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, where it premiered in 2009. The performances will be conducted by Patrick Fournillier.

Mattila, the Finnish soprano, will star for the first time in Janáček's "The Makropulos Case." The production, which will run Nov. 10 to 28, comes by way of the Finnish National Opera and will be conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. 

De Niese, who is an L.A. native, will perform in a production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro," running Sept. 21 to Oct. 22. The production will be conducted by Nicola Luisotti, who is the company's artistic director.

The season includes a production of Massenet's "Werther," starring Ramón Vargas, which will run Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.  Also on the roster are productions of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" and Verdi's "Aida."

Performances of the "Ring" Cycle will kick off in June 2011 and will consist of three complete cycles. 

A co-production with the Washington National Opera, Zambello's staging features an American motif and will be conducted by Donald Runnicles. Cast members include Ian Storey as Siegfried, Mark Delavan as Wotan,  Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde, Anja Kampe as Sieglinde and Brandon Jovanovich as Siegmund. 

"Die Walküre," the second installment of "The Ring," is set to debut with the company during the current season.

In 2008, the WNO announced that it would indefinitely delay its planned staging of the Zambello-directed “Ring” cycle, citing the economic downturn.

The company's 2010-11 season will feature 66 individual performances, which is up from the 59 performances scheduled for the current season. 

-- David Ng

Photo: the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Credit: Robert Canfield