Natalie Dessay last delighted San Francisco audiences in the title role of 2009's Lucia di Lammermoor and this summer she's back, but not in one of her signature roles. The soprano has appeared as Olympia is Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann many times, but for this Laurent Pelly production, she decided to mix things up and sing a role she has always wanted to sing, the tragic role of Antonia. In today's blog post, Natalie Dessay answers our 5 questions.
Posted: 07/02/2013 by Natalie Dessay (Antonia, The Tales of Hoffmann)


One of the most riveting scenes of Mark Adamo's opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene occurs when Peter is overcome with grief for having denied Jesus three times before his crucifixion.


As the stage is bathed in blood red light, Peter falls to his knees, wailing, "How many times will I remember this? Seven times seven?" This moment of anguish has inspired other composers to some of their most dramatic and poignant music as well.
Posted: 06/27/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


The Tales of Hoffmann has become one of the best-loved specimens of nineteenth-century French opera. Yet it represents an outlier within Jacques Offenbach’s prolific catalogue in its experimentalism with genre as well as its protracted genesis. The composer’s source for the libretto was a play by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, who introduced their five-act “fantastic play” Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 1851 in Paris, drawing on the wildly imaginative stories by the early-romantic figure E.T.A. Hoffmann.”
Posted: 06/21/2013 by Thomas May


Last Sunday San Francisco Opera invited a small group to attend and live tweet the final dress rehearsal of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. The opera by Mark Adamo has its world premiere on Wednesday, June 19, so this was truly a first glimpse for the public.





Posted: 06/19/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts made her Company debut on June 5 as Giulietta in The Tales of Hoffmann—currently running through July 6. The San Francisco Chronicle described her performance as "tonally resplendent," while the San Jose Mercury News gushed that she "dazzled in her company debut; what a plush, opulent voice she has." Prior to opening night, Ms. Roberts answered a few questions for us:



Posted: 06/13/2013 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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