In Partenope, cross-dressing reveals deep truths about the human heart when Rosmira disguises herself as a man (Eurimene) to seek revenge on her former lover.

While this is one of the more creative ways in which women in trousers have graced our stage, the ‘trouser’ or ‘pants’ role is a common feature of opera. The trouser role comes in two forms: a woman plays a young man or boy who sing in the mezzo-soprano or contralto  range,  or sings a role that was originally written to be sung by a castrato or countertenor. 
Posted: 10/21/2014 by San Francisco Opera

Partenope director, Christopher Alden, has enjoyed a lengthy career in opera. His production of Handel's Partenopewhich opened at San Francisco Opera on October 15, earned Alden the coveted Olivier Award – the British equivalent of the Tony. The Olivier Awards are given to recognize excellence in the theatrical arts. 

We asked Christopher Alden a few questions regarding his career and this brilliant productions. Check it out!

Posted: 10/20/2014 by Christopher Alden (Partenope, Director)

We here at San Francisco Opera are over the moon that our production of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess will be shown nationwide this Friday, October 17, at 9pm as part of PBS’s Fall Arts Festival. Porgy and Bess has a special connection to our Company, as General Director David Gockley is responsible for mounting the first major operatic production of Porgy and Bess at Houston Grand Opera (HGO) in 1976. Their production was a smash hit and it next went to Broadway, earning him and HGO a Tony award (in fact, Gockley is one shy of an EGOT!)
Posted: 10/10/2014 by San Francisco Opera

This past Saturday marked the opening of A Masked Ball, whose plot hinges on a very ominous fortune teller's warning. In today's world of readily available information (Google, anyone?) and healthy skepticism, fortunes may have lost the sense of mystery they once held, which means it's just the right time to ponder our top five narratives that are driven by a fortune.

Posted: 10/06/2014 by San Francisco Opera

On October 1, a select group gathered in Box N of the War Memorial Opera House to live tweet the final dress rehearsal of Verdi’s A Masked Ball. One attendee was seeing her first opera, while others were knowledgeable fans, and it seems that the Verdi classic appealed to them all in different ways.

Tweets included comments on plot twists, costumes and life lessons; here’s just a small selection of the reactions sent via hashtag #MaskedBallSF:

Posted: 10/03/2014 by San Francisco Opera

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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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