Arabella at SF Opera, San Francisco | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Arabella at SF Opera, San Francisco

A Scene from “Arabella”
(Courtesy: SF Opera)

Tim Albery directs Arabella with an ensemble cast and captivating music. The lyric comedy opens on October 16 and will run through November 3 at the San Francisco Opera House.

The story revolves around Arabella, whose aristocratic parents want to marry her off for money to rescue them from their financial difficulties. But, Arabella is in search of a true soulmate who will truly love her. She finally does get to meet such a person, but unfortunately a case of mistaken identity leads to a perpetual confusion that may spoil Arabella’s plans. The lyric comedy is set amidst the costume balls and society parlors of Vienna's golden age. This romantic comedy of errors is a stirring fairy tale about youth, identity and love.

The production is new to the San Francisco Opera but it has enjoyed successful runs at other opera houses in the past. Sung in German with English supertitles, the cast comprises of Ellie Dehn as Arabella, Heidi Stober as Zdenka, Daniel Johansson as Matteo, Brian Mulligan as Mandryka, Hye Jung Lee as The Fiakermilli, Jill Grove as A Fortune-Teller, Michaela Martens as Adelaide, Richard Paul Fink as Count Waldner, Scott Quinn as Count Elemer and Christian Pursell as Count Lamoral.

Arabella, a lyric comedy in three acts, was composed by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The opera marked the sixth and last operatic collaboration between Strauss and Hofmannsthal. It was first performed at the Dresden Sachsisches Staatstheater on  July 1, 1933. The comic opera premiered on May 17, 1934 in the UK at London's Royal Opera House. About twenty years later, the opera was performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera with Eleanor Steber essaying the title role. Since then there have been 58 performances of the production at the Met. The production of Arabella by Opera Australia won the Helpmann Award for Best Opera in 2008. The notable productions of this decade include performances in Salzburg, Nuremberg, Hamburg, Vienna, Tokyo, Paris, Budapest, The Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh and Amsterdam.

The SF Opera website mentions that those who are fans of Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night, Downton Abbey, Cosi fan tutte, Shakespeare in Love and La Traviata would definitely love this production of Arabella.

The creative team comprises Marc Albrecht as Conductor, Tobias Hoheisel as the Production Designer, David Finn as Lightning Designer and  Ian Robertson as Chorus Director.

The production opens on October 16, 2018 and runs through November 3, 2018 at San Francisco Opera, 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For details, visit

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the production.