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.

One sunny afternoon in early Spring 2003, I received an invitation to fly with Madama Butterfly. After a few months of consideration, I accepted and my journey designing scenery and costumes for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly began.
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)


On Friday, May 17 the San Francisco Opera Orchestra along with Music Director Nicola Luisotti will cross the twinkling Bay Bridge for a rare concert at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The program includes music by Puccini and Brahams, and a Piano Concerto by Italian composer Nino Rota, performed by Giuseppe Albanese.
Posted: 04/17/2013 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)


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


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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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