The San Francisco Opera announced its 2017-18 season and this season the company will be presenting five operas and the complete Ring Cycle. As with every season, there are always exciting new productions and great classics to see. But what artists should audiences be on the lookout for? The following is a list of the five stars that cannot be missed this season.
Karita Mattila – The Ring Cycle
It’s always mesmerizing to see one of the great sopranos of our times taking on new repertoire and succeeding in it. Mattila, who is in a new phase in her career, is adding new roles to her repertoire that she feels are the mature roles. Last year Mattila impressed in the role of Kostelnička in Janacek’s “Jenufa” and stole the show from the title character. It showed her strength as an actress and her dramatic vocal powers. As a result, it is hard not to anticipate what she will do with Sieglinde in “Die Walkure.” Mattila has performed numerous Wagner roles over the span of her career and all of the roles were big successes. Expect Mattila to create a vivid and dynamic Sieglinde.
Stephanie Blythe – Klytemnestra in Strauss’ “Elektra”
Blythe is making her role in the short but crucial role of Klytemnestra. When Blythe sings a role she bring out full emotions with her voice and is capable of stealing the show from anyone of stage. This happened when she sang Fricka in the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle and when she took on the role of Amneris in Verdi’s “Aida.” With her powerful voice and imposing stage presence, this is a performer to be excited about.
Michael Fabiano – Des Grieux in Massenet’s “Manon”
He has been described as a tenor who sings with passion and holds nothing back on stage. His recent “La Boheme” at the Metropolitan Opera was met with raves and OperaWire described him as “one of the most thrilling” performers in the world. A great Manon is nothing without a top-notch singer taking on the eponymous protagonist but it is also hard to be engaged in the work if there is no great Des Grieux. And Fabiano promises to bring fire to the stage alongside the rising star Nadine Sierra.
Aurelia Florian – Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata”
It’s always great to discover a new singer and this year San Francisco audiences will have the chance to see Florian’s first American appearances. In her San Francisco Opera debut, Florian will sing her signature role. She has been singing Violetta since 2013 all over the world. She has performed the role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian State Opera, New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Der Norske Opera in Oslo, Zurich Oper, and the Savonlinna Festival in Finland. The Romanian Soprano is a specialist in Verdi and Puccini and as a result this will be an intriguing singer to discover this season.
Brian Jagde – Calaf in Puccini’s “Turandot”
Last season Jagde made a splash in his role debut as Radames in Verdi’s “Aida” in San Francisco. Since then he has been making debuts around the world and has become on of the most promising spinto tenors of his generation. This season audiences will have a chance to see his first Calaf which also means a new interpretation of “Nessun Dorma,” the show-stopping aria in the opera. And Jagde will have two excellent sopranos to sing alongside him – Martina Serafin and Nina Stemme.