With the final performance of Madama Butterfly on July 9, let's take a moment and rediscover how artist and production designer Jun Kaneko took his first foray into opera design. Below is an excerpt from his 2011 book.
Posted: 07/02/2014 by Jun Kaneko (Production Designer, Madama Butterfly)


When I first met Jun Kaneko, he was on a ladder with clay up to his elbows, working on a gigantic head. He joked that the piece might take two years to dry, and then he wouldn’t be able to say whether it would crack when it encountered the incredible heat of the kiln. I knew then that we would have a rich collaboration! As with one of Jun’s large clay pieces, we worked for over two years to create the world that was to be our Madama Butterfly. It was an incredibly rich creative and collaborative process born out of deep respect for Puccini’s masterpiece and its resonance within Jun Kaneko’s beautiful and profound aesthetic vision.

Posted: 06/27/2014 by Leslie Swackhamer (Director, Madame Butterfly)


We here at San Francisco Opera are often asked, "Who was that great singer who played so-and-so in that one opera you did a few years ago? I feel like I have seen them here before." 
 
Our upcoming production of Falstaff features the San Francisco Opera debut of Italian baritone Fabio Capitanucci in the role of Ford, and is also the first time since 1995 that Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will have graced the War Memorial stage (he was last seen in a gala concert for Charles Mackerras). In addition to these stars, the rest of the Falstaff cast is comprised of incredibly talented artists who have recently appeared on our stage.

For today's photo blog, we highlight each of the artists in Falstaff who has had past roles at San Francisco Opera. This way, when you see the production and think to yourself, "I feel like I've seen them somewhere before...," you'll impress your seatmates by knowing where. [All photos by Cory Weaver.]

Posted: 10/02/2013 by San Francisco Opera


With the arrival of the newest member of the British royal family, we here at San Francisco Opera decided to take a look at the members of nobility seen throughout opera to see what kind of lessons they could impart to the world's newest prince. Compiled here are a selection of lessons from twelve of our favorite operas that we think will serve the future king well.

Young prince, remember...
Posted: 07/23/2013 by San Francisco Opera


The Secret Garden premiere is just around the corner and to whet your appetite even more, we've decided to delve a little deeper into painter and video artist Naomie Kremer's designs for the show. Read on to see a selection of Naomie's storyboards showing plans for the set and projections as well as costume sketches by costume designer Kristi Johnson.

Additionally, Cal Performances met up with Naomie for a walk through her Bay Area art studio. The resulting video shows her process from concept to finished product. We think you'll be surprised what has gone into creating the backdrop for this exciting new opera!  
Posted: 02/08/2013 by Naomie Kremer (Visual Designer, The Secret Garden)


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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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