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


American soprano Maria Kanyova made her San Francisco Opera debut in 2012 as Pat Nixon in John Adams's Nixon in China. In this summer's world premiere The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, Kanyova graced the War Memorial Opera House stage as Miriam—a performance the San Francisco Examiner called "outstanding."




Posted: 07/12/2013 by San Francisco Opera


"Okay, let's run it again from the same place," says our director Kevin Newbury. "Strong and wrong."

I've come to love that phrase. In rehearsals we have to give ourselves over to our impulses in the moment, to try different moods and reactions before we choose the best one. "The best idea wins," Kevin told us on the first day of rehearsals. Everyone is encouraged to contribute if they have an idea for the tone of a scene or a piece of stage business. But in order for an interesting dramatic moment to emerge, we have to be willing to take a chance that it might fail—"wrong"—and commit to it anyway—"strong." It frees us from the interference of our inner critics and editors and allows us to take our reactions to their most compelling place.

Posted: 07/08/2013 by Stacey Tappan (Seeker and Girl, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene)


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)


One of the most riveting scenes of Mark Adamo's opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene occurs when Peter is overcome with grief for having denied Jesus three times before his crucifixion.


As the stage is bathed in blood red light, Peter falls to his knees, wailing, "How many times will I remember this? Seven times seven?" This moment of anguish has inspired other composers to some of their most dramatic and poignant music as well.
Posted: 06/27/2013 by Kayleen Asbo


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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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