On a research trip to Amsterdam, Mary Magdalene scholar Kayleen Asbo, visited the Rijksmuseum, a national museum dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. While there she stopped for a look at Jan Van Scorel's 16th century depiction of Mary Magdalene and sent us this summary.




Posted: 04/23/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


On Friday, May 17 the San Francisco Opera Orchestra along with Music Director Nicola Luisotti will cross the twinkling Bay Bridge for a rare concert at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The program includes music by Puccini and Brahams, and a Piano Concerto by Italian composer Nino Rota, performed by Giuseppe Albanese.
Posted: 04/17/2013 by San Francisco Opera


When I heard San Francisco Opera had commissioned a new work based on the story of Mary Magdalene, I immediately thought of a beautiful woman with long flowing red hair holding a perfume jar. You see, I was an art history major, and for anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with medieval or Renaissance art, the Magdalene is a familiar face.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene became an incredibly important devotional figure, second only to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her past as a sinner made it easy for people to identify with her. (She came to be known as a prostitute, although this is apocryphal.) As the first to actually see Jesus after his resurrection, she could give wayward believers hope that they too could achieve that kind of personal experience with God.
Posted: 04/16/2013 by Dolores DeStefano (Assistant Director of Education)


Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann has been presented by San Francisco Opera in five previous seasons, not including this summer's production, which opens June 5. It was performed in 1944, 1945, 1949, 1987 and 1996. As we look forward to unveiling a new co-production of the opera starring Natalie Dessay, Matthew Polenzani and Christian Van Horn, let's take a look back at some of the fabulous productions and casts we have presented in the past. [Left: Natalie Dessay as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann. Photo by A. Bofill/Gran Teatre del Liceu.]

Posted: 04/11/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Mary Magdalene has been called "the most misunderstood woman in history." She is also one of the most fascinating and inspirational. From Rembrandt to Rilke, Bach to Bernini, she has been a muse for artists, poets, writers and composers.

In the many myths that developed about her, she has served as a mirror of a culture's deepest fears, hopes and longings—expressing sensuality when the body was considered taboo, deep emotion during the Age of Reason, and embraced in our own scientific era as a mystic visionary. 
Posted: 04/04/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


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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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