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)


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



Sex. Drama. Sabotage. Greed. Oh, and of course, amazing feats of athletic ability. You might not think that opera and the Winter Olympics have anything in common, but we here at San Francisco Opera beg to differ. As we quickly approach the opening of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we give you 14 ways opera is like the Winter Olympics: 


Posted: 02/03/2014 by San Francisco Opera


The Golden Globes, Screen Actor's Guild and of course the Grammy Awards are all behind us, and yet we've still got the Oscars to look forward to this winter! And let's be honest, isn't the red carpet the reason we all watch? It's awards season and we've got gorgeous gowns on the mind! Where better to draw inspiration than from some of the most stunning dresses to grace the stage of the War Memoria Opera House?  Join us as we look back at gowns from 10 San Francisco Opera productions that our favorite celebrities would kill to wear as they walk the red carpet this season. 
Posted: 01/28/2014 by Christopher Verdosci (Assistant Costume Director)


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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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