S.F. Opera on KDFC

KDFC is the radio home of the San Francisco Opera, with a full-length production, recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, on the first Sunday of every month at 8pm. Dianne Nicolini hosts.

And now you can stream the SF Opera broadcasts any time right here on KDFC.com. Click here to see what's available for streaming.
The Fall of the House of Usher by Gordon Getty

Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic tale about a decaying castle inhabited by a tormented man and his sickly sister comes to life—twice! Featuring imaginative video projections, David Pountney’s production evokes the intense atmosphere of Poe’s prose. Brian Mulligan stars in this spine-tingling U.S. production premiere under the baton of renowned conductor Lawrence Foster. Enter at your own risk.

Past Programs:


The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini

Cunning, clever, and big-hearted, Figaro is precisely the sort of person you want as a friend. His quick thinking proves invaluable in helping a young woman escape from the grasp of her guardian and into the arms of a noble suitor.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner
Please note: this broadcast begins at 7pm

In his comic masterpiece, Wagner set aside gods and goddesses to tell a touchingly human story about the power of art. When an impetuous young singer arrives in a proud German city determined to dazzle the townsfolk and win the love of a beautiful woman, his attempts to prove himself find sympathy in a wise cobbler-poet.
The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

In a fantastical world of ferocious dragons and enchanted musical instruments, a noble prince sets out to rescue a beautiful princess and ensure the triumph of truth and justice. Mozart’s final operatic masterpiece returns in a sublime multimedia production sung in English and designed by acclaimed visual artist Jun Kaneko.
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti

Pressured to marry the wrong man, a young woman suffers an emotional breakdown, culminating in the most astonishing mad scene in all of opera.

Witness the arresting vocal and dramatic power of Nadine Sierra and Piotr Beczala in a striking new production by Director Michael Cavanagh and Set Designer Erhard Rom (Susannah, 2014). Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the gorgeous, melodic score.
Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi

A father’s betrayal. A daughter’s sacrifice. Longing only for love, a brave young woman sacrifices her own happiness in a desperate attempt to save her father’s life. Revered for its masterful depiction of intimate emotions, Verdi’s swiftly moving tragedy explores the forbidden passion between a peasant girl and a nobleman and the plotting of two ruthless men determined to tear them apart.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti leads an outstanding cast featuring two of opera’s fastest-rising international stars: Leah Crocetto and Michael Fabiano.

Sunday, January 3, 8pm

Arabella by Richard Strauss
(Archival Broadcast)

Kiri Te Kanawa (Arabella), Barbara Daniels (Zdenka), Alexander Malta (Count Theodor Waldner), Sona Cervena (Countess Waldner), Ingvar Wixell (Mandryka), William Lewis (Matteo); conducted by Wolfgang Rennert. Recorded Fall 1980, War Memorial Opera House.

Sunday, December 6, 8pm

La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli
(Archival Broadcast)

Renata Scotto (La Gioconda), Luciano Pavarotti (Enzo Grimaldo), Stefania Toczyska (Laura Adorno), Margarita Lilova (La Cieca), Norman Mittelmann (Barnaba), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Alvise Badoero); conducted by Bruno Bartoletti. Recorded September 1979, War Memorial Opera House.

Sunday, November 1, 7pm
Note: Early Broadcast Time

The Trojans by Hector Berlioz

One of the largest, most magnificent pieces in the entire repertory, this rarely staged epic is presented here for the first time in 47 years, the way it was originally meant to be seen: two operas—The Fall of Troy and The Trojans at Carthage—in one spectacular evening! The tragic fall of Troy, the passionate love of two great leaders, the urgent pull of destiny: all unfold as part of Berlioz’s visionary masterpiece—French grand opera's answer to Wagner's Ring. Former Music Director Donald Runnicles, who masterfully conducted the Ring cycle in 2011, returns to lead this intensely lyrical, colorfully orchestrated, viscerally exciting score. David McVicar’s visually striking new production, “a major event” (The Guardian, London), moves the action to the mid-19th century. The world-class cast stars, as the ill-fated lovers Dido and Aeneas, the “vocally sumptuous and alluring” Susan Graham and Bryan Hymel, who gives “an impassioned and confident performance of a heroic role” (The New York Times). The “musically intelligent and vocally splendid” Anna Caterina Antonacci (The New York Times) takes on the dramatic role of the prophetess Cassandra.

Sunday, October 4, 8pm

Two Women by Marco Tutino

The cruelty of war, the loss of innocence and the intense love of a mother for her daughter make for moving drama in this world premiere—based on a novel that was adapted into a classic movie starring Sophia Loren. As the Allies invade Italy toward the end of World War II, a strong-willed widow and her 16-year-old daughter flee Rome for the nearby mountains in a vain attempt to find safety. Nicola Luisotti conducts the lushly expressive score by Italian composer Marco Tutino, whose work is “a joyful discovery...I hope we hear more of his music soon” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Francesca Zambello directs the outstanding cast, which is led by the “extraordinary” Anna Caterina Antonacci, known for her “intelligent and charismatic artistry” (The New York Times).

Sunday, September 6, 8pm

The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart's warmest, wisest opera is one of the composer’s most graceful creations—a tender comedy in which a countess and her servant join forces to punish her aristocrat husband for his philandering. In the process, two very different couples learn humbling lessons about life and love. The cast is led by Philippe Sly as Figaro, a “gifted and accomplished” singer who has “the ability to combine virility and tenderness in a single phrase” (San Francisco Chronicle). Luca Pisaroni, known for his “impressive natural gifts” and “masterful intelligence and taste” (Opera News) is the lecherous Count, with the charismatic Nadine Sierra as his Countess and Lisette Oropesa as Figaro’s saucy love Susanna. Patrick Summers, whose Figaro was celebrated for its “dramatic pace, musical discernment and unfailing good taste” (Sydney Morning Herald), conducts.

Sunday, August 2, 8pm

La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini

When an aspiring poet falls in love with a fragile seamstress, their intense passion is only matched by their youthful idealism. Can their tender relationship survive the cruelties of life? John Caird, the director of two of the biggest stage hits of recent years,Les Misérables and Nicholas Nickleby, brings his unique touch to this new production of Puccini’s beloved opera. Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi leads a superb cast headed by the “warm, luminous tone and urgently communicative phrasing” (TheClassicalReview.com) of Greek soprano Alexia Voulgaridou in her Company debut, the “intensely expressive” Michael Fabiano (The New York Times) and Nadine Sierra, whose commanding artistry inspires “awe and delight” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Sunday, July 5, 8pm

Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc

A special archival broadcast featuring Leontyne Price, Régine Crespin, Betsy Norden, and more. Conducted by Henry Lewis. Recorded Fall 1982.

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