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      San Francisco Opera

      San Francisco Opera

      The second largest opera company in North America, San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola in 1923. The company’s first performance (La Bohème) took place on September 26, 1923, in the city’s Civic Auditorium, with Queena Mario and Giovanni Martinelli, conducted by Merola himself. Nine years later, the company moved into its permanent home, inaugurating the newly built War Memorial Opera House with a performance of Tosca on October 15, 1932, with Claudia Muzio, Dino Borgioli, Alfredo Gandolfi, and Merola conducting.

      Following Merola’s death in 1953, San Francisco Opera was led by Kurt Herbert Adler until 1981; by Terence A McEwen until 1988; by Lotfi Mansouri until 2001; and by Pamela Rosenberg until 2006. For the past seven years, the company has been under the direction of David Gockley.

      San Francisco Opera has presented the US debut performances of numerous artists, including Inge Borkh, Boris Christoff, Sir Geraint Evans, Tito Gobbi, Sena Jurinac, Mario del Monaco, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Margaret Price, Leonie Rysanek, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Giulietta Simionato, Renata Tebaldi, and Ingvar Wixell; conductors Gerd Albrecht, Valery Gergiev, Sir Georg Solti, and Silvio Varviso; and directors Francis Ford Coppola, Harry Kupfer, and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

      Program Schedule

      The San Francisco Opera returns to WFMT in the Fall of 2014.