San Francisco Opera’s spectacular Show Boat opens June 1 and we could not be more excited! With music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Show Boat is the original great American musical. Based on the novel by the same name by Edna Ferber, the musical is a sweeping tale of the closeness of family, the destructive power of hate, and the incredible strength of love to overcome it. Centered on a traveling showboat full of colorful characters and songful tunes, this is a show you can only properly appreciate live. Below, we share some of the deep history associated with the musical, as well as some of our favorite tidbits about the San Francisco Opera production. If you haven’t already, purchase your tickets now online to this monumental show – they’re going fast! – and get ready to come aboard the Cotton Blossom this summer!

Posted: 05/21/2014 by San Francisco Opera

On Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8 p.m., we're heading back to San Francisco's stunning AT&T ballpark for a free live simulcast of Verdi’s La Traviata. On a recent sunny afternoon, La Traviata cast member Zanda Švēde and San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford met at the ballpark for a fun promotional photo shoot. The two donned their respective attire—Zanda in her Flora costume and Brandon in his Giants uniform—and posed for cameras on the field and in the Giants’ dugout at AT&T Park. The photos highlight the lasting partnership of two iconic San Francisco institutions—the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco Opera. We just couldn't be happier to be joining together again to bring this unique free community event to the Bay Area. We've been able to bring world class opera to nearly 197,000 people through our free live simulcasts these last nine years. Let's take a look back at how it all started, shall we?
Posted: 05/08/2014 by San Francisco Opera

Dreaming of your San Francisco Opera mainstage debut? Here’s your chance! On April 4 and 5, we will be holding auditions for a number of supporting roles in our summer production of Show Boat!  If your singing chops are not as great as your acting chops - no problem! We are seeking non-singing male and female actors for the roles listed below in this beloved work by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II.  Stage parents take note: we’re also searching for girls between the ages of 7-11 who can sing and act for the role of “Young Kim” an integral role in the show and the perfect opportunity for the next broadway baby!  You just might find yourself onstage with opera superstars Heidi Stober, Patricia Racette and Michael Todd Simpson, along with legends of stage and screen Bill Irwin, Harriet Harris, Kirsten Wyatt and John Bolton in Francesca Zambello’s grand production. Take a look to see if you might be a perfect addition to the Cotton Blossom!

Posted: 03/14/2014 by San Francisco Opera

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

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

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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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