San Francisco Opera Announces Cast Change for ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

By Francisco Salazar

The San Francisco Opera has announced a cast change for the world premiere of John Adams’ “Antony and Cleopatra,” opening on Sept. 10, 2022 as the first operatic presentation of the Company’s 2022–23 Centennial Season.

Soprano Amina Edris will create the role of Cleopatra, replacing Julia Bullock, who has withdrawn from the production because she and her husband, conductor Christian Reif, are expecting the birth of their first child this fall.

While Bullock will not debut the role in San Francisco, she remains connected with the project for future engagements.

In a statement, San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said, “Julia has been such an inspiration in the creation of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra and we will miss her dearly from the premiere, but it is for the happiest of reasons imaginable! We wish Julia and Christian great joy as they begin a family together. We are so grateful to Amina for joining us to create this extraordinary role and excited for the depth of character and beautiful artistry she will bring to Cleopatra. Amina is having such success around the world, and we’re thrilled to welcome her back to San Francisco Opera to help us launch our second century in such a special way.”

Bullock added, “I am deeply grateful to Matthew and San Francisco Opera for being so respectful and supportive as I came to the decision to withdraw from the premiere to prepare for the birth of our first child. Amina will be thrilling in the role of Cleopatra, and I wish the entire cast and crew my very best as they bring this new work to life.”

Edris is a former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and has performed with the SF Opera in multiple productions. She has also sung with the Canadian Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Opéra National de Paris.

The soprano joins a cast that includes Gerald Finley, Paul Appleby, Alfred Walker, and Elizabeth DeShong. San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kim opens the 100th season.