We sat down with San Francisco Opera Guild volunteer docent Timothy J. Muldoon to find out what it’s like leading tours of the War Memorial Opera House, how one keeps straight all the facts and figures and what are some of the most satisfying – and challenging – parts of the job.

How did you come to be an Opera Guild tour docent?
If you’re asking about my motivations for becoming a docent, there are three important ones:

The first time I walked into the Opera House I knew, without doubt, I was standing in the most beautiful building in San Francisco. After all these years, walking into the foyer and looking up at that magnificent vaulted ceiling still gives me chills. I wanted to be a part of that house, and leading tours gives me that opportunity in a very personal way.
Posted: 11/05/2013 by Timothy J. Muldoon (Volunteer Docent)


Photo via Whipped BakeshopThe much-anticipated debut of Moby-Dick on PBS’ Great Performances airs this weekend and to celebrate San Francisco Opera invites you to #WhaleWatch: a nationwide viewing party! Invite your friends and family to a Moby-Dick themed gathering at your home or favorite bar/restaurant, and you can win a DVD or Blu-Ray signed by composer Jake Heggie by sharing your photos and ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #WhaleWatch. Below, we give you some of our ideas on how to have a whale of a time from nautical-themed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to projection-based mood lighting -- remember to send us your seaworthiest moments and share your own ideas with us!

Posted: 10/28/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Maestro Patrick Summers, Principal Guest Conductor of San Francisco Opera and Artistic and Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, has been associated with SFO since his participation in the Merola Opera Program in the late 1980s. Since then, he has led a vast repertory of productions for the Company, including Ariodante; Samson et Dalila; Iphigénie en Tauride; Il Trittico, Xerxes; the world premieres of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1998), Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (2000), and Christopher Theofanidis and Donna Di Novelli’s Heart of a Soldier (2011); and the West Coast premiere of Heggie’s Three Decembers (2008) as well as Moby-Dick (2012). Recently, Maestro Summers took the time to answer our questions about Wagner, his enduring relationship with SFO, and how he balances his many diverse responsibilities.

Posted: 10/23/2013 by San Francisco Opera


It’s 6:54 pm and I’m warming up for the opening night of Falstaff; although not in the way one might imagine, scales and such. Instead, I’m doing lunges, hamstring stretches and sun salutations. Just as my muscles are loosening up comes a knock at the door from my (wonderful) makeup artist and the gears of the show begin to move. Soon “Places!” is called and I do one last stretch before I climb into my costume. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Falstaff is an athletic event.

Posted: 10/11/2013 by Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano


Today, pianist Robert Mollicone shares some reflections about his second and last season as an Adler Fellow. After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies at Boston University's College of Fine Arts, Robert was a member of the Spectrum Resident Artist Program at Virginia Opera and the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera. He was a participant in the 2011 Merola Opera Program. As an Adler Fellow, Robert has assisted on productions including The Magic Flute, Nixon in China, Moby-Dick, and The Secret Garden as well as productions with the Merola Opera Program. He has also worked with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera North, and the Baltimore Symphony. This season, he made his conductiong debut with San Francisco Opera at Opera in the Park in September, served as prompter for the world premiere of Dolores Claiborne, and will serve on the music staff of The Flying Dutchman. Below are his thoughts on his first time as a prompter and his first time conducting the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Posted: 10/11/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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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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