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San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera (SFO) is the second largest opera company in North America. It was founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola (1881-1953).

Its first performance was ''La Bohème, with Queena Mario and Giovanni Martinelli, on September 26, 1923, in the city's Civic Auditorium

Nine years later, the SFO inaugurated the War Memorial Opera House with a performance of Tosca on October 15, 1932 with Claudia Muzio. The building was designed by Arthur Brown, Jr., the architect who also created San Franscisco's Coit Tower and City Hall.

Since 1923, SFO has presented the American debut of numerous artists, including Vladimir Atlantov, Inge Borkh, Boris Christoff, Marie Collier, Sir Geraint Evans, Mafalda Favero, Tito Gobbi, Sena Jurinac, Mario del Monaco, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Margaret Price, Leonie Rysanek, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Giulietta Simionato, Ebe Stignani, Renata Tebaldi and Ingvar Wixell; conductors Gerd Albrecht, Valery Gergiev, Georg Solti and Silvio Varviso; and directors Francis Ford Coppola, Harry Kupfer and Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

In 1983, the SFO experimented with English supertitles at performance of La Traviata The overwhelmingly favorable response prompted the company provide supertitles for all its productions.

In addition to the standard operatic repertoire, the SFO has also performed a series of new operas:

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