Matthew Polenzani & J’Nai Bridges Headline ‘Carmen’ At San Francisco Opera

By Francisco Salazar

San Francisco Opera’s 2019 Summer Season opens with Bizet’s “Carmen” with an all-star cast.

The production by Francesca Zambello is set to star American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in her first professional performances of the title role and American tenor Matthew Polenzani in his role debut as Don José. They are joined by Romanian soprano Anita Hartig, who makes her San Francisco Opera debut as Micaëla and American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo. James Gaffigan  makes his San Francisco Opera debut conducting Bizet’s masterpiece.

Bridges made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2016 as Bersi in “Andréa Chenier” and went on to perform in the world premiere of John Adams’ “Girls of the Golden West” with the company

Meanwhile, Polenzani returns to the company for the first time since 2013 when he sang Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.” Hartig has performed to great acclaim around the world, including at the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, while Ketelsen has sung the role of Escamillo at the Teatro Real and the Met.

Performances are set to run from June 5 to 29, 2019.