Nearly five years ago, I made the difficult choice to leave behind my then 15 years of training and experience as a solo pianist, and embark on a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano. Little did I know then that the huge amount of work, responsibility, and study that degree and my subsequent apprenticeships demanded would culminate in my current profession as a coach/accompanist here at San Francisco Opera.  In searching for the skill set that would make me an ideal candidate for an Adler position here (I must confess here that coming here to SFO was a longtime dream of mine), I was lucky enough to get my hands dirty in the rehearsal rooms, orchestra libraries, coaching studios, and orchestra pits of Virginia Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Washington National Opera, doing my best to learn as much as I could experientially about every cog in this Rube Goldberg machine we call opera!
Posted: 07/05/2012 by Robert Mollicone (1st Year Adler Coaching Fellow)


Making his San Francisco Opera debut with The Magic Flute this summer, Scottish-born Rory Macdonald has rapidly established himself as one of Britain’s most talented, dynamic young conductors. Below Rory shares the challenges and thrills of conducting one of Mozart's most beloved operas.




Posted: 07/02/2012 by Rory Macdonald


In a stack of resumes, there are a handful of certain recurring words. Wrangler is not one of them. Maybe because cowboys never found a way to fuse their experience in the Great American West with corporate infrastructure or maybe because lassos have simply lost their practicality in an urban world. Either way, I am one of the few people who can claim this title. No, I am not a cowboy-  I am a Child Wrangler at San Francisco Opera. What does that mean exactly? It means I guide child performers on and off stage throughout rehearsals and performances at the opera. I have been in this position  for the past four seasons and have been held responsible for as few as four and as many as 40 children ranging from age 6 to 17. Some are seasoned veterans of the stage and some are complete novices. My job is to ensure their safety while they are in the building and, mostly, try to keep them focused, safe, and professional. Sometimes this is an easy task and sometimes, a nearly impossible one.

Posted: 06/29/2012 by Samantha McCurry (Child Wrangler)


There was a palpable energy in the War Memorial Opera House air in the months leading up to The Magic Flute premiere on June 13. None of us could wait to see this new production full of bold, colorful scenery and costumes by internationally acclaimed artist Jun Kaneko. When Jun and his wife Ree visited San Francisco Opera's Props department and Costume Shop in March, it was the first time they saw Jun's sketches come to life.
Posted: 06/27/2012 by San Francisco Opera


It all started innocently enough. Nine year-old Natalie Beier, who always loved art and fashion, needed to do research on costume design for an upcoming school production of Anne of Green Gables. For her research, she came to the opera with her family, went to the library, and ultimately got a very special glimpse into San Francisco Opera's Costume Shop. And for the budding costume designer, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose: to be a supernumerary or "super" chick in this summer's production of The Magic Flute!

Posted: 06/20/2012 by Natalie Beier ("Super" Chick and Budding Costume Designer)


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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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