Antony and Cleopatra


By John Adams
September 10, 15, 18, 23, 27; October 2, 5, 2022



She was his queen.
He was her downfall.

San Francisco Opera's 100th Season begins with John Adams' thrilling new opera, commissioned for the Company's centennial and conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim.

Based on one of Shakespeare's most powerful dramas, this new work is a searing journey into the fiery romance of two of history's greatest lovers.  Director Elkhanah Pulitzer blends the mythic imagery of antiquity with the starry glamour of 1930s Hollywood: two worlds in which larger-than-life characters fill the public spotlight.

Meet the Cast | Hear the Music

Libretto by John Adams from Shakespeare with supplementary passages from Virgil, Ovid, and The Egyptian Book of the Dead.  Libretto consultation by Elkhanah Pulitzer and Lucia Sheckner.

Sung in English with English supertitles



See A Performance


Approximately 3 hours including one intermission

Why You Should See It

One of the 21st century’s greatest composers tackles the Shakespearean equivalent of a celebrity romance, set in a universe where ancient Egypt meets Old Hollywood.

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The Buzz

Read what the press has said about the stars of the production.

"John Adams... [is] a shining light in classical music."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"It’s taken a remarkably short time for the artistry of soprano Julia Bullock to become one of the bedrocks of Bay Area musical life."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"[Gerard] Finley... sings with the mellow baritone of a man about to stride into legend." -New York Magazine


A Roman general and an Egyptian queen embark on a torrid romance, one that will disrupt alliances, end marriages, and spark a pitiless war that gives rise to a new leader, Caesar.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Cast & Creative

Cleopatra Julia Bullock
Antony Gerald Finley
Caesar Paul Appleby
Enobarbus Alfred Walker
Octavia Elizabeth DeShong


September 10, 15, 18, 23, 27; October 2, 5, 2022

Conductor Eun Sun Kim
Director Elkhanah Pulitzer
Set Designer Mimi Lien *
Costume Designer Constance Hoffman
Lighting Designer David Finn
Projection Designer Bill Morrison *
Sound Designer Mark Grey
Dramaturg Lucia Scheckner *
Chorus Director John Keene

* San Francisco Opera Debut

Co-commissioned and co-produced with
the Liceu Opera Barcelona, the Teatro Massimo Palermo,
and the Metropolitan Opera New York

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey; Bertie Bialek Elliot; Bob Ellis; John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn; the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for New Productions; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.


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