The festival, titled Romantic Visions: From Paradise to the Abyss, will explore connections between literature and music. Conlon will lead the orchestra in works by Zemlinsky, Schreker, Strauss, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi. Highlights include works based on Oscar Wilde, such as the San Francisco premiere of Zemlinksy's one-act opera A Florentine Tragedy.
Conlon will also conduct the orchestra in dances from Schreker's ballet The Birthday of the Infanta and Zemlinksy's opera The Dwarf (both based on an Oscar Wilde story) and The Dance of the Seven Veils from Strauss's Salome, based on Wilde's 1896 play.
Six performances of the Verdi Requiem will feature soprano Christine Brewer and mezzo Stephanie Blythe.
The third program will feature works inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy, including the U.S. premiere of a multimedia version of Liszt's Dante Symphony. The concert will be accompanied by a slide presentation of art depicting scenes from The Divine Comedy, created from original sketches by German artist Bonaventura Genelli.