Inexplicable things happen to me in London. Several years ago I made an early morning visit to Westminster Abbey, that great reliquary of historical memory, and found it almost empty and utterly silent, a rare state for one of the world’s great tourist magnets. I intended to spend a few quiet moments at the memorial stone of my favorite composer, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), the great German-born composer, Italian-trained, and rightly claimed by England as their own.

Posted: 11/11/2011 by Patrick Summers (Conductor, Xerxes)


It's hard to believe how much has been going on this fall. All within the first three weeks of the season we managed to get three operas up and running (Turandot, Heart of a Soldier and Lucrezia Borgia); put on two fabulous galas--Opera Ball 2011: A Night in the Forbidden City and Bravo! Club Opening Night Gala; present the world premiere of a brand new opera; hold the City of San Francisco's official observance of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks through a moving concert in Golden Gate Park; host Opera at the Ballpark at AT&T Park for the first time in daylight; and meanwhile launch our second series of television screenings on KQED 9. We are proud to be such an integral part of San Francisco's community and look forward to the rest of the 2011 fall season!
Posted: 10/11/2011 by San Francisco Opera


10) Be thankful that I’m working with such talented Opera Ball Co-chairs, Anne Marie Massocca and Susan Tamagni. Together with the Opera Ball Committee and SF Opera Guild professional staff, we will surely plan an incredible evening for all!
 
9) From a practical perspective, select a gown by June so that I don’t need to shop during the summer. Ana Castillo of Neiman Marcus makes it easy! Frances Diniz of Wellendorff’s Boutique at Shreve & Co. is a great help with accessorizing.
Posted: 09/07/2011 by Ann Girard (S.F. Opera Guild President)


Our 2011-12 Season opens on Friday, September 9 with Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera Turandot. But, before we get to the opera, the people need to eat! This year we celebrate the start of our 89th season with Opera Ball 2011—A Night in the Forbidden City and Bravo! Club’s Opening Night Gala. A decadent evening of celebration, these galas truly kick off the philanthropic season in San Francisco. And let’s not forget that amidst all the revelry, these events raise a whole lot of money to fund San Francisco Opera and the Opera Guild’s fantastic educational programs throughout Bay Area schools.
Posted: 08/26/2011 by McCalls Catering (Opera Ball Caterers)


We are thrilled to be kicking off our official Backstage at San Francisco blog. This first blog post comes from Christopher Theofanidis—the composer of Heart of a Soldier, our world premiere commission based on the book of the same name by James B. Stewart. Heart of a Soldier will have its premiere on September 10, 2011—the eve of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. While the opera may be new to all of us, there are many who have been working on it for years now. Read on to gain insight into some of the musical challenges Christopher worked through early in his composing process.

Posted: 08/15/2011 by Christopher Theofanidis (Composer, Heart of a Soldier)


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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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