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The gender- and genre-bending operatic event that took New York City by storm in the summer of 2017 now makes landfall in San Francisco. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times describes it as “an excitingly contemporary production” while The New Yorker praises the production “a smashing success.” Co-produced with National Sawdust, this harrowingly intimate re-imagination stars original cast members Anthony Roth Costanzo as Galatea and Davóne Tines as Polifemo, with Lauren Snouffer joining as Aci.

The original production met with critical acclaim when it premiered in New York City in 2017. Now you can see it with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players at the Opening Night Gala or one of six stunning performances at ODC Theater.

HANDEL Aci, Galatea e Polifemo

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Lauren Snouffer, soprano (Aci)
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor (Galatea)
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone (Polifemo)
Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players

Christopher Alden, stage direction
Mark Grey, sound & video design
Seth Reiser, lighting design
Terese Wadden, costume design
Paul Tate dePoo III, set design
Cori Ellison, dramaturg

Produced By Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan
A co-production of National Sawdust and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

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Wednesday, January 22 @ 8:30 pm | Diane Wilsey Center for Opera, San Francisco

Friday January 24 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Saturday January 25 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Sunday January 26 @ 3 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Tuesday January 28 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Wednesday January 29 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Friday January 31 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco
Saturday February 1 @ 8 pm | ODC Theater, San Francisco

These performances are not part of the regular subscription season and must be purchased separately.

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Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. Recently named 2019 Musical America Vocalist of the Year, this season Mr. Costanzo returns to the Met as the title role in Akhnaten (which will be broadcast live to movie theaters around the world as part of the Met Opera’s Live in HD series), stars in the critically acclaimed production of Aci, Galatea e Polifemo in San Francisco with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra which he originally produced for National Sawdust in 2017, and appears in recital at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC and in concert with Les Violons du Roy and with The English Concert on tour in both Europe and the US.

Mr. Costanzo is an exclusive recording artist with Decca Gold, and his first album, ARC – a collection of arias by Handel and Phillip Glass with Les Violons du Roy – was released in September 2018 and nominated for the 2019 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. With the album, he produced the multi-disciplinary performance installation Glass Handel, involving artists like Tilda Swinton, George Condo, and Raf Simons, and creating 9 music videos which were released as a visual album on Apple Music.”

Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Spoleto Festival USA, Glimmerglass Festival, and Finnish National Opera.

In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Baroque, Berlin Philharmonic, NDR at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also been presented in recital in Vancouver, Princeton University Concerts, Duke Performances, and at the Morgan Library in New York. He has performed at a wide-ranging variety of venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Versailles, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Minamiza Kyoto, Joe’s Pub, The Guggenheim, The Park Avenue Armory, and Madison Square Garden.

A champion of new work, Mr. Costanzo recently created roles in the world premieres of Jimmy Lopez’ Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at the Dallas Opera. He has also premiered works written for him by Matthew Aucoin, Paola Prestini, Gregory Spears, Suzanne Farrin, Bernard Rands, Scott Wheeler, Mohammed Fairouz, Steve Mackey, and Nico Muhly.

Mr. Costanzo has begun working as a producer and curator in addition to being a performer, most recently producing and starring in Glass Handel at Opera Philadelphia’s O18 Festival and subsequently co-presented by National Sawdust and St. John the Divine in New York. He has also created shows for National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, the Philharmonia Baroque, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, Master Voices and Kabuki-Za Tokyo. He played Francis in the Merchant Ivory film, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and Simon in Brice Cauvin’s De particulier a particulier. He is the first countertenor to host a Met Opera Live in HD Broadcast.

In 2012, Mr. Costanzo won first place in Placido Domingo’s international competition Operalia. He is also a 2009 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He won a George London Award, received a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and became the first countertenor to win First Place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullom competition, where he also won the audience choice prize. He received a Sullivan Foundation Award, and won First Place in the Opera Index Competition, the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and the Jensen Foundation Competition.

Mr. Costanzo graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University where he was awarded the Lewis Sudler Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts and where he has returned to teach. He received his Masters of Music at Manhattan School of Music and won the Hugh Ross Award for a singer of unusual promise. In his youth, he performed on Broadway and in Broadway National Tours including A Christmas Carol, The Sound of Music, and Falsettos. He began his operatic endeavors playing Miles in The Turn of the Screw.


DAVÓNE TINES – bass-baritone

“In a just world, one in which fame was proportionate to talent, Davóne Tines would be as big a name as Kanye West” proclaimed KQEDfollowing concerts given with the San Francisco Symphony.  Breakout performances were given on both sides of the Atlantic in 2015-16 when Davóne Tines made a Dutch National Opera debut in the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains directed by Peter Sellars.  The bass-baritone was exalted by The Los Angeles Times as “the find of the season,” for performances of works by Caroline Shaw and Kaija Saariaho with the Calder Quartet and with members of ICE at the Ojai Music Festival.

Performances of 2018-19 include the world premiere of The Black Clown by composer Michael Schachter with a libretto adapted from the Langston Hughes poem by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter; presented by the American Repertory Theater, The Black Clown– in a production directed by Zack Winokur – is a music theater experience that animates a black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage.  Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains returns to Davóne Tines’ calendar in performances at the Teatro Real and Lincoln Center and John Adams’ El Niño serves his debut with Vladimir Jurowski conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.  The artist reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Ned Peters in the European premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West at Dutch National Opera and he assays the title role of Henze’s El Cimarrón in a new production by Zack Winokur at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in collaboration with the American Modern Opera Company.  Davóne Tines makes a debut at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the world premiere of Fire Shut Up In My Bones by the creative team of Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons and symphonic appearances of the season include concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, and Aram Demirjian leading the Kansas City Symphony.



Recognized for her unique artistic curiosity in world-class performances spanning the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Adolph Hasse through to György Ligeti and George Benjamin, American Lauren Snouffer is celebrated as one of the most versatile and respected sopranos on the international stage.

Opera performances of the current season fortify the soprano’s place as one of the eminent interpreters of contemporary music.  Lauren Snouffer assays the title role of Berg’s Lulu in a new production at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago conducted by Pedro-Pablo Prudencio and directed by Mariame Clément, and she returns to Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of The Phoenix by composer Tarik O’Regan and librettist John Caird.  Other appearances on the international operatic stage include a new production of Handel’s Serse for the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe directed by Max Emanuel Cencic and conducted by Georg Petrou and the role of Magnolia Hawks in Francesca Zambello’s production of Show Boat for The Glimmerglass Festival.  Highlights of the concert stage include Bernstein’s Candide with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a program of Haydn and Mozart with Bernard Labadie and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic, and a program of Bach and Couperin with Ars Lyrica Houston.


CHRISTOPHER ALDEN – stage director

For the past four decades, Christopher Alden, born in NYC, has been directing operas around the globe, committed to keeping the art form challenging and vital. 

In recent seasons, Mr. Alden produced Norma for Opera North in the UK, which won the Achievement in Opera Award at the Theater Awards UK 2012 and was subsequently presented in Chemnitz and in Bordeaux.  His production of Handel’s Partenope at English National Opera in London received the Olivier Award for Best UK opera production of 2008/09 before being revived by both Opera Australia and San Francisco Opera.  Also, for ENO, Mr. Alden produced A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which then travelled to the Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow where it won the Golden Mask Award for Best Opera Production of the Year. Mr. Alden’s other productions for ENO include Turandot, The Makropulos Case, Rigoletto, Norma and Die Fledermaus. His other collaborations with San Francisco Opera include Les Contes d’Hoffmann, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, I Vespri Siciliani, Das Verratene Meer, The Mother of Us All and Harvey Milk.

At the Festival d’Aix en Provence, Mr. Alden’s production of Il Turco in Italia was presented as a co-production with Torino, Dijon, and Warsaw. For the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, Mr. Alden directed the three Mozart/Da Ponte operas. Other recent highlights include Martinu’s The Greek Passion for Opera North, Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan for the Bard Summerfare Festival, Der Fliegende Hollander for Dallas Opera, Peter Grimes and Tristan und Isolde for the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, The Makropulos Affair at the Prague National Theater and Theater Bonn, Peter Eötvös’ Three Sisters for The Ural Opera and Ballet, Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito for the Chicago Opera Theater and Canadian Opera Company, Salome and Lully’s Phaeton at the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken,  Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera North and Oslo Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the Basel Opera, Elliot Carter’s What Next? at the Miller Theatre (in celebration of Mr. Carter’s 100th birthday), Verdi’s Nabucco at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Aïda for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Oslo and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place for the New York City Opera, where he also produced Le Comte Ory, Harvey Milk, L’Italiana in Algeri, The Rape of Lucretia, The Glass Blowers, The Mother Of Us All and Don Giovanni.

Mr. Alden’s future productions include Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista for Opera Omaha, Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno for Garsington Opera and Martinu’s The Greek Passion in Oslo.

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“A radical production of a Handel rarity” that “wrings every bit of unsettling darkness from this curious work.” The New York Times

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2019-20 Season

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