Ellie Dehn Headlines ‘Arabella’ At The San Francisco Opera

By Francisco Salazar

On Oct. 16, 2018, the San Francisco Opera will open Strauss’ “Arabella” for the first time in 20 years.

The production by Tim Albery will feature soprano Ellie Dehn in the title role for the first time, Brian Mulligan in his role debut as Mandryka, soprano Heidi Stober as Zdenka, tenor Daniel Johansson in his first San Francisco Opera engagement as Matteo and Hye Jung Lee as the Fiakermilli. Acclaimed Strauss interpreter Marc Albrecht will make his United States opera debut on the podium leading the company’s Chorus directed by Ian Robertson.

Tim Albery’s staging of “Arabella” is a co-production of the Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Canadian Opera Company and updates the Viennese love story from 1860 to the period just before World War I.

San Francisco Opera first presented “Arabella” in 1980 with legendary soprano Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role, Barbara Daniels as Zdenka, Ingvar Wixell as Mandryka and William Lewis as Matteo.

The work was revived in 1998 by then-music director Donald Runnicles with a cast led by Janice Watson as Arabella and Franz Grundheber as Mandryka with the young tenor Stuart Skelton performing the role of Count Elemer.

“Arabella” will be presented from Oct. 16 through Nov. 3, 2018.