Mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier is a second-year Adler Fellow who made her Company debut in last season's production of Rigoletto. Renée graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, and partcipated in the Merola Opera Program in 2010 and 2011, when she sang Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. She has won numerous awards, including being a national finalist of the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation Competition and a national semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2011. This season she has appeared in three company productions: as Pantalis in Mephistopheles, a Maid in Dolores Claiborne, and most recently as Meg Page in Falstaff. Here, Renée reflects on working with opera legends, her past life as a violist, and how you can tell a lot about a person by how they feel about Arrested Development.

Posted: 11/13/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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


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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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