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 began.
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)


Photo via Whipped BakeshopThe much-anticipated debut of Moby-Dick on PBS’ Great Performances airs this weekend and to celebrate San Francisco Opera invites you to #WhaleWatch: a nationwide viewing party! Invite your friends and family to a Moby-Dick themed gathering at your home or favorite bar/restaurant, and you can win a DVD or Blu-Ray signed by composer Jake Heggie by sharing your photos and ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #WhaleWatch. Below, we give you some of our ideas on how to have a whale of a time from nautical-themed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to projection-based mood lighting -- remember to send us your seaworthiest moments and share your own ideas with us!

Posted: 10/28/2013 by San Francisco Opera


We here at San Francisco Opera are often asked, "Who was that great singer who played so-and-so in that one opera you did a few years ago? I feel like I have seen them here before." More often than not, the artist in question is one of the fabulous young artists we have had grace our stage. 

This summer's production of "Cosi fan tutte" features the San Francisco Opera debut of German mezzo-soprano Christel Lötzsch in the role of Dorabella, as well as the mainstage San Francisco Opera debut of bass-baritone Adler Fellow Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. In addition, the rest of the Cosi cast is comprised of incredibly talented young artists who have recently appeared on our stage. For today's photo blog, we highlight each principal Cosi artist who has had past roles at San Francisco Opera. This way, when you see the production and think to yourself, "I feel like I've seen them somewhere before...," you'll impress your seatmates by knowing where.

Posted: 06/05/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Constance Hoffman is a Costume Designer who tells stories, “My medium just happens to be costume.”

Constance and I set out to source the Mary Magdalene textiles, armed with a stack of research books: The Jewish Wardrobe, published by The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The History of Jewish Costume by Alfred Rubens, Roman Clothing and Fashion by Alexandra Croom; The World of Roman Costume by Judith Lynn Sebesta and, my personal favorite, Facing West-Oriental Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus (a catalog from a joint exhibit of The Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg and The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam).
Posted: 05/29/2013 by Christopher Verdosci


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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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