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!

Previews of the MET Live in HD 2018-2019: The Eternal Feminine in Opera

Wednesday, October 17 - 2pm

Join an enthusiastic community of both opera, and Opera San Luis Obispo lovers in this exciting survey of the current Metropolitan Opera Live in HD (METHD) season of operas scheduled to be shown at the Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo!

Led by enthusiastic OperaSLO Board Member Dr. John Frey, this exciting course will detail each METHD opera just before it arrives here on the Central Coast. Participants will receive a brief course syllabus with bios, synopses and commentary, while classes dive into the heart of each opera through relevant video segments, interactive discussions and everything else you need to know before the show. Course fee is $90 for the entire 10-sessions or $10 for single session. Subscribers to the complete 10-session course will receive the 81-page syllabus describing each opera free of charge. All proceeds go to support OperaSLO.

Register by sending a check addressed to OperaSLO, P.O. Box 14760, San Luis Obispo, Ca. 93406 and write “Met Live” in the memo area of the check. Participants may also bring cash or check to each class.

Join us at Quist Hall on the campus of Mount Carmel Lutheran Church these Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm:

October 17, 2018: Samson and Delilia

October 24, 2018: La Fanciulla del West

November 7, 2018: Marnie

December 12, 2018: La Traviata

January 9, 2019: Adriana Lecouvreur

January 30, 2019: Carmen

February 27, 2019: La Fille du Regiment

March 27, 2019: Die Walküre

May 8, 2019: Dialogue des Carmelites

For specific questions, please contact John Frey at JENFREY@aol.com or by phone at (805) 549-0721

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MET Live in HD: AIDA

Sunday, October 21 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

In what should be a highlight of the new season, Soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as her formidable rival Amneris. Aleksandrs Antonenko is the warrior Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti takes the podium for the Met’s monumental production.

World Premiere: Opera House, Cairo, 1871. This grandest of grand operas features an epic backdrop for what is in essence an intimate love story. Set in ancient Egypt and packed with magnificent choruses, complex ensembles, and elaborate ballets, Aida never loses sight of its three protagonists. Few operas have matched Aida in its exploration of the conflict of private emotion and public duty, and perhaps no other has remained to the present day so unanimously appreciated by audiences and critics alike.

Sung in Italian with English, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 4 HRS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Jane Gersten and Sally Young, in memory of Roy Gersten and Bob Young

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Searching for the Real Traviata

Thursday, November 1 - 1pm

You are undoubtedly quite familiar with Verdi's supreme opera - La Traviata. But do you know who the real Traviata was? This 3-session course will give you some understanding of the real person portrayed in the opera. The story of Traviata originates in the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, La Dame aux Camelias. This novel inspired numerous stage dramas, 20 movies, several ballets and Verdi's great opera, which is currently the most popular opera worldwide.

The course will feature showings of Greta Garbo's grand 1936 movie, Camille, John Neumier;s classic ballet, with music by Chopin, Die Kameliendame, and Verdi's masterful La Traviata, all of which explore the life of the famous Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis.

Each Session meets at the Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, 1701 Frederick St. in SLO - located at the intersection of Hwy 101 and Grand Ave, just off the Freeway.

All sessions run from 1- 4pm, Thursdays, November 1, 8 and 15

Each session includes a video segment from each of the operas and discussion. Participants receive a 28-page course syllabus with bios, synopses and commentary.

The donation is $15 for the entire 3-session course or $7 for a single session. All proceeds go to Support OperaSLO.

To register, send a check addressed to:

OperaSLO, PO Box 14760

San Luis Obispo, CA 93406

Checks or cash will be accepted at each session. (write “Traviata” on the lower left line of the check)

For specific questions and additional information please contact John Frey at JENFREY@aol.com or phone 805-549-0721.

Details on Each Class:

La Dame aux Camélias is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted by Dumas for the stage. The play premiered in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. The play was an instant success, and Giuseppe Verdi, who saw the play, immediately set about putting the story to music. His work became the 1853 opera La Traviata,. In the English-speaking world, La Dame aux Camélias became known as Camille and 16 versions have been performed at Broadway theaters alone in addition to 20 movies and 3 ballets. John Neumeier adapted his ballet from novelist Dumas's novel using of the music of Frédéric Chopin.

The Novel and Play: Alexandre Dumas fils - La Dame aux Camélias

On February 2, 1852, Dumas fils’ play La dame aux camélias was produced in Paris. It was an immediate success, made his name and became one of the most popular French plays of the 19th century. It was a landmark in the French theater as one of the first dramas to take contemporary life as its theme and as one of the first plays to show a courtesan in a sympathetic light; it was well-known that much of the play was based on the tragic life of the famous Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis.

November 1: The Movie: Greta Garbo - Camille

Camille is a lavish, melodramatic love/tragedy of Hollywood's Golden Age. It was adapted from Dumas fils' 1852 novel/play, La Dame aux Camelias, the tale of the doomed romance of a courtesan in 19th century Paris. Greta Garbo's portrayal of the beautiful but sickly Parisian courtesan, who fatefully falls in love with a young Frenchman is considered the definitive film version of the Camille story.

November 8: The Ballet: John Neumeier - Die Kameliendame

John Neumeier adapted his ballet from novelist Alexandre Dumas's La Dame aux Camélias making fervent use of the music of Frédéric Chopin. The work tells of a couple who meet while attending a performance of Manon Lescaut and then engage in a passionate but tragic love affair. The work was premiered by the Stuttgart Ballet on November 4, 1987. The ballet has since been performed by leading ballet companies worldwide and has become a 20th Century classic.

November 15: The Opera: Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata

La traviata, is an opera in four acts by Verdi, inspired by Dumas, fils’ play which Verdi saw in 1852. The opera premiered at the Teatro la Fenice, in Venice, March 6, 1853. The title means literally “The Woman Who Strayed.” La traviata, owes much of its popularity to the heroine, Violetta, a tragic, beautiful, noble, young woman doomed to die an early death. The vocal demands of the role are formidable; the soprano must have brilliant coloratura, a long legato line and a convincing speaking voice. In Act I Violetta is a vibrant party girl madly in love with the dashing Alfredo. In Act II she is a serious young woman who gains the sympathy of Alfredo’s father. In Act III she is a bed-ridden consumptive whose last breath ends the opera.

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MET Live in HD: SAMSON ET DALILA

Sunday, November 18 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic Samson et Dalila stars Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna in the title roles; Laurent Naouri co-stars as the High Priest, with Elchin Azizov as the Philistine King Abimélech and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the Old Hebrew. Darko Tresnjak, who won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical in 2014 for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, makes his Met debut directing a vivid, seductive staging, featuring a monumental setting for the last-act Temple of Dagon, where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies. Sir Mark Elder conducts the first new Met production of the work in 20 years.

Sung in French with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 30 MINS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Bill and Carol Rust

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MET Live in HD: LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST

Sunday, November 25 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings Puccini’s gun-slinging heroine in this romantic epic of the Wild West, with the heralded return of tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the role of the outlaw she loves. Tenor Yusif Eyvazov also sings some performances. Baritone Željko Lučić is the vigilante sheriff Jack Rance, and Marco Armiliato conducts.

World Premiere: Metropolitan Opera, New York, 1910. Puccini’s “American” opera, based on David Belasco’s play The Girl of the Golden West, had its glamorous and highly publicized world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera, with the composer in the audience. The drama is set during the California Gold Rush, and the girl of the title is one of Puccini’s most appealing heroines—a strong, independent woman determined to win the man she loves. Although it fell out of favor with audiences for a few decades following its original success, Fanciulla has rebounded in popularity in recent years and is now counted among Puccini’s best works.

Sung in Italian with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 45 MINS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Francesca Fairbrother and Barbara Murphy

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MET Live in HD: MARNIE

Sunday, January 6 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Composer Nico Muhly unveils his second new opera for the Met with this gripping reimagining of Winston Graham’s novel, set in the 1950s, about a beautiful, mysterious young woman who assumes multiple identities. Director Michael Mayer and his creative team have devised a fast-moving, cinematic world for this exhilarating story of denial and deceit, which also inspired a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the enigmatic Marnie, and baritone Christopher Maltman is the man who pursues her—with disastrous results. Robert Spano conducts.

Sung in English with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 20 MINS, 1 intermission

Sponsored by Mary Baiamonte

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MET Live in HD: LA TRAVIATA

Sunday, January 20 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Michael Mayer’s richly textured new production, featuring a dazzling 18th-century setting that changes with the seasons. Soprano Diana Damrau plays the tragic heroine, Violetta, and tenor Juan Diego Flórez returns to the Met for the first time in five seasons to sing the role of Alfredo, Violetta’s hapless lover. Baritone Quinn Kelsey is Alfredo’s father, Germont, who destroys their love. Later performances feature Anita Hartig, Stephen Costello, Artur Ruciński, and Plácido Domingo.

World premiere: Venice, Teatro la Fenice, 1853. Verdi’s La Traviata survived a notoriously unsuccessful opening night to become one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire. Following the larger-scale dramas of Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, its intimate scope and subject matter inspired the composer to create some of his most profound and heartfelt music. The title role of the “fallen woman” has captured the imaginations of audiences and performers alike with its inexhaustible vocal and dramatic possibilities—and challenges. Violetta is considered a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire.

Sung in Italian with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 40 MINS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Phyllis and Robert Frank

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MET Live in HD: ADRIANA LECOUVREUR

Sunday, January 27 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, and Renata Scotto, taking on—for the first time at the Met—the title role of the real-life French actress who dazzled 18th-century audiences with her on-and offstage passion. The soprano is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where the Guardian praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed…The spectacle guarantees a good night out.”

World Premiere: Teatro Lirico, Milan, 1902. Adriana Lecouvreur occupies a unique place in the repertory: largely dismissed by experts from its premiere to the present day yet cherished by its fans for the dramatic possibilities provided by the lead roles. The opera is a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle. Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role.

Sung in Italian with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 4 HRS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by John & Alison Denlinger and John & Elizabeth Rolph

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MET Live in HD: CARMEN

Sunday, February 17 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera’s ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances, with impassioned tenor Yonghoon Lee and Roberto Alagna as her lover, Don José. Louis Langrée conducts Sir Richard Eyre’s powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere.

World premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1875. Bizet’s masterpiece of the gypsy seductress who lives by her own rules has had an impact far beyond the opera house. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining female cultural figure. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere but soon after became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world.

Sung in French with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 45 MINS, 1 intermission - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Jan Simek and Judy Lang

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MET Live in HD: LA FILLE DU REGIMENT

Sunday, March 24 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis,” with its nine high Cs. Maurizio Muraro trade is the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. Enrique Mazzola conducts.

World Premiere: Opéra Comique, Paris, 1840. This frothy comedy mixes humor with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy) ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.

Sung in French with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS, 1 intermission - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Denis and Leona Sullivan

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MET Live in HD: DIE WALKURE

Saturday, March 30 - 9am

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

In what is expected to be a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke plays Brünnhilde, Wotan’s willful warrior daughter, who loses her immortality in opera’s most famous act of filial defiance. Tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek play the incestuous twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. Greer Grimsley sings Wotan. Philippe Jordan conducts.

World Premiere: Court Theater, Munich, 1870. The second opera in Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Die Walküre has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theater. Part of this appeal lies in its focus on some of the Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader of the gods; his wife, Fricka; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde; and, above all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde. These characters and others follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.

Sung in German with English, German, Spanish and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 5 HRS 30 MINS, 2 intermissions - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by CF Buetow, in memory of Charlotte Buetow

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MET Live in HD: DIALOGUES DES CARMELITES

Saturday, June 1 - 2pm

To order tickets by phone, call (805) 756-4849 Mon-Sat 12-6pm!

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Poulenc’s devastating story of faith and martyrdom. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met as the Prioress.

World Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1957. One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality: Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.

Sung in French with English, German, Spanish, and Italian subtitles.

ESTIMATED RUN TIME: 3 HRS 30 MINS, 1 intermission - READ SYNOPSIS

Sponsored by Dr. Bianca Rosenthal

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