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: 05/13/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Drew Farley, Assistant Technical Director for the SF Opera Production Department, had not seen The Tales of Hoffmann before he started to work on drawings and planning for the production, but after he researched the themes and the story, he understood and appreciated the inspiration for the production’s design coming from Belgian painter Leon Spilliaert.




Posted: 05/07/2013 by Drew Farley (Assistant Technical Director)


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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