With the final performance of Madama Butterfly
on July 9, let's take a moment and rediscover how artist and production designer Jun Kaneko took his first foray into opera design. Below is an excerpt from his 2011 book.
One sunny afternoon in early Spring 2003, I received an invitation to fly with Madama Butterfly
. After a few months of consideration, I accepted and my journey designing scenery and costumes for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
Posted: 07/02/2014 by
Jun Kaneko (Production Designer, Madama Butterfly)
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)
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)
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
The Secret Garden
premiere is just around the corner and to whet your appetite even more, we've decided to delve a little deeper into painter and video artist Naomie Kremer's designs for the show. Read on to see a selection of Naomie's storyboards showing plans for the set and projections as well as costume sketches by costume designer Kristi Johnson.
Additionally, Cal Performances
met up with Naomie for a walk through her Bay Area art studio. The resulting video shows her process from concept to finished product. We think you'll be surprised what has gone into creating the backdrop for this exciting new opera!
Posted: 02/08/2013 by
Naomie Kremer (Visual Designer, The Secret Garden)