Baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra’s (Ramiro) early successes included his debut in the role of Mars in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers and Mercutio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Opera de Nice, and performances as Schaunard in La Bohème at the Opéra de Nancy and Opéra de Marseille. In 2004, he made his debut at the Opéra National de Paris in Dialogues des Carmelites (reproduced in Madrid). He has sung Haly in Rossini’s L'italiana in Algeri in Lille and on tour, Escamillo in Carmen with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette at the Salzburg Festival, and Cyprien in Philippe Boesmans’s Yvonne, Princesse de Bourgogne at the Opera de Paris; this production was also presented at the Vienna Festival and La Monnaie in Brussels. In recent seasons, Mr. Ballestra returned to La Monnaie, made his debut at the Rome Opera in Rienzi, and appeared at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Last season saw his return to La Monnaie for Rigoletto and Guillaume Tell, Metz for Lakmé, and to Rome for Ravel’s L’heure espagnole under Charles Dutoit. Highlights of this season include singing Masetto in Don Giovanni at La Monnaie, Werther in Rome, and his return to Nice in Halévy’s La Juive. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut in these performances, his first in the US.