While working on Bizet’s Carmen I found myself reflecting on the topic of “encounter with difference”—unlikely relationships that form between non-like-minded people—and pondering both the attraction and violence those experiences can generate. Both Carmen and Don José are members of marginalized minority populations in 19th-century Spain: she is a gypsy and he is a Basque.




Posted: 12/12/2011 by Jose Maria Condemi (Director, Carmen)


Carmen and I have spent the last two months together. Interesting, since she never stays in one relationship that long… I started rehearsals as the cover in the French Carmen and continued with Carmen for Families. I am Israeli, playing a Spanish Gypsy, in a French opera, sung in English. Confused? Me too!




Posted: 12/01/2011 by Maya Lahyani (Carmen, Carmen for Families)


When a colleague in production called to ask if I would be willing to be a supernumerary in Carmen my first thought other than – why not!? – was “I have to call Bill.” Bill Klaproth and his wife Roberta are founding members of the Opera’s Medallion Society, longtime subscribers, and two of the most lovely people I have had the privilege of getting to know. When Bill retired in 1990, he decided it was the perfect time to become more involved with the Company, and he applied become a Supernumerary. He’s never looked back. Since 1990, he has appeared in dozens of operas, and is currently supering in his fourth Turandot as one of the soldiers.
Posted: 11/28/2011 by Bonita Hagbom (Individual Giving Officer) and Bill Klaproth (Supernumerary)


I think I have something to the effect of 125 minutes between my last exit in Act 1 and my entrance in Act 3. If you haven’t done the math yet, that’s about 2 hours. Realistically, except for all the previews, I could probably catch a movie and be back in time for my Act 3 aria.
 
Waiting for Act 3, that’s the challenge of this role. I know, cue the violins. But let’s talk about this. Part of what has been so interesting about taking on this role is figuring out how to manage my time.
Posted: 11/22/2011 by Sara Gartland (Micaela, Carmen)


 One of the hardest things to do in an opera is to be able to translate a basic question, or set of questions, into something visual which brings them to life in a dramatic context.
 
 “How do you remember the fallen?” was one of the important questions which Donna and I felt threaded the opera and this was answered in many through the main protagonist, Rick Rescorla. [Left: Thomas Hampson, who sings the role of Rick Rescorla in the opera, with Christopher Theofanidis.]
 
Posted: 09/16/2011 by Christopher Theofanidis (Composer, Heart of a Soldier)


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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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