San Francisco Opera

Saturdays at 12:00 pm
Impromptu

Hear live operas recorded at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.

The second largest opera company in North America, San Francisco Opera (SFO) has been a leader among international opera companies for over nine decades. Since its inception, SFO has embodied a spirit of innovation by presenting the world premieres of many works including A Streetcar Named Desire (1998), Dead Man Walking (2000), and Doctor Atomic (2005), and the American debuts of numerous artists including Anna Netrebko, Tito Gobbi, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Renata Tebaldi, Valery Gergiev, and Sir Georg Solti. The radio series brings these world-class performances from current seasons, as well as historic performances, to the airwaves.

WFMT offers a complete opera every Saturday at noon with productions from the following companies:

There are no upcoming broadcasts at the moment.

Arabella (Strauss)

October 14, 2017

This week’s broadcast features the 1980 San Francisco Opera production of Arabella. The cast included Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role along with cast members Ingvar Wixell (Mandryka), Barbara Daniels (Zdenka), William Lewis (Matteo), Alexander Malta (Count Theodor Waldner), Sona Cervena (Countess Waldner), Michael Ballam (Count Elemer), Erie Mills (Fiakermilli), Kevin Langan (Count Lamoral), and John Brandstetter (Count Dominik). ...

Don Pasquale (Donizetti)

October 7, 2017

This performance of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale features Maurizio Muraro in the title role along with cast members Heidi Stober (Norina), Lawrence Brownlee (Ernesto), Lucas Meachem (Doctor Malatesta), and Bojan Knezevic (A Notary). Giuseppe Finzi conducts.

Dream of the Red Chamber (Sheng)

September 30, 2017

This week’s broadcast features Bright Sheng’s 2016 opera Dream of the Red Chamber, based on an 18th century Chinese novel of the same name. This performance features Yijie Shi (Bao Yu), Purem Jo (Dai Yu), Irene Roberts (Bao Chai), Hyona Kim (Lady Wang), Karen Chia-Ling Ho (Princess Jia), Qiulin Zhang (Granny Jia), Yanyu Guo (Aunt Xue), Randall Nakano (The Monk), ...

Andrea Chénier (Giordano)

September 23, 2017

This performance of Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier features Yonghoon Lee in the title role along with cast members Anna Pirozzi (Maddalena), George Gagnize (Gérard), J’Nai Bridges (Bersi), Joel Sorensen (The Incredible), Jill Grove (Madelon), David Pershall (Roucher), Catherine Cook (Contessa di Coigny), Robert Pomakov (Mathieu), Alex Boyer (Abbé), Edward Nelson (Fléville), Anthony Reed (Jailor Schmidt), Matthew Stump (Fourquier-Tinville), Brad Walker ...

Madama Butterfly (Puccini)

September 16, 2017

This performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly features Lianna Haroutounian as Madama Butterfly herself (Cio-Cio-San) along with cast members Vincenzo Costanzo (Pinkerton), Zanda Svede (Suzuki), Anthony Clark Evans (Sharpless), Julius Ahn (Goro), Raymond Aceto (The Bonze), Edward Nelson (Yamadori), Julie Adams (Kate Pinkerton), Matthew Stump (The Imperial Commissioner), and Jere Torkelsen (The Official Registrar). Umberto Giordano conducts.

Aida (Verdi)

September 9, 2017

This performance of Verdi’s Aida features Leah Crocetto in the title role along with Brian Jagde (Radames), Ekaterina Semenchuck (Amneris), George Gagnidze (Amonasro), Raymond Aceto (Ramfis), Anthony Reed (King of Egypt), Toni Marie Palmertree (A Priestess), and Pene Pati (A Messenger). Nicola Luisotti conducts.

La Gioconda (Ponchielli)

September 2, 2017

This week’s broadcast features a recording of a 1979 performance of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, based on Victor Hugo’s French play Angelo, Tyrant of Padua. The star-studded cast includes soprano Renata Scotto in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as Enzo Grimaldo along with Stefania Toczyska (Laura), Margarita Lilova (La Cieva), Norman Mittlemann (Barnaba), Feruccio Furlanetto (Alvise), John Del Carlo (Zuane), ...