How have you prepared for your role as Hoffmann? Have you ever read the original stories that inspired the libretto by E.T.A. Hoffmann?
Owing to the fact that this version of Hoffmann is very different from ones I've been involved with before, there was a lot of new music, and dialogue to learn. As always with languages you don't speak, figuring out the meaning behind the words takes up a lot of time. And that goes not just for what I'm saying, but also for the things that are being said to you by your colleagues. I have read the E.T.A. Hoffmann stories, though I didn't revisit them for this revival here in San Francisco.
Posted: 06/03/2013 by
Matthew Polenzani (Hoffmann, Tales of Hoffmann)
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
Just like the rest of the world, we here at San Francisco Opera are anxiously awaiting the return of "Arrested Development" on Sunday. And so, in honor of this momentous occasion, we looked back at the life and times of the family Bluth and put together 14 ways that opera is like "Arrested Development."
COME ON! In opera...
Posted: 05/24/2013 by
San Francisco Opera
Mark Adamo's new work is not the first theatrical production which has envisioned a powerful love duet between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Jules Massenet (best known for Manon and Thais) first came to prominence with his oratorio Marie Magdeleine, which views the last three days of Jesus's life from her perspective.
Posted: 05/23/2013 by
Last fall, we here at San Francisco Opera were struck by how many connections existed between sights in our beloved Bay Area and the operas presented in our fall season. This inspired us to think about where the characters in our three summer operas – The Tales of Hoffmann, Cosi fan Tutte, and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene – might sightsee while they spent their time in the Bay. Where would E.T.A. Hoffmann go to drink his troubles away? In what seaside community would Mary of Magdala (a fishing town on the Sea of Galilee) feel most at home? And where would Cosi’s Ferrando and Guglielmo get their infamous beard disguises groomed?
Posted: 05/18/2013 by
San Francisco Opera