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)
A giant passed away. A man that has served as a major inspiration for so many people, Steve Jobs, the former CEO and creator of Apple Inc. is now flying with the angels above. Mr. Jobs must be one of the most forward looking men of the 20th and 21st centuries; he was a man of huge ideas that reached the masses. He was also a man with a message: never look back, never think small. This message resonates loudly and clearly today for all of us committed to breathing life into a world of music and art that is suffering in a time of economic chaos.
Posted: 10/26/2011 by
Michael Fabiano (Gennaro, Lucrezia Borgia)
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)
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)