Fleur Barron, Axelle Fanyo, Nicholas Phan, Christopher Purves Headline San Francisco Symphony’s Presentation of ‘Adriana Mater’

By David Salazar

The San Francisco Symphony has released the full casting details for its upcoming production of Kaija Saariaho’s “Adriana Mater.”

Conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and directed by Peter Sellars, the work, which will be presented on June 8-11, 2023, will star mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron as Adriana, soprano Axelle Fanyo as Refka, tenor Nicholas Phan as Yonas, and baritone Christopher Purves as Tsargo; Barron and Fanyo will be making their Orchestral Series debuts.

Saariaho dedicated the work to Sellars who directed the world premiere at the Opéra Bastille back in 2006.

“One of Kaija Saariaho’s most powerful works, her second opera ‘Adriana Mater’ is waiting to be heard with fresh ears in a society now sharply attuned to issues of violence against women and the human costs of raising children in times of war,” said Sellars in an official press statement issued by the San Francisco Symphony. “With a wise, heartbreaking, prescient, and revelatory libretto by the great novelist Amin Maalouf, Kaija’s eloquent opera speaks with the clarity, force, and humanity that our world is searching for.”