Opera is frequently called the most grand of the performing arts, and our production of Mephistopheles is grand opera at its grandest! From the over 300 costumes, the thousands of jewels, and even the number of naked bodies you’ll see onstage, it is an amazing production that demonstrates just how big opera can be. And how many skilled craftsmen, artisans, employees, and artists it takes to make it this grand!

In today’s blog post we highlight just a small fraction of the numbers of interesting things you’ll see onstage when you see our dazzling production of Mephistopheles. For example:

Posted: 09/09/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Pardon the gush, but we just adore Susannah Biller. She's talented, funny, a former Adler Fellow and has graced our stage several times. Currently, Susannah is entertaining audiences as Despina in Così fan tutte—onstage through July 1. The San Francisco Examiner exclaimed that she "shined in one of opera's great comic roles, befitting a Rossini heroine." We wholeheartedly agree.



Posted: 06/25/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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." More often than not, the artist in question is one of the fabulous young artists we have had grace our stage. 

This summer's production of "Cosi fan tutte" features the San Francisco Opera debut of German mezzo-soprano Christel Lötzsch in the role of Dorabella, as well as the mainstage San Francisco Opera debut of bass-baritone Adler Fellow Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. In addition, the rest of the Cosi cast is comprised of incredibly talented young artists who have recently appeared on our stage. For today's photo blog, we highlight each principal Cosi artist 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.

Posted: 06/05/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Constance Hoffman is a Costume Designer who tells stories, “My medium just happens to be costume.”

Constance and I set out to source the Mary Magdalene textiles, armed with a stack of research books: The Jewish Wardrobe, published by The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The History of Jewish Costume by Alfred Rubens, Roman Clothing and Fashion by Alexandra Croom; The World of Roman Costume by Judith Lynn Sebesta and, my personal favorite, Facing West-Oriental Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus (a catalog from a joint exhibit of The Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg and The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam).
Posted: 05/29/2013 by Christopher Verdosci


Last fall, we here at San Francisco Opera were struck by how many connections existed between sights in our beloved Bay Area and the operas presented in our fall season. This inspired us to think about where the characters in our three summer operas – The Tales of Hoffmann, Cosi fan Tutte, and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene – might sightsee while they spent their time in the Bay. Where would E.T.A. Hoffmann go to drink his troubles away? In what seaside community would Mary of Magdala (a fishing town on the Sea of Galilee) feel most at home? And where would Cosi’s Ferrando and Guglielmo get their infamous beard disguises groomed?
Posted: 05/18/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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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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