When I first met Jun Kaneko, he was on a ladder with clay up to his elbows, working on a gigantic head. He joked that the piece might take two years to dry, and then he wouldn’t be able to say whether it would crack when it encountered the incredible heat of the kiln. I knew then that we would have a rich collaboration! As with one of Jun’s large clay pieces, we worked for over two years to create the world that was to be our Madama Butterfly. It was an incredibly rich creative and collaborative process born out of deep respect for Puccini’s masterpiece and its resonance within Jun Kaneko’s beautiful and profound aesthetic vision.

Posted: 06/27/2014 by Leslie Swackhamer (Director, Madame Butterfly)


A life on the road can get lonely from time to time. Brian Jagde, our Pinkerton in this summer's Madame Butterfly, is no exception to the rule. Thankfully he has his trusty companian Cav with him where ever he goes! Brian most recently appeared on the San Francisco Opera stage in our 2012 production of Tosca. Where has Brian and Cav been since? Let's find out in our Operatic Doggie Diary!


Posted: 06/18/2014 by Brian Jagde (Pinkerton, Madame Butterfly)


It was cold in New York in February, 2008 when I flew into LaGuardia airport, but not too cold.  After years of living in Lexington, KY, where I raised a son and worked on a Master’s in Vocal performance at the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, I always flew into the busiest airport of my hometown for opera auditions with the romantic head of a twenty-something professional virgin from the midwest—this, when I was anything but.
Posted: 06/17/2014 by by Earl Hazell, (Extra Chorus, Show Boat)


Incest. Dragons. Bastard sons. Unexpected love stories. Girls disguised as boys. Why, George R.R. Martin took more than one page from opera when he created his epic series Game of Thrones! And so as we eagerly anticipate the premiere of season 4 on Sunday night, we at San Francisco Opera give you 15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones: 


Posted: 04/02/2014 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


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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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