Erin Johnson is a mezzo-soprano in her first year of the Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera. Originally from Washington, New Jersey, Erin studied music and religious studies at Cairn University in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and completed her Master in Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She was a participant in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program in 2009 prior to her participation in the Merola Opera Program in 2012. She made her San Francisco Opera debut in the role of Mrs. Medlock in the world-premiere production of Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden this past spring. She will be featured on the War Memorial Opera House stage this coming summer in the world-premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Erin is the next of our talented young artists to be featured this week on Backstage at San Francisco Opera
Posted: 05/02/2013 by San Francisco Opera


The wise, knowing half smile on the enigmatic woman's face and the silvery sheen of her cloak have made many viewers assume that this is the work of a very modern painter. Surprise! This image of Mary Magdalene ̶ one which embodies such an air of mystery ̶ was painted in the year 1540 by Giovanni Solvoldo.




Posted: 05/01/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


On a research trip to Amsterdam, Mary Magdalene scholar Kayleen Asbo, visited the Rijksmuseum, a national museum dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. While there she stopped for a look at Jan Van Scorel's 16th century depiction of Mary Magdalene and sent us this summary.




Posted: 04/23/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


When I heard San Francisco Opera had commissioned a new work based on the story of Mary Magdalene, I immediately thought of a beautiful woman with long flowing red hair holding a perfume jar. You see, I was an art history major, and for anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with medieval or Renaissance art, the Magdalene is a familiar face.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene became an incredibly important devotional figure, second only to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her past as a sinner made it easy for people to identify with her. (She came to be known as a prostitute, although this is apocryphal.) As the first to actually see Jesus after his resurrection, she could give wayward believers hope that they too could achieve that kind of personal experience with God.
Posted: 04/16/2013 by Dolores DeStefano (Assistant Director of Education)


This week's Adler Profile features 24 year-old bass-baritone Philippe Sly who hails from Ottawa, Canada.  Philippe is a first-year Adler Fellow and is 2011 Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  He was a 2011 participant in the Merola Opera Program where he played Dr. Bartolo in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and was a member of the Ensemble Studio at the Canadian Opera Company from 2010-2012.  He is a graduate of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University where he performed the roles of Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème and Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.  Philippe made his SFO Debut as Archibald Craven in the world-premiere production of Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden this spring and will make his mainstage debut in the leading role of Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte this summer season.  Philippe was the First Place Winner of the Montreal International Music Competition in 2012 and is an exclusive recording artist with Analekta.  Philippe will perform a solo recital as part of the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series on Sunday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Temple Emanu-el along fellow Adler Fellow pianist Sunny Yoon. 
Posted: 04/04/2013 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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