The brochures for the new season (2009-2010)at the San Francisco Opera have arrived. There is a shift to Italian emphasis due to the arrival of Nicola Luisotti as music director.
Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi, with Luisotti conducting. The cast includes Marco Berti, a tenor I have not heard, but we also get Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Stephanie Blythe and Sondra Radvanovsky. This is not quite so good a part for Dmitri as Simon Boccanegra because it's a standard Verdi villain baritone, but it's always nice to see him. I apologize for missing his concert last weekend, but I haven't been feeling well.
Il Trittico by Giacomo Puccini, conducted by Patrick Summers. If you like Patricia Racette, you will love this. And Ewa Podleś may actually show up this time as the princess.
The Abduction from the Seraglio by Wolfgang Mozart, with Cornelius Meister conducting in his SFO debut. The name I know best here is Anna Christy as Blonde. I saw her in DC in Bianca e Falliero.
The Daughter of the Regiment by Gaetano Donizetti, conducted by Michele Mariotti also in his SFO debut. Diana Damrau will be making her company debut here. Juan Diego Florez will also come. I look forward to it.
Salome by Richard Strauss, Luisotti conducting. I don't know any of these people, but here is a picture of Nadja Michael.
Otello by Giuseppe Verdi, Luisotti conducting. Johan Botha will make his company debut as Otello.
That covers the fall season. In the summer:
Faust by Charles Gounod, Maurizio Benini in his SFO conducting debut. Patricia Racette is also in this. John Relyea sings Mephistopheles.
The Girl of the Golden West by Giacomo Puccini, Luisotti conducting. I love this opera. I like the love at first sight theme. I also would like very much to see both Deborah Voigt and Salvatore Licitra together.
Die Walkuere by Richard Wagner, Runnicles conducting. This is Wagner's best opera conducted by Wagner's best conductor. Nina Stemme is singing Bruennhilde. She has been here before only as Senta in Flying Dutchman. Mark Delavan sings Wotan. He was once an Adler Fellow.
What's missing, of course, is anything even remotely modern. In a year of belt tightening I suppose this is to be expected.