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Merola Opera Program 2019 Summer Festival

Tickets to the world premiere of If I Were You by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, and Merola Grand Finale are on sale through the SF Opera Box Office located at 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, by phone at (415) 864-3330 or at


If I Were You - World Premiere

An opera in two acts by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer
Loosely based on the novel Si j’étais vous by the French-American writer Julien Green, If I Were You is a contemporary story of identity with echoes of classical literature, from Faust to Jekyll and Hyde. The lead character is Fabian Hart, an aspiring writer who yearns for adventure and a way out of his stifling existence. Brittomara, a shape-shifting devil, appears to him in many guises, finally offering Fabian a supernatural power that will allow the writer to transfer his soul into other people’s bodies, living their lives as their own souls languish in a shadowy netherworld. Thus begins the journey of If I Were You as Fabian moves his increasingly lost soul from person to person in search of a better identity, leaving a trail of human wreckage and hollow shells. Performances in English (with supertitles).

Don't miss two talented Merola casts: Pearl Cast (P) and Emerald Cast (E).

Thursday, August 1, 7:30 pm (P)
Saturday, August 3, 2:00 pm (E)
Sunday, August 4, 2:00 pm (P)
Tuesday, August 6, 7:30 pm (E)
Herbst Theatre - 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Nicole Paiement, Conductor
Keturah Stickann, Director
Buy tickets here: $80/$55/$35
Graciously underwritten, in part, by the Bettye Poetz Ferguson Foundation, Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Jack H. Lund Foundation, Barbara Bruser & Richard Clark, Mary & Craig Henderson, Scott & Susan Lord, Diane B. Wilsey, and Sue York.
Nicole Paiement is sponsored, in part, by Bob and Terri Ryan.
Keturah Stickann is sponsored, in part, by Ursula Grunfeld.

Schwabacher Recital Series Auditions

Silver Circle and above
Go behind the rehearsal studio door and hear current Merola artists audition for Merola's and San Francisco Opera Center's renowned Schwabacher Recital Series.

Monday, August 5, 1:30 pm
Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera Atrium Theater - 401 Van Ness Avenue

William Burden Master Class

Benefactor Level and above
William Burden, a 1991 alumnus of the Merola Opera Program, is a member of the voice faculty at The Julliard School and the Mannes School of Music. A supporter of new works, Burden sang George Bailey in San Francisco Opera's West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie's It's a Wonderful Life in the fall of 2018. He has appeared in many prestigious opera houses in the United States and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Opera National de Paris, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Berliner Staatsoper, Madrid's Teatro Real, the Netherlands Opera, and many others. His repertoire includes the title roles of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Faust, Pelléas et Mélisande, Roméo et Juliette, Béatrice and Bénédict, Candide, and Acis and Galatea; Loge in Das Rheingold, Florestan in Fidelio, Don José in Carmen, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Lensky in Eugene Onegin.

Thursday, August 8, 7:00 pm
Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera Atrium Theater - 401 Van Ness Avenue
William Burden is sponsored, in part, by Paul & Ellen McKaskle.

Merola Grand Finale and Reception*

A triumphant end to our Summer Festival, the Merola Grand Finale features the Merola young artists in a dazzling array of opera’s most captivating arias and ensembles. Conducted by Maestro George Manahan, and directed by 2019 Merola Apprentice Stage Director Greg Eldridge, this evening showcases the extraordinary talent of the Merolini.

Following the performance, join the Merola artists for a celebration in the Veterans Building Green Room.

Saturday, August 17, 7:30 pm
War Memorial Opera House - 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
George Manahan, Conductor
Greg Eldridge, Director
Buy tickets here: $50/$40/$25
*Reception tickets are an additional $75 each and can be purchased here.
Graciously underwritten, in part, by The Blanche Thebom Trust, and the Jack H. Lund Charitable Trust.
George Manahan is sponsored, in part, by Darla and Richard Bastoni
Greg Eldridge is sponsored, in part, by the Lotfi Mansouri Apprentice Stage Director Endowment Fund, and the In Memory of Jean Donnell Fund.
Post-concert reception is generously sponsored, in part, by Culinary Excellence Catering.