It was cold in New York in February, 2008 when I flew into LaGuardia airport, but not too cold. After years of living in Lexington, KY, where I raised a son and worked on a Master’s in Vocal performance at the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, I always flew into the busiest airport of my hometown for opera auditions with the romantic head of a twenty-something professional virgin from the midwest—this, when I was anything but.
Posted: 06/17/2014 by
by Earl Hazell, (Extra Chorus, Show Boat)
Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu knows a thing or two about Alfredo Germont—the dashing young man who falls in love with, is heart-broken by, reconnects with, and ultimately loses the love of his life. He has performed La Traviata
around the world at many of the most important opera houses and opposite some of opera's most saught-after leading ladies as the fickle, beautiful and terminally ill courtesan Violetta. He returns to San Francisco Opera to perform the role with Nicole Cabell as Violetta and Vladamir Stoyanov as Giorgio Germont. What has Saimir learned from his many portrayals of Alfredo? We asked him 5 questions to find out.
Posted: 06/10/2014 by
Saimir Pirgu (Alfredo, La Traviata)
On Saturday, November 9, we hosted our 2nd free Community Open House, featuring fun events and activities for all ages. It's such a joy to open the doors of the beautiful War Memorial Opera House to droves of people who may have never even been inside before. The 2013 Open House included many diverse presentations and opportunities to connect with opera in new ways, including onstage musical demonstrations; sing-alongs with the San Francisco Opera Chorus and San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows; stage combat workshops; costume, wig and makeup demonstrations; a costume photo booth; an opportunity to meet San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley; and family activities throughout the opera house lobbies including a scavenger hunt, prop-making, costume crafts, and more, with workshops designed for both adults and families.
Posted: 11/18/2013 by
San Francisco Opera
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)