Details are now available for the performances that will be given during this summer’s season of the Merola Opera Program. With the exception of the Grand Finale, which always takes place at the War Memorial Opera House and the free concert in Yerba Buena Gardens, Merola will return to last summer’s venue, Everett Auditorium, located at 450 Church Street, while the renovation of Herbst Theatre and the building in which it is located continue. Here are the specifics for each event, given in order of the dates.
The first full opera production will be André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, with a libretto by Philip Littell based on the play by Tennessee Williams of the same name. This will be the first time the opera has been revived in San Francisco, following its world premiere by the San Francisco Opera on September 19, 1998 with Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry in the leading roles of Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. Peter Grunberg has prepared a revision of the score for a reduced orchestra, which will be conducted by Mark Morash. The staging will be by director José Maria Condemi. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 12. Ticket prices will be $60, $40, and $25.
The annual Schwabacher Summer Concert will, as usual, present a diverse collection of opera scenes (with minimal but convincing costumes and sets). The intention of the concert is to showcase the talents of the participating “Merolini.” The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 17. Ticket prices will be $40 and $25. The free performance of this same concert will then take place at 2 p.m. the following Saturday, July 19, in Yerba Buena Gardens, located just south of Mission Street between Third Street and Fourth Street. The free concert is supported, as always, by the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
The second full opera will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The production will be staged by James Darrah and conducted by Martin Katz. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 31, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 2. Ticket prices will again be $60, $40, and $25.
The Grand Finale will take place on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 16. This will be another program of scenes, which, by tradition, are staged in a common framework by the Merolino serving as Apprentice Stage Director. Ticket prices begin at $45 for premium seating in the Orchestra and the Grand Tier, $35 for the remainder in these sections, and $25 for the Dress Circle. The performance will be followed at 10 p.m. by a reception downstairs in the Lower Level Café. Admission to the reception will require an additional $50.
Tickets for all performances may be purchased through the San Francisco Opera Box Office, located at the entrance to the War Memorial Opera House. Tickets may be purchase by phone at 415-864-3330. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday.