One of the things I enjoy most about attending opera is that the music is often so timeless and wonderful that I can see the same show re-imagined hundreds of times and each time it will come to life and touch me in a new and meaningful way. The same thing is true for performing in opera.

Posted: 10/06/2011 by Elizabeth DeShong (Maffio Orsini, Lucrezia Borgia)


I am insufficiently blonde. Sigh. Yes, having blondish hair was one of the main reasons I was wrangled into playing the Super Bride in Heart of a Soldier in the first place. But after our first dress rehearsal, the artistic team realized that with my natural hair curled and coiffed into a style of the era, I looked more like a hippie Flower Child bride. Not, unfortunately, like a big-haired girl from the Lone Star state. Which is what I am supposed to be.
Posted: 10/04/2011 by Kristen Jones (Senior Leadership Gifts Officer & Super Bride, Heart of a Soldier)


Opera designer and director John Pascoe created the designs for this fanciful and opulent production of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia in 2008 with Washington National Opera and Renee Fleming.

With the opening of our third opera of the season less than a week away, we decided to whet your appetite with John Pascoe's gorgeous costume sketches for this production, which marks the first time we have ever ever presented the opera in our history.

Posted: 09/19/2011 by John Pascoe (Director & Designer, Lucrezia Borgia)


Returning to San Francisco Opera is especially poignant for me. Although I had already sung some roles professionally beginning in 1972, my big debut was here on the stage of the Memorial Opera House on Sept 13, 1974 as the Maestro di Ballo to Leontyne Price's first Manon Lescaut. Back then there were no apprentice programs, Adler Fellows, or Merola. I was fortunate in that I had worked with Otto Guth, Kurt Adler's right-hand man, at Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where I was completing a post graduate opera degree. Through his recommendation I was invited to sing in San Francisco, where Mr. Adler offered me a number of wonderful roles.

Posted: 09/13/2011 by Joseph Frank (Emperor Altoum, Turandot)


This morning, August 31st, I am looking over my music with twenty or so "notes" from Francesca, her assistant Matthew, David Hanlon (assistant conductor) and our librettist, Donna Di Novelli. These notes are, of course, little things that can be changed to make the show better and better. It just takes a little brain power and a good deal of strong coffee to assimilate the suggestions; especially precious hours before an orchestral run-thru. [Left: Melody Moore and Thomas Hampson as Susan and Rick Rescorla in a recent working rehearsal. Photo by Cory Weaver.]
Posted: 09/02/2011 by Melody Moore (Susan Rescorla, 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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