San Francisco Opera partners with the San Francisco Giants and presenting sponsor Taube Philanthropies for Opera at the Ballpark—a free live simulcast of Georges Bizet’s Carmen—on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Baseball fans, opera lovers and tens of thousands from the Bay Area community will have the chance to experience a live performance of one of opera’s most beloved and tuneful works while seated on the field or in the stands of San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Register now for early entry to ensure best seating at sfopera.com/simulcast.
Bizet’s opera about a defiantly free-spirited woman and her obsessive lover has delighted audiences for well over 150 years and returns to San Francisco Opera in a bold new production by innovative director Calixto Bieito. The so-called “bad-boy of opera,” Bieito is hailed for his provocative and iconoclastic opera productions. His raw, sexually-charged and cinematic vision of Carmen unabashedly provokes the visceral emotions pulsing through this tale of love, lust and murder. Bieito’s “intelligent, persuasive and intense” (The Guardian, UK) high-energy production is staged here by Spanish director Joan Anton Rechi, Bieto’s longtime collaborator.
Irene Roberts performs the role of the impassioned gypsy Carmen and Brian Jagde is Don José, the lovesick soldier who falls under her spell. The cast also features baritone Zachary Nelson as the dashing bullfighter Escamillo, and soprano Ellie Dehn in the role of Micaëla. Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Bieito’s Carmen is set in modern-day, post-Franco Spain in the autonomous Spanish city of Ceuta, the ancient Mediterranean outpost located on the north coast of Africa. According to revival director Joan Anton Rechi: “Calixto wanted a high level of realism to show a wild and cruel universe full of passions and primal virility,” and notes the production is more faithful to the gritty and raw naturalism of the original Prosper Mérimée novella that Bizet and his co-librettists adapted. Please note: This production contains violence, nudity and sexual situations. Parental discretion advised.
Through state-of-the-art technology, the simulcast will be transmitted in 1920×1080 high definition (HD) to AT&T Park’s 103-feet wide Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision scoreboard—one of the highest quality outdoor scoreboards in the nation—live from the stage of the War Memorial Opera House. Concert quality audio combined with AT&T Park’s massive screen creates an unmatched operatic experience for attendees sitting in the stands and on the field.
San Francisco Opera’s free live simulcasts, part of General Director David Gockley’s mission to bring opera into the community and to wider audiences, have drawn nearly 255,000 people of all ages since 2006. The July 2 Carmen simulcast marks the 14th free simulcast presented by San Francisco Opera and the 10th at AT&T Park. Last year’s Opera at the Ballpark drew an audience of 30,130 to AT&T Park for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
The simulcast will last approximately 2 hours, 50 minutes and feature English subtitles on the ballpark’s HD screen. Simulcast audiences will also have the opportunity to view the onstage set changeovers during intermission—the War Memorial Opera House curtain will remain up during the break to reveal a behind-the-scenes view of the opera sets being broken down and reset for the next act. Other events at AT&T Park include the winner of the “KDFC Star-Spangled Sing-Off” singing the National Anthem and Tammy Nelson from Beach Blanket Babylon—“the world’s longest-running musical revue”—returning to perform a special version of “Take me out to the ball game.”
This event is free, but only registered attendees with printed confirmation will be allowed early entrance for best seating beginning at 5 p.m. Field seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. All others who have not pre-registered will be allowed to enter AT&T Park beginning at 6:00 p.m. Fans registered for early entry 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 garlic fries 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. AT&T Park in San Francisco is easily accessible by public transportation. For complete details, directions and public transit information, please visit sfopera.com/simulcast.
Please note: This production contains violence, nudity and sexual situations. Parental discretion advised.
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