Nearly five years ago, I made the difficult choice to leave behind my then 15 years of training and experience as a solo pianist, and embark on a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano. Little did I know then that the huge amount of work, responsibility, and study that degree and my subsequent apprenticeships demanded would culminate in my current profession as a coach/accompanist here at San Francisco Opera. In searching for the skill set that would make me an ideal candidate for an Adler position here (I must confess here that coming here to SFO was a longtime dream of mine), I was lucky enough to get my hands dirty in the rehearsal rooms, orchestra libraries, coaching studios, and orchestra pits of Virginia Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Washington National Opera, doing my best to learn as much as I could experientially about every cog in this Rube Goldberg machine we call opera!
Posted: 07/05/2012 by
Robert Mollicone (1st Year Adler Coaching Fellow)
I worked in the rehearsal department for three seasons and after leaving that position, I was prepared to do just about anything. I could spit out any one of a hundred phone numbers faster than you could pull out your iPhone. People marvel at that, and I marvel that they marvel. It was just second nature to me and anyone else who worked here. You have to be ready to do anything at a moment’s notice. During the 1989 earthquake, one of my co-workers was at the ER with a singer who had injured her ankle during a performance while the rest of us phoned all remaining artists to be certain everyone was OK. Thankfully, all were fine, and one of our mezzos even invited all of the other artists to her apartment for a chicken dinner. The very next morning we had set up camp at the Masonic Auditorium where we proceeded to perform a week’s worth of opera there in concert version.
Posted: 05/04/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator & Assistant to the Musical Director)
Most people don’t spend their lives at the opera, although depending on the composer and the evening in question, it might seem that way. But I can say that I have been at the opera, actually in this building, 45 of my 49 years. No, I am not a phantom living in some part of the sub-basement near the stream that runs under the theatre. (Yes, there’s a stream and no, there are no people down there floating around in small boats wearing opulent costumes--at least not that we know of.)
Posted: 04/30/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator and Assistant to the Music Director)
San Francisco Opera’s Assistant Principal Violinist Beni Shinohara shares her experience working in San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestras.
Posted: 04/20/2012 by
Beni Shinohara (Assistant Principal Second Violin)
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