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)
Calendar 2013 will be a record year in San Francisco Opera history, with three—count’em—THREE world premieres of brand new operas happening in a seven month period! Our new work for families, The Secret Garden
, opens in March at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley, followed smartly by our two new main-stage works, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
in June and Dolores Claiborne
in September. My job as Director of Music Administration carries with it the privilege (and sometimes the headache) of nudging these commission projects along from initial conception to opening night. So far I’ve been involved with 14 new commissions (not counting the several that never quite made it all the way), and each project has had its unique challenges.
Posted: 01/22/2013 by
Kip Cranna, Director of Music Administration
Everyone knows that the opening night Opera Ball is a glamorous event full of flowers, decorations, food, libations and of course, fashion! But there are many who attend the opening night performance alone, without attending one of the galas--and we wouldn't want them to miss out on the glamor! Every year, Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey donates a beautiful, hand crafted and unique flower garland to adorn the boxes of the War Memorial Opera House. To most of us, the flowers seem to simply appear on opening night to add a colorful, whimsical decorative element to the special evening...but we knew there was more to it than that. This time, we decided to find out a little bit more about the people and process behind the opening night flower garland. And boy, did we learn a lot!
Posted: 09/12/2012 by
San Francisco Opera
Last Thursday on August 16th, the San Francisco Opera's BRAVO! Club officially kicked off the 21th Annual Opening Gala under the glitz and glamor of the CODE Salon and The Factory Label. Over 150 BRAVO! Gala ticket holders and their guests were invited to celebrate this year's Gala in style.
Posted: 08/20/2012 by
Amy Higgins (BRAVO Board Member)
Have you seen the August issue of Opera News
? The cover story is called “Opera’s Next Wave: The Voices and Faces of the Future.” It’s a great article, and well worth reading while it’s still out on newsstands. Here at San Francisco Opera, we couldn’t help but swell with pride at how many familiar faces graced the pages of this article. Quite a good number of these up and coming opera stars have performed on the War Memorial Opera House stage in the last several years or are scheduled to make debuts in the near future. Which of these fine young musicians, which Opera News
predicts will “break out and become major forces in the field in the coming decade,” have we brought to Bay Area audiences lately? Allow us a trip down memory lane. [Left: Luca Pisaroni in The Marriage of Figaro
Posted: 08/10/2012 by
San Francisco Opera