Thursday, 8/18/11—Meeting Susan Rescorla. I just got off the phone with Susan Rescorla and we're planning a little Sonoma getaway—just us two silly girls—for Labor Day. I've gotten to know Susan so well over the 8 months that have passed since we first met at our Heart of a Soldier workshop and press conference in December of last year. It has been an honor to get to know this woman who is a perfect balance of resilience and vulnerability. Our first meeting, at least on my part, was full of anticipation and a healthy dose of fear. I was so nervous with questions..."What will she be like?", "Will I be able to sing this in front of her without crying?" and "Will she appreciate the work and give her approval?" So many unknowns.
 
Posted: 08/22/2011 by Melody Moore (Susan Rescorla, Heart of a Soldier)


Costume designer Jess Goldstein took on a big job when he signed on to design the many costumes for the world premire of Heart of a Soldier. The opera spans six decades and four continents. Just the soldiers alone must be outfitted in gear appropriate for World War II, early 1960s Rhodesia and the Vietnam War. The main characters, Rick Rescorla, his best friend Dan Hill and his wife Susan Rescorla, are not mythical characters but real people--Dan and Susan will be attending this opera when it opens on September 10. To find inspiration for the look of each of the main character's costumes as well as the various locations and time periods depicted, Jess assembled a collection of design inspiration boards. Read on to see the images that inpired each of the costumes seen in Heart of a Soldier.

Posted: 08/17/2011 by Jess Goldstein (Costume Desinger, Heart of a Soldier)


Former Adler Fellow Melody Moore returns to San Francisco Opera to portray Susan Rescorla, the living widow of Rick Rescorla, in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier. Rehearsals have only just begun, but already the experience is making quite an impact on the soprano. Read what Melody has to say as she reflects on her first week of rehearsals.

 

 

Posted: 08/17/2011 by Melody Moore (Susan Rescorla, Heart of a Soldier)


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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