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'Traviata' Opera at Baseball Park and opera floats in Gay Pride Parade as Tosca

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San Francisco Opera hosts a free night of opera with a simulcast on the Jumbotron of Verdi's "La Traviata", about a spirited courtesan who falls in love. Visitors may sit in the stands or spread out picnic blankets on the field as seagulls soar. Enjoy the sunset and your own picnic en masse. You don't get to wear shorts, jeans and sweatshirts to the opera all that often so enjoy. Perhaps David Gockley will play his ever-popular sing along "Take Me Out to the Op-e-ra".

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Young and beautiful Ailyn Perez from Florida, a former Merolini, will play the young courtesan who sacrifices herself for love. She projected star quality and professionalism, a dynamic and lovely stage presence and grace.

Daniel Montenegro, who participated in the Merola program and co-starred with Perez in a romantic comedy, will play Gastone. Even back then he displayed stamina and professionalism, charm and humility to rival Juan Diego Florez and his high C.

Tickets at the opera house for this performance run from $68 to $359. Standing room and student rush tickets cost $10 cash at the door the day of the performance.

Visitors at the free ballpark simulcast must register on line. http://sfopera.com/Season-Tickets/Archived/Opera-at-the-Ballpark.aspx. Registration here.

Gay Pride Tosca and Scarpia

San Francisco Opera will also join the Gay Pride Parade this year with an open car in which Puccini's heroine Tosca, the ill-fated opera singer in love with a painter, rides along with evil policemen under the dastardly Baron Scarpia. Opera supernumeraries, non-singing actors, will ride in their opera costumes. Heidi Munzinger will be Tosca.

This fall Mark Delavan will play the evil baron at SF Opera. Brian Jagde will play the handsome young painter busy painting in a church and in love with the virtuous Tosca. He's performing opposite Pat Racette in "Madama Butterfly" this summer. Baritone Delavan and tenor Jagde have been in San Francisco's Merola program for young performers. Delavan starred as the leader of the gods Wotan in The Ring Cycle, directed by Francesca Zambello. Zambello currently directs the epic American tale Show Boat at SF Opera with comedian Bill Irwin as Capn. Andy.

The opera offers rainbow series tickets and receptions. sfopera.com/rainbow.

For more info: sfpride.org, SFOpera.com

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