Arts & Culture, Major Events, Music

EVENT HIGHLIGHT | Final curtain call

November 5th-29th, 2023

The San Francisco Opera closes its fall season this month with two performances. Omar tells the true story of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim scholar who in the early 1800s was captured from his West African village and sold into slavery in Charleston, S.C. After escaping, he is imprisoned in Fayetteville, N.C., where he prays and writes versus in Arabic on the cell walls before being sold to another slaveholder who attempts to convert him to Christianity. While at that plantation, Omar defies the law in the antebellum South by writing his story in a book, resulting in a memoir of enduring faith, the only one of its kind known to exist. Set to a libretto combining West African kora, bluegrass, spirituals, folk music, and jazz, the opera was awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for music and was written by Grammy award-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens and composer Michael Abels. 

Members of the Opera Department will participate in a panel discussion, “Omar, Ibn Said: Rembering his Name, Retelling his Story” on Nov. 1; visit for details.

The season closes with the return of Gaetano Donizetti’s lighthearted comedy, The Elixir of Love, the 1832 heartwarming romance updated and now set on the Italian Riviera in the 1950s as a poor young man tries to win the heart of a wealthy woman with the help of a magic elixir.

Additional programming includes a free family-friendly event and a nightlife event for adults; visit for details.

S.F. Opera | Omar: Nov. 5, 7, 11, 15, & 21 and The Elixir of Love: Nov. 19, 24, 26, & 29, $26–$426, livestream & on-demand ($28), War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., 415-864-3330,

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