Why in the world would a 95-year-old-lady, doddering along with a cane, be asked to share her thoughts about the intricate world of opera? Because if you’ve traveled the world, as I have, to see 63 complete Ring cycles and countless other operas besides, you want the world to know why you’re so passionate about opera and why it’s so important to keep this priceless art form thriving. Opera has enriched my life beyond measure, and my financial support of San Francisco Opera—including my legacy gift—will help enrich the lives of others in the coming years.
Posted: 03/12/2012 by
Verna Parino, Bel Canto member
It always surprises me how many people ask me if I work for the San Francisco Ballet during the off-season or assume that I am unemployed from the end of the last performance of the fall season until we load in for the summer season in May. I’m here to assure you that I don’t have any trouble keeping busy from December through April.
I always spend the first few weeks of December doing what I call, “picking up the pieces.” This means that I finally answer all those emails that I’ve been putting off because they required more research, and if I’m lucky can get the virtual in-box pared down from 500+ messages to less than 50 that still require some sort of action.
Posted: 02/09/2012 by
April Busch (Production Operations Director)
Lauré Campbell has served as San Francisco Opera’s orchestra librarian for an incredible 41 seasons. From just down the hall from the orchestra pit, Lauré’s job has been to acquire the sheet music for each production – whether from the Company’s own library or another source, mark it up to the necessary specifications, and have it ready for each member of the orchestra. Retiring this spring, we asked Lauré a few questions about what’s changed during her tenure, what hasn’t, and what she’ll miss most.
Posted: 01/24/2012 by
Lauré Campbell, Orchestra Librarian
How many people does it takes to run a performance of Turandot
? More than you might think!
Posted: 11/23/2011 by
San Francisco Opera
As the lutenist in San Francisco Opera’s 2011 production of Xerxes, I play not only an unusual role in the orchestra, but also a number of unusual instruments not well known to many opera goers. While the traditional opera repertory is not often thought of as utilizing improvisation, baroque music has a rich history of it. Nowhere is this truer than in this production of Xerxes where the harpsichord and I make up what could essentially be called the rhythm section of the orchestra. We play from a bass line, much like what a cellist uses, but we have figured bass (numbers under the bass notes which tell us which harmonies to play) added to our parts. Similar to how a jazz pianist might accompany a song, both the harpsichord the lute family instruments play the harmony, which is improvised in keeping with musical content of the composer.
Posted: 11/05/2011 by
Michael Leopold (Theorbo, Arch Lute and Baroque Guitar, Xerxes)