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Opera at the Ballpark

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San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Giants add to the festivity of this holiday weekend with their annual presentation of Opera at the Ballpark on July 5. Broadcast live from the War Memorial Opera House to AT&T Park, SF Opera’s gorgeous production of Verdi’s La Traviata will delight a vast audience of opera enthusiasts, Giants supporters - and no doubt many who’ll be dipping their toes into the world of opera for the first time - and it’s all completely free.

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The cast is headed by soprano Ailyn Pérez as Violetta Valéry and tenor Stephen Costello as Alfredo Germont (off-stage they’re husband and wife), with baritone Quinn Kelsey as Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont. The San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Director Ian Robertson) are led by Resident Conductor, Guiseppe Finzi.

La Traviata is based on a French play, La dame aux Camélias, by Alexandre Dumas (the younger) - which was in turn based on Dumas’ earlier novel of the same name. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave, and the opera is sung in Italian with English supertitles. The emotional and heartbreaking story of a Parisian courtesan who finally finds love, but is forced to walk away from it, and then loses her struggle against consumption, La Traviata is also one of the most beautiful operas in the repertoire. According to Operabase, it’s one of the most frequently performed, having topped the list of opera performances in 2013.

This production - conceived by John Copley, and designed by John Conklin - is directed by Laurie Feldman, with costumes by David Walker, and choreography by Bay Area flamenco authority, Yaelisa. It will be screened live in HD on the huge Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision scoreboard at AT&T Park.

There’s an added bonus for Saturday evening’s audience at the ballpark, too, as they’re given visual access to the onstage changeover of sets between the first two acts of the performance. Accompanied by a live commentary by SF Opera’s director of production, Greg Weber, the cameras go behind the curtain to reveal the transformation of the Opera House stage from Violetta’s elegant Parisian residence to the beautiful country chateau which is the setting for Act II.

This free simulcast is the 12th to have been presented by San Francisco Opera, and the eighth at AT&T Park, with nearly 197,000 people having attended since 2006. This program of simulcasts is part of the mission of David Gockley, General Director of SF Opera, to make the art form more accessible to a greater number of people in the community, and to wider audiences as well.

Here are some important notes provided by San Francisco Opera ahead of Saturday’s broadcast:

Only registered ticket holders will be allowed early entrance for best seating beginning at 6:30 p.m. Field seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All others who have not pre-registered and do not have pre-printed tickets will be allowed to enter AT&T Park beginning at 7 p.m. Fans registered for tickets will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a night at San Francisco Opera.

AT&T Park concessions will be open for the simulcast, providing audiences the rare opportunity to pair hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn with world-class opera. No lawn chairs will be allowed for field seating, and glass containers, alcohol, and hard-sided coolers are not permitted into the ballpark. For a complete list of AT&T Park rules and restrictions, please visit sfopera.com/simulcast. AT&T Park in San Francisco is easily accessible by public transportation. For directions and public transit information, please visit sfopera.com/simulcast.

The free Live Simulcast of La Traviata at AT&T Park takes place on Saturday, July 5, at 8 pm,
24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107

Note: Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello will sing the National Anthem prior to the San Francisco Giants vs St Louis Cardinals game at AT&T Park on July 2. The game begins at 7.15 pm and will be broadcast on television via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as on KNBR 680 AM.

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