The WFMT Radio Network

WFMT Radio Network

The WFMT Radio Network

The San Francisco Opera

The WFMT Radio Network continues our 2014 American Opera Series with San Francisco Opera – eight operas from their past season and two operas from the San Francisco Opera archives. Performed in the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Opera’s home since October 1932, these operas will enhance the Network’s opera offerings during the hiatus of the Metropolitan Opera. This year’s series will include Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Puccini’s Tosca, and many more!

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 and conducted by Gaetano 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 conducted by Merola.

Following Gaetano 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 exciting direction of David Gockley.

San Francisco Opera has presented the United States debut performances of numerous artists, including Inge Borkh, Boris Christoff, Marie Collier, Sir Geraint Evans, Mafalda Favero, 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.

The American Opera series is free of charge to all affiliate stations.  For more information please contact Tony Macaluso at 773-279-2114, email: or Estlin Usher at (773) 279-2112, email:

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