One of San Francisco Opera's favorite stage directors is Jose Maria Condemi. Along with being a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Opera stage, Jose Maria is also Artistic Director at Opera Santa Barbara and an advocate for young artists. This fall he directed Puccini's formidable "Tosca" staring not one, but two alternating casts in the production. Amid his busy schedule, Jose Maria took some time to answer our Five Questions. Take a read and see how one handles breathing new life into old productions, advice for young performances and where to get great BBQ in San Francisco.
Posted: 11/27/2012 by
San Francisco Opera
How did you come to work on Moby-Dick and what was the early process?
We were getting ready to premiere Three Decembers
in Houston (2008) and very close to the end of the process when Jake and Gene approached me about Moby-Dick.
It was impossible for me to say no the challenge of staging Moby Dick, but even harder to pass up the opportunity to work with Jake and Gene again. Nothing had been written at that point, so I was part of the project from the very beginning and the three of us worked through it as a team.
I work on a lot of new pieces, and I’m often with them from the start. In this particular process with Moby-Dick
, we all found our way through this massive book together, looking at it from three distinct points of view: Gene the words, Jake the music, and me concentrating on the structure of the story.
Posted: 10/18/2012 by
Leonard Foglia (Director, Moby-Dick)
"I quite enjoy trying to understand the personality of the performer." –Harry Silverstein, Rigoletto
Posted: 09/24/2012 by
San Francisco Opera
An intriguing invitation was posted in this Tweet by SF Opera
on May 29, 2012:“Are you an #opera curious power Tweeter? Apply for a Tweet Seat at dress rehearsal of
Nixon in China, June 5, 2pm pls RT”
When I read the tweet, I had already purchased my ticket to see Nixon in China
on opening night. This unexpected invitation inspired me to see if I could use my iPad to capture my experience of Nixon in China
and share my impressions with the SF Opera community and the Twitterverse.
Posted: 06/25/2012 by
David Newman (artist and Nixon in China Tweeter)
“What do you mean when we spin Nixon on the banquet table?” My head cocked to one side the way my dog Earl’s does when I ask him to do something new.
For at least seven rehearsal meetings my “Supers” table partner and I had been practicing the choreographed banquet scene for Nixon in China. The table is at least five feet in diameter.
Posted: 06/21/2012 by
Tess Uriza Holthe (Super, Nixon in China)