Recorded live in high-definition at San Francisco’s historic War Memorial Opera House, this inaugural series of four popular grand operas provides an exceptional high quality experience that will have you feeling like you were watching this performance from your favorite seat in the Opera House.

One of the world’s leading opera companies, San Francisco Opera remains a top destination for international singers, conductors, stage directors and designers. The San Francisco Opera brand of presenting exceptional musical and innovative theatrical productions is a strong and cherished tradition, critically acclaimed and applauded by sold-out audiences from around the world.

Sunday, September 9th @ 9:00 AM
Tuesday, September 11th @ 6:30 PM
Program Details (PDF)

The Don Juan legend crackles to life in the hands of the world’s most well-known classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Carefully balancing brilliant comedy with heaping amounts of seduction and ultimate tragedy, Don Giovanni is often referred to as the greatest opera ever composed. From the sparkling overture to one hit musical number after another, Mozart’s score comes to life in this fast-paced San Francisco Opera production with extraordinary Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role. Maestro Donald Runnicles leads the world renowned San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

“Marius Kwiecien commands attention whenever he’s onstage. His lustrous, virile tone and rugged, wide-eyed good looks provide immediate appeal.”
— San Francisco Chronicle


Sunday, October 7th @ 9:00 AM
Tuesday, October 16th @ 6:30 PM
Program Details (PDF)


One of the world’s most beloved and dramatic operas, Madama Butterfly is a classic tale of colliding hearts and cultures set in twentieth-century Japan. Internationally acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette is Cio-Cio-San, a geisha tragically torn between two worlds and forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to retain her honor. Donald Runnicles conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this stirring production that features some of Puccini’s most popular music. Sung in Italian with English subtitles, the running time is two hours and forty minutes with one ten-minute intermission including a behind-the-scenes interview.

“…a compelling and almost breathlessly taut rendition of this timeless tragedy”. Patricia Racette’s portrayal is “an incendiary performance”.
— San Francisco Chronicle


Sunday, December 9th @ 9:00 AM
Tuesday, December 11th @ 6:30 PM
Program Details (PDF)

A thoroughly Italian work inspired by Viennese operetta, this rarely performed Puccini gem is all about love between a kept woman from high society and a naïve younger man of moderate means. From the composer’s fabled Act I aria, “Chi il bel sogno” to the glorious Act II café scene duet for the young lovers, this San Francisco Opera production features two world renowned singers at their finest: Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Russian tenor Misha Didyk. Ion Marin conducts La Rondine (The Swallow) in an opulent Art Deco production design by Nicolas Joël that will dazzle your eye. Sung in Italian with English subtitles, the running time is two hours and five minutes with one intermission including a backstage cast interview.

Regarding superstar soprano Angela Gheorghiu, “Her tone was strong but tender, with an irresistible blend of earthiness and purity…and when she lofted the high notes… she] seemed to make time stand still”.
— San Francisco Chronicle



Sunday, March 17, 2013 @ 9:00 AM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 6:30 PM
Program Details (PDF)

One of the most fascinating Biblical tales to emerge from the Old Testament comes to life in this sweeping epic of a hero who is seduced by a woman and loses his heart, his hair, and finally his strength. This extraordinary opera includes some of the most beautiful music ever composed, and one of the most thrilling Bacchanalian dance spectacles ever conceived for the stage. Make no mistake, this is a Cecil B. DeMille-like extravaganza. Tenor Clifton Forbis brings down the temple (and the house) in this sumptuous production that features Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina, and conductor Patrick Summers. Sung in French with English subtitles, the running time is two hours and thirty five minutes with two ten-minute intermissions including backstage interviews with the cast.

Famed artist Olga Borodina, “soared through the part with ease and seductive allure…[with her] gloriously voluptuous singing…”
— San Francisco Chronicle