Making his San Francisco Opera debut with The Magic Flute this summer, Scottish-born Rory Macdonald has rapidly established himself as one of Britain’s most talented, dynamic young conductors. Below Rory shares the challenges and thrills of conducting one of Mozart's most beloved operas.




Posted: 07/02/2012 by Rory Macdonald


We came across the orginal banquet menu from Nixon's visit to China on the National Archives site. It seems pretty standard fare, except for the Shark Fin soup, yikes! The New York Times ran an interesting article back 2011 on the menu when The Met recreated the dinner for their patrons, you can check it out here.
Posted: 07/02/2012 by San Francisco Opera


In a stack of resumes, there are a handful of certain recurring words. Wrangler is not one of them. Maybe because cowboys never found a way to fuse their experience in the Great American West with corporate infrastructure or maybe because lassos have simply lost their practicality in an urban world. Either way, I am one of the few people who can claim this title. No, I am not a cowboy-  I am a Child Wrangler at San Francisco Opera. What does that mean exactly? It means I guide child performers on and off stage throughout rehearsals and performances at the opera. I have been in this position  for the past four seasons and have been held responsible for as few as four and as many as 40 children ranging from age 6 to 17. Some are seasoned veterans of the stage and some are complete novices. My job is to ensure their safety while they are in the building and, mostly, try to keep them focused, safe, and professional. Sometimes this is an easy task and sometimes, a nearly impossible one.

Posted: 06/29/2012 by Samantha McCurry (Child Wrangler)


There was a palpable energy in the War Memorial Opera House air in the months leading up to The Magic Flute premiere on June 13. None of us could wait to see this new production full of bold, colorful scenery and costumes by internationally acclaimed artist Jun Kaneko. When Jun and his wife Ree visited San Francisco Opera's Props department and Costume Shop in March, it was the first time they saw Jun's sketches come to life.
Posted: 06/27/2012 by San Francisco Opera


An intriguing invitation was posted in this Tweet by SF Opera on May 29, 2012:“Are you an #opera curious power Tweeter? Apply for a Tweet Seat at dress rehearsal of Nixon in China, June 5, 2pm pls RT” When I read the tweet, I had already purchased my ticket to see Nixon in China on opening night. This unexpected invitation inspired me to see if I could use my iPad to capture my experience of Nixon in China and share my impressions with the SF Opera community and the Twitterverse.

Posted: 06/25/2012 by David Newman (artist and Nixon in China Tweeter)


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Introduction

Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.

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