Opera Calendar

Below you can find all of our upcoming shows. Check back regularly for news and updates. We look forward to seeing you at the Opera!

Featured Event!

Children’s Summer Opera Camp

Monday, July 17

Does your child love to sing? Love to act? Try Opera Camp July 17-28!

Opera San Luis Obispo is pleased to offer a two-week fun and educational opera day camp for children ages 8-16. No experience required, just a willingness to try!

  • Children will learn:
  • Correct vocal technique
  • Drama and stage movement
  • Ear-training and musicianship
  • Part singing and choral techniques
  • Use of props, costumes & make up
  • Daily vocal, stretch, and movement exercises

The camp will culminate in an evening performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado before an audience of friends and family at 7:00pm, Friday, July 28.

July 17–28, 2017 - Monday thru Friday
9:00am - 3:00pm

United Methodist Church
1515 Fredericks Street
San Luis Obispo

$400 first family member
$375 for additional family members

Get our brochure and application here, or fill out this scholarship application!

For more information, contact our office at (805) 541-5369 or operacamp@operaslo.org.

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Broadway by the Sea

Saturday, August 12 - 2pm

Summertime on the Central Coast means the return of Opera San Luis Obispo’s annual American classic outdoor concert Broadway by the Sea. This year we are proud to bring you and entirely new offering: The Starlight Dreamband - this nineteen-piece 1940's era big band will thrill audiences with hits from movie-musicals, swing-era favorites, and several surprises along the way!

The exciting event happens at the Chapman Estate – a gorgeous seaside home that is one of the Central Coast’s most stunning and exclusive locations. Arrive early, picnic with friends, bid on silent auction treasures, stroll the gardens, observe plein air painters and marvel at the breathtaking views from this historic estate in Shell Beach. Ticket price includes complimentary wine tasting from Opolo Vineyards.

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Madama Butterfly

October 14 & 15, 2017

Directed by Edna Garabedian
Choreographed by Andrew Silvaggio
Conducted by Brian Asher Alhadeff

Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini - a Citywide Arts Collaboration Grand Opera production featuring Central Coast Children's Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, Deyo Dances, Opera San Luis Obispo, and Studio @-Ryan's American Dance at the Christopher Cohan Center.

One of the most famous operas of all time, this October 14 and 15 Japan's red sun rises in San Luis Obispo with OperaSLO's production of Giacomo Puccini’s operatic masterpiece, Madama Butterfly! This exotic, lush, romantic, intense, and tragic love story is lavishly set in the early 20th century, to the backdrop of America's Imperialistic courtship of Japan, during its early transition to colonialism. While on shore leave in Nagasaki harbor, American Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton falls in love and marries the young and impressionable Cio-Cio San (aka Madama Butterfly). Soon thereafter Pinkerton's ship sails and Butterfly waits patiently for her husband to come home.

Our Citywide Arts Collaboration continues in this expansive new grand opera production featuring soaring arias, new original period sets and costumes, ballet, an internationally acclaimed cast of opera singers, and the Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra and Grand Chorus conducted by Artistic Director Brian Asher Alhadeff. Our Citywide Arts Collaborators include Central Coast Children's Choir, Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo, Deyo Dances, San Luis Obispo High School Choruses, and Studio @-Ryan's American Dance.

Read the synopsis here. Pre-opera lecture by John Frey in Philips Hall one hour before curtain.

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MET Live in HD: NORMA

Sunday, October 22 - 2:00pm

“Ponselle, Milanov, Sutherland, Callas … after last night, Radvanovsky can add her name to the list,” declared the Huffington Post when Sondra Radvanovsky made her Met role debut as Norma in 2013. The 2017–18 season opens with a new production of Bellini’s masterpiece, starring Radvanovsky as the Druid priestess and Joyce DiDonato as her archrival, Adalgisa—a casting coup for bel canto fans. Tenor Joseph Calleja is Pollione, Norma’s unfaithful lover, and Carlo Rizzi conducts. Sir David McVicar’s evocative production sets the action deep in a Druid forest where nature and ancient ritual rule.

Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1831. This opera is an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal challenge, and dramatic power. It examines an ageless and archetypal situation: a powerful woman compromises her ideals for love, only to find herself betrayed by her lover. But equally gripping is her relationship with the younger woman who is the new object of her former lover’s attention and in whom Norma sees both a rival and a second self. The title role demands dramatic vocal power combined with the agility and technique of a coloratura singer. It is a daunting challenge that few can rise to: those who have are part of operatic lore.

Sung in Italian with English subtitiles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 4 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Robert and Phyllis Frank

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MET Live in HD: DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE

Sunday, November 5 - 2pm

Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts the full-length German version of Mozart’s magical fable, seen in Julie Taymor’s spectacular production, which captures both the opera’s earthy comedy and its noble mysticism.

Premiere: Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, 1791. Die Zauberflöte—a sublime fairy tale that moves freely between earthy comedy and noble mysticism—was written for a theater located just outside Vienna with the clear intention of appealing to audiences from all walks of life. The story is told in a Singspiel (“song-play”) format characterized by separate musical numbers connected by dialogue and stage activity, an excellent structure for navigating the diverse moods, ranging from solemn to lighthearted, of the story and score. The composer and the librettist were both Freemasons—the fraternal order whose membership is held together by shared moral and metaphysical ideals—and Masonic imagery is used throughout the work. The story, however, is as universal as any fairy tale.

Sung in German with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 9 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Bill and Carol Rust


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MET Live in HD: THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL

Sunday, January 7 - 9:55am

Following the rapturous response to his last opera, The Tempest, the Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. Hailed by the New York Times at its 2016 Salzburg Festival premiere as “inventive and audacious … a major event,” The Exterminating Angel is a surreal fantasy about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera.

Sung in English with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 27 MINS

Sponsored by Mary Baiamonte

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MET Live in HD: TOSCA

Saturday, January 27 - 9:55am

Rivaling the splendor of Franco Zeffirelli’s set and costumes of the Napoleonic era, Sir David McVicar’s ravishing new production offers a splendid backdrop for two extraordinary sopranos sharing the title role of the jealous prima donna: Sonya Yoncheva and Anna Netrebko. Vittorio Grigolo and Marcelo Álvarez alternate in the role of Tosca’s revolutionary artist lover Cavaradossi, with Bryn Terfel, Michael Volle, and Željko Lučić as the depraved police chief Scarpia. Andris Nelsons conducts.

Premiere: Teatro Costanzi, Rome, 1900. Puccini’s melodrama about a volatile diva, a sadistic police chief, and an idealistic artist has offended and thrilled audiences for more than a century. Critics, for their part, have often had problems with Tosca’s rather grungy subject matter, the directness and intensity of its score, and the crowd-pleasing dramatic opportunities it provides for its lead roles. But these same aspects have made Tosca one of a handful of iconic works that seem to represent opera in the public imagination. Tosca’s popularity is further secured by a superb and exhilarating dramatic sweep, a driving score of abundant melody and theatrical shrewdness, and a career-defining title role.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 53 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Francesca Fairbrother and Barbara Murphy

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MET Live in HD: L’ELISIR D’AMORE

Sunday, February 18 - 2pm

Pretty Yende debuts a new role at the Met with her first Adina opposite Matthew Polenzani, who enthralled Met audiences as Nemorino in 2013 with his ravishing “Una furtiva lagrima.” Bartlett Sher’s production is charming, with deft comedic timing, but also emotionally revealing. Domingo Hindoyan conducts.

World premiere: Teatro Cannobiana, Milan, 1832. Met premiere: January 23, 1904. L’Elisir d’Amore has been among the most consistently popular operatic comedies for almost two centuries. The story deftly combines comic archetypes with a degree of genuine character development rare in works of this type. Its ending is as much a foregone conclusion as it would be in a romantic comedy film today—the joy is in the journey, and Donizetti created one of his most instantly appealing scores for this ride.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 39 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by John & Alison Denlinger and John & Elizabeth Rolph

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MET Live in HD: LA BOHÈME

Sunday, March 11- 2pm

The world’s most popular opera returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with a series of exciting casts. Angel Blue, Anita Hartig, and Sonya Yoncheva share the role of the fragile Mimì, with Dmytro Popov, Russell Thomas, and Michael Fabiano alternating as the poet Rodolfo. Alexander Soddy and Marco Armiliato share conducting duties.

World premiere: Teatro Regio, Turin, 1896. Met company premiere: Los Angeles (on tour), November 9, 1900. La Bohème, the passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things—a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor—that make up our everyday lives.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 55 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Denis and Leona Sullivan

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MET Live in HD: SEMIRAMIDE

Sunday, March 25 - 2pm

This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 4 HRS 0 MINS

Sponsored by Jane Harker-Gersten and Sally Young

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MET Live in HD: COSÌ FAN TUTTE

Saturday, March 31 - 9:55am

A winning cast comes together for Phelim McDermott’s clever vision of Mozart’s comedy about the sexes, set in a carnival-esque, funhouse environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island—complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters, and a Ferris wheel. Manipulating the action are the Don Alfonso of Christopher Maltman and the Despina of Tony Award–winner Kelli O’Hara, with Amanda Majeski, Serena Malfi, Ben Bliss, and Adam Plachetka as the pairs of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness. David Robertson conducts.

Premiere: Vienna, Court Theater, 1790. The third and final collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte is a fascinating paradox: a frothy comedy of manners with an intensely dark take on human nature; an old story (it has antecedents in Boccaccio, Shakespeare, and Cervantes, among others) with a startlingly modern tone; and a beautiful score depicting questionable behavior. Così fan tutte was only moderately successful at its premiere and remained just outside the standard repertoire for more than a century. Così still poses unique challenges, and correspondingly unique rewards, for the public today. Every possible impression of love—from the loftiest to the basest—is explored in this extraordinary opera.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 31 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Jan Simek and Judy Lang

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MET Live in HD: LUISA MILLER

Saturday, April 14 - 9:30am

James Levine and Plácido Domingo add yet another chapter to their legendary Met collaboration with this rarely performed Verdi gem, a heart-wrenching tragedy of fatherly love. Sonya Yoncheva sings the title role opposite Piotr Beczała in the first Met performances of the opera in more than ten years.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 38 MINS - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Dr. Bianca Rosenthal

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MET Live in HD: CENDRILLON

Saturday, April 28 - 9:55am

“Glorious,” raved the New York Times when Joyce DiDonato sang the title role of Cendrillon at the Royal Opera in 2011. “Her performance was thoroughly enchanting.” Now, for the first time ever, Massenet’s sumptuous take on the Cinderella story comes to the Met, with DiDonato starring in the title role. She is paired with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother, and Stephanie Blythe as the imperious Madame de la Haltière. Bertrand de Billy conducts Laurent Pelly’s imaginative storybook production.

Sung in French with English subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 2 HRS 47 MINS

Sponsored by CF Buetow, in memory of Charlotte Buetow

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