We sat down with San Francisco Opera Guild volunteer docent Timothy J. Muldoon to find out what it’s like leading tours of the War Memorial Opera House, how one keeps straight all the facts and figures and what are some of the most satisfying – and challenging – parts of the job.

How did you come to be an Opera Guild tour docent?
If you’re asking about my motivations for becoming a docent, there are three important ones:

The first time I walked into the Opera House I knew, without doubt, I was standing in the most beautiful building in San Francisco. After all these years, walking into the foyer and looking up at that magnificent vaulted ceiling still gives me chills. I wanted to be a part of that house, and leading tours gives me that opportunity in a very personal way.
Posted: 11/05/2013 by Timothy J. Muldoon (Volunteer Docent)


It’s one of the favors many of us hate to ask for: “Hey there, would you mind picking me up at the airport? And at 11:30pm, since I’m coming in from Europe?”


This most needed and minimally glamorous task is one that Christine Miller and Gary Glaser have done on behalf of San Francisco Opera for more than 30 years. They have picked up countless artists from San Francisco International Airport over the years, and it is one of the many reasons why they are the recipients of the 2013 Spirit of the Opera Award, the highest honor the Opera bestows upon members of our community. 

Posted: 02/21/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Last Saturday, the audience for Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Opera House was joined by a few extra viewers, as some 27,000 fans packed AT&T Park for the annual Opera at the Ballpark simulcast. Despite the cold and some competing events (the Giants at Arizona, Stanford at USC) judging from the Twitter stream it looked like a lot of people enjoyed the opera, the ballpark, and a night out with friends.


Posted: 09/19/2012 by San Francisco Opera


We at San Francisco Opera think of every person who comes to the Opera as part of our family. And our family, like any family, contains a wide variety of personalities and interests. But the undisputed ‘mother hen’ of our Opera family is Board Member Sylvia Lindsey, who this spring received the 2012 Spirit of the Opera Award, the highest honor the Opera Association confers upon non-artistic members of its community.

Posted: 05/14/2012 by Sylvia Lindsey


My job at San Francisco Opera as video director is to work with the production team, the artists and the media team to direct the capture of each opera for television and theatrical distribution. I have been directing at the opera for 5 years. Rigoletto was my first plazacast to the civic center and it was very well received. David Gockley had the idea of building an HD suite on the 5th floor of the opera house and I was fortunate to be hired as the resident video director. I have directed all of the AT&T Ballpark simulcasts and over 25 operas for OperaVision, television and theatrical distribution. Over the last five years, two other directors--Christine Strand and Bob Harnett—have also directed some of the operas.
Posted: 11/18/2011 by Frank Zamacona (Video Director)


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Introduction

Backstage at San Francisco Opera is a fascinating, fast-moving, mysterious and sacred space for the Company’s singers, musicians, dancers, technicians and production crews. Musical and staging rehearsals are on-going, scenery is loaded in and taken out, lighting cues are set, costumes and wigs are moved around and everything is made ready to receive the audience. From the principal singers, chorus and orchestra musicians to the creative teams for each opera, in addition to the many talented folks who don’t take a bow on stage, this blog offers unique insight, both thought-provoking and light-hearted, into the life backstage at San Francisco Opera.

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