Latvian mezzo-soprano and new Adler Fellow Zanda Švēde has had a fascinating journey from hotelier to aspiring opera singer. Zanda studied at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival, Scuola Italia in Italy, and the Tyrulean Opera Program in Austria, and has performed such roles as Endimione in Cavalli's La Calisto, María in Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires, and the title role in Massenet's Cléopâtre. She will make her San Francisco Opera debut as Flora in La Traviata this summer. You can also see Zanda in the first Schwabacher Debut Recital of 2014 at Temple Emanu-El's Martin Meyer Sanctuary on Sunday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. In this profile, Zanda discusses her process of preparing a role, her decision to pursue opera, and reflects upon differences of culture, both musical and otherwise, between Latvia and the United States.


Posted: 02/14/2014 by Sean Waugh


How would you feel if someone asked you to make a generous annual donation to the Opera, and in addition, they asked you to volunteer to serve coffee and snacks to artists and stagehands in the canteen on performance nights?  Or what about if you were asked to open up a spare room or two in your home as lodging for a young artist or two? Or six?  Or seven?

And what if one of these young artists was suffering from the flu, and you were asked to serve her chicken soup and Gatorade until she was recovered enough to sing on the opera house main stage – let’s say something simple, like Lìu in Turandot?  And let’s say you did all these things, and on top of it, you provided sponsorship support every year for an Adler Fellow; you remembered the Opera in your estate plans by establishing a charitable remainder trust; you encouraged everyone you met to support the Opera in any way they could; and you did all of these things in loving memory and in the name of your cherished late wife?
 
Posted: 02/04/2014 by San Francisco Opera



Sex. Drama. Sabotage. Greed. Oh, and of course, amazing feats of athletic ability. You might not think that opera and the Winter Olympics have anything in common, but we here at San Francisco Opera beg to differ. As we quickly approach the opening of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we give you 14 ways opera is like the Winter Olympics: 


Posted: 02/03/2014 by San Francisco Opera


The Golden Globes, Screen Actor's Guild and of course the Grammy Awards are all behind us, and yet we've still got the Oscars to look forward to this winter! And let's be honest, isn't the red carpet the reason we all watch? It's awards season and we've got gorgeous gowns on the mind! Where better to draw inspiration than from some of the most stunning dresses to grace the stage of the War Memoria Opera House?  Join us as we look back at gowns from 10 San Francisco Opera productions that our favorite celebrities would kill to wear as they walk the red carpet this season. 
Posted: 01/28/2014 by Christopher Verdosci (Assistant Costume Director)


Soprano Marina Harris is a second-year Adler Fellow. Marina made her debut at San Francisco Opera as Susan Sowerby in the world premiere of The Secret Garden earlier this year and sang multiple roles in the world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. This season, she has appeared as Elena in Mephistopheles, a maid in Dolores Claiborne, and Berta in The Barber of Seville for Families. Along with her fellow Adlers, Marina will be featured in The Future is Now: The Adler Fellows Gala Concert TONIGHT, November 27, at 7:30 pm at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.  You can also catch Marina one last time as an Adler Fellow performing with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in their Holiday Concert "SHINE!" on Friday, December 6. Below, Marina answers our questions about her favorite moments as an Adler, what it's like to work on world premieres, and why she's glad to be a West Coast native.

Posted: 11/26/2013 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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