With the arrival of the newest member of the British royal family, we here at San Francisco Opera decided to take a look at the members of nobility seen throughout opera to see what kind of lessons they could impart to the world's newest prince. Compiled here are a selection of lessons from twelve of our favorite operas that we think will serve the future king well.

Young prince, remember...
Posted: 07/23/2013 by San Francisco Opera


American soprano Maria Kanyova made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2012 as Pat Nixon in John Adams's Nixon in China. In this summer's world premiere The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, Kanyova graced the War Memorial Opera House stage as Miriam—a performance the San Francisco Examiner called "outstanding."




Posted: 07/12/2013 by San Francisco Opera


"Okay, let's run it again from the same place," says our director Kevin Newbury. "Strong and wrong."

I've come to love that phrase. In rehearsals we have to give ourselves over to our impulses in the moment, to try different moods and reactions before we choose the best one. "The best idea wins," Kevin told us on the first day of rehearsals. Everyone is encouraged to contribute if they have an idea for the tone of a scene or a piece of stage business. But in order for an interesting dramatic moment to emerge, we have to be willing to take a chance that it might fail—"wrong"—and commit to it anyway—"strong." It frees us from the interference of our inner critics and editors and allows us to take our reactions to their most compelling place.

Posted: 07/08/2013 by Stacey Tappan (Seeker and Girl, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene)


The first time I sang in a production of Hoffmann was 2007 in Vienna where I played the four servants. It was a reductive, bizarre, but very enchanting production. I fell in love with the show at that point because it felt like a dream from which I did not want to awake; especially the last act with its gently rocking barcarolle. It’s not an easy show to put on because it’s a big cast and finding someone who can sing the title role can be a struggle, but it’s one of my favourites and I would hope to hear it for the rest of my life.

Posted: 07/02/2013 by Thomas Glenn, tenor


Natalie Dessay last delighted San Francisco audiences in the title role of 2009's Lucia di Lammermoor and this summer she's back, but not in one of her signature roles. The soprano has appeared as Olympia is Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann many times, but for this Laurent Pelly production, she decided to mix things up and sing a role she has always wanted to sing, the tragic role of Antonia. In today's blog post, Natalie Dessay answers our 5 questions.
Posted: 07/02/2013 by Natalie Dessay (Antonia, The Tales of Hoffmann)


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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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