As is always the case, the San Francisco Opera Guild will hold a gala benefit on the opening night of the 95th Season of the San Francisco Opera (SFO). On September 8, the season will begin with one of the great favorites of the SFO repertoire, the production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot conceived by David Hockney, staged on this occasion by Garnett Bruce with Martina Serafin in the title role and Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducting. The title of the benefit is be, appropriately enough, Opera Ball 2017 at The Imperial Palace. This will be Luisotti’s final season as Music Director, and he will be the honoree of this year’s event.
Nicola Luisotti with Opera Ball co-chairs Courtney Labe and Maryam Muduroglu (photograph by Valentina Simi, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera)
For this occasion designer J. Riccardo Benavides will create a Pavilion that will transport guests to a reimagined Imperial Palace. This structure will occupy the space adjacent to the War Memorial Opera House. The gala will begin on Friday, September 8, at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the foyer of the Opera House, followed by dinner in the Pavilion at 6 p.m. Following the SFO performance, guests will return to the Pavilion for cocktails, savories, sweets, and dancing to the sounds of Pop Rocks.
As always, tickets for the Opera Ball are available at several different price levels. These begin at the Patron Level of $1500, rise through the Benefactor Level of $2500 and the Grand Benefactor Level of $5000 to the Great Benefactor Level of $10,000. It is also possible to reserve a single table by purchasing tickets at any of these levels in blocks of ten. The fair market value of a ticket is $300, and the rest of the price may be claimed as a tax-deductible contribution.
Each of these levels has its own set of benefits. These are detailed on the Dinner and Performance Reservation Form, which is available online as a PDF file. Tickets for the performance of Turandot are sold separately, and the form also has a section for purchasing tickets. Those unable to attend may also use this form to make a tax-deductible donation. There is also a Web page for online purchases; but these are limited to only the $1500, $2500, and $5000 individual ball tickets along with a single ticket to the opera in the Orchestra 4 section. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-565-3204. In addition, the SFO Box Office may be reached by telephone at 415-864-3330.