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


This Friday, San Francisco Opera will celebrate the opening of our 91st Season with a gala opening night like none other. Co-chaired by Ann Girard and Mai Shiver, San Francisco Opera Guild’s sold-out 2013 Opera Ball: The Garden of Good and Evil will be created by celebrity event designer Colin Cowie and will reflect the celestial and devilish themes of the evening’s performance––late 19th-century Italian composer Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele.



Posted: 09/03/2013 by Colin Cowie, Opera Ball 2013 Designer


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


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)


On Saturday November 10, San Francisco Opera opened the doors of the War Memorial Opera house and welcomed thousands of Bay Area residents and visitors to our first ever Community Open House! Presented in celebration of our 90th Season and the opening of the opera house 80 years ago, this completely free event was geared towards opera lovers and newbies of all ages. Activities ranged from crafts, temporary tattoos and sing-alongs to musical performances, technical demonstrations and screenings of Carmen for Families--The Movie! One of the most popular highlights of the day was the costume photo booth where guests were able to try on actual San Francisco Opera costumes and pose for photos taken by a professional photographer. From the moment lines began to form around the block in the morning to the moment the last person walked out the door, we were overwhelmed by the response from each and every one of you. Seeing every nook and cranny of this iconic building filled with smiling, energetic faces was truly a sight to behold! We think Gaetano Merola and the founders of San Francisco Opera would be thrilled to see all of you enjoying the fruits of their labors all these years later. All photos by Kristen Loken.


Posted: 12/11/2012 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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