Latvian mezzo-soprano and new Adler Fellow Zanda Švēde has had a fascinating journey from hotelier to aspiring opera singer. Zanda studied at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, Scuola Italia in Italy, and the Tyrulean Opera Program in Austria, and has performed such roles as Endimione in Cavalli's La Calisto, María in Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires, and the title role in Massenet's Cléopâtre. She will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Flora in La Traviata this summer. You can also see Zanda in the first Schwabacher Debut Recital of 2014 at Temple Emanu-El's Martin Meyer Sanctuary on Sunday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. In this profile, Zanda discusses her process of preparing a role, her decision to pursue opera, and reflects upon differences of culture, both musical and otherwise, between Latvia and the United States.


Posted: 02/14/2014 by Sean Waugh


Soprano Marina Harris is a second-year Adler Fellow. Marina made her debut at San Francisco Opera as Susan Sowerby in the world premiere of The Secret Garden earlier this year and sang multiple roles in the world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. This season, she has appeared as Elena in Mephistopheles, a maid in Dolores Claiborne, and Berta in The Barber of Seville for Families. Along with her fellow Adlers, Marina will be featured in The Future is Now: The Adler Fellows Gala Concert TONIGHT, November 27, at 7:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.  You can also catch Marina one last time as an Adler Fellow performing with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in their Holiday Concert "SHINE!" on Friday, December 6. Below, Marina answers our questions about her favorite moments as an Adler, what it's like to work on world premieres, and why she's glad to be a West Coast native.

Posted: 11/26/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Tomorrow evening our phenomenally talented Adler Fellows will perform in their annual The Future is Now: Adler Gala Concert. Founded in 1977 as the San Francisco Affiliate Artists-Opera Program, Adler Fellowships are performance-oriented residencies for the most advanced young singers and coach/accompanists. Under the guidance of San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley and Opera Center Director Sheri Greenawald, the Adler Fellowship Program offers intensive individual training and roles of increasing importance in San Francisco Opera's main-stage season.

As the year draws to a close for our Adlers, we want to take a moment to highlight some of their key roles in 2013. The Adler Fellows truly are the rising stars of opera, and you can say “You saw them here first!”

Posted: 11/25/2013 by San Francisco Opera


On Saturday, November 9, we hosted our 2nd free Community Open House, featuring fun events and activities for all ages. It's such a joy to open the doors of the beautiful War Memorial Opera House to droves of people who may have never even been inside before. The 2013 Open House included many diverse presentations and opportunities to connect with opera in new ways, including onstage musical demonstrations; sing-alongs with the San Francisco Opera Chorus and San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows; stage combat workshops; costume, wig and makeup demonstrations; a costume photo booth; an opportunity to meet San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley; and family activities throughout the opera house lobbies including a scavenger hunt, prop-making, costume crafts, and more, with workshops designed for both adults and families. 
Posted: 11/18/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier is a second-year Adler Fellow who made her Company debut in last season's production of Rigoletto. Renée graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, and partcipated in the Merola Opera Program in 2010 and 2011, when she sang Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She has won numerous awards, including being a national finalist of the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Competition and a national semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2011. This season she has appeared in three company productions: as Pantalis in Mephistopheles, a Maid in Dolores Claiborne, and most recently as Meg Page in Falstaff. Here, Renée reflects on working with opera legends, her past life as a violist, and how you can tell a lot about a person by how they feel about Arrested Development.

Posted: 11/13/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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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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