Russell Thomas, Jakub Jósef Orlinski, Eun Sun Kim Headline San Francisco Opera’s ‘Celebrating the Summer’ Virtual Gala

By David Salazar

San Francisco Opera is set to showcase a virtual event entitled “Celebrating the Summer Season” on Friday, July 10, 2020.

The 90-minute program will be headlined by the artists and operas that were programmed during the originally scheduled summer season, which was canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Such artists as Michelle Bradley, Louise Alder, Sasha Cooke, Jakub Jósef Orlinski, Russell Thomas, and Mason Bates will be featured in music from “Ernani,” “Partenope,” and “The (R)evolutions of Steve Jobs.” Music Director Designate Eun Sun Kim will be leading the performance with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

“We are celebrating and honoring the operas that should have been on our stage right now,” said General Director Matthew Shilvock. “While it has been heartbreaking to cancel, we wanted to share some of the extraordinary artistry that we were so looking forward to seeing on our stage and have a chance to delve deep into the operas themselves. This event will be a preview of other virtual programs we are planning for the fall that will incorporate performances, conversations, behind-the-scenes features, and special surprises.”

Worthy of note is the fact that during the “Ernani” portion of the program, Thomas will perform “Odi il voto,” an aria rarely performed in most showcases of the opera. Pavarotti was originally set to be the first tenor to perform the aria during a 1984 production; when he fell ill, the aria was omitted from the performance. Thomas was set to give the aria its debut this summer before COVID-19 stopped that historic moment from taking place.