It’s 6:54 pm and I’m warming up for the opening night of Falstaff; although not in the way one might imagine, scales and such. Instead, I’m doing lunges, hamstring stretches and sun salutations. Just as my muscles are loosening up comes a knock at the door from my (wonderful) makeup artist and the gears of the show begin to move. Soon “Places!” is called and I do one last stretch before I climb into my costume. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Falstaff is an athletic event.

Posted: 10/11/2013 by Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano


Natalie Dessay last delighted San Francisco audiences in the title role of 2009's Lucia di Lammermoor and this summer she's back, but not in one of her signature roles. The soprano has appeared as Olympia is Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann many times, but for this Laurent Pelly production, she decided to mix things up and sing a role she has always wanted to sing, the tragic role of Antonia. In today's blog post, Natalie Dessay answers our 5 questions.
Posted: 07/02/2013 by Natalie Dessay (Antonia, The Tales of Hoffmann)


We here at San Francisco Opera are often asked, "Who was that great singer who played so-and-so in that one opera you did a few years ago? I feel like I have seen them here before." More often than not, the artist in question is one of the fabulous young artists we have had grace our stage. 

This summer's production of "Cosi fan tutte" features the San Francisco Opera debut of German mezzo-soprano Christel Lötzsch in the role of Dorabella, as well as the mainstage San Francisco Opera debut of bass-baritone Adler Fellow Philippe Sly as Guglielmo. In addition, the rest of the Cosi cast is comprised of incredibly talented young artists who have recently appeared on our stage. For today's photo blog, we highlight each principal Cosi artist who has had past roles at San Francisco Opera. This way, when you see the production and think to yourself, "I feel like I've seen them somewhere before...," you'll impress your seatmates by knowing where.

Posted: 06/05/2013 by San Francisco Opera


How have you prepared for your role as Hoffmann? Have you ever read the original stories that inspired the libretto by E.T.A. Hoffmann? Owing to the fact that this version of Hoffmann is very different from ones I've been involved with before, there was a lot of new music, and dialogue to learn. As always with languages you don't speak, figuring out the meaning behind the words takes up a lot of time. And that goes not just for what I'm saying, but also for the things that are being said to you by your colleagues. I have read the E.T.A. Hoffmann stories, though I didn't revisit them for this revival here in San Francisco.

Posted: 06/03/2013 by Matthew Polenzani (Hoffmann, Tales of Hoffmann)


Constance Hoffman is a Costume Designer who tells stories, “My medium just happens to be costume.”

Constance and I set out to source the Mary Magdalene textiles, armed with a stack of research books: The Jewish Wardrobe, published by The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The History of Jewish Costume by Alfred Rubens, Roman Clothing and Fashion by Alexandra Croom; The World of Roman Costume by Judith Lynn Sebesta and, my personal favorite, Facing West-Oriental Jews of Central Asia and the Caucasus (a catalog from a joint exhibit of The Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg and The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam).
Posted: 05/29/2013 by Christopher Verdosci


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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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