Before he was an opera singer, Tongan-born tenor Ta’u Pupu’a (seen in the roles of Omaha and Robert in Heart of a Soldier) was an athlete. A linebacker in the NFL, to be exact. Pupu’a was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and then the Baltimore Ravens before a career-ending injury motivated him to go back to his first love: singing. How does a football player make this unconventional career transition? We had the same question. Read on to hear Ta'u's story in his own words. Check back again soon to read more about the connections between football and singing...there are more than you may think!
Posted: 10/24/2011 by Ta'u Pupu'a (Omaha and Robert, Heart of a Soldier)


We know that Heart of a Soldier closed its run last month, but we can't resist adding a couple of additional blog posts submitted by people involved in the show. There were just so many creative contributions! This first one is from projection designer S. Katy Tucker.

On September 11th, 2001 I was about to start my second day of work as a studio assistant for an artist in Soho. I'd moved to New York City one week before, taking a semester away from college.
Posted: 10/22/2011 by S. Katy Tucker (Projection Designer, Heart of a Soldier)


When people ask me what my job is at the opera, I typically tell them to think of my position as a project manager for the productions as a whole. It’s not my job to do the actual work of construction or to be inspired to create the design. My job is to make sure that the designs are done on time, on budget and as close to the designer’s intention as is conceivable. It has it moments of creativity and of rote mathematics. It has it moments of exciting involvement and concise detachment; but mostly it has its moments of managing large expectations.
Posted: 10/20/2011 by Andrew Farley (Assistant Technical Director)


For our new production of Don Giovanni the design requirement called for 22 large mirrors in ornate gilded frames. The mirrors all needed to be reflective to the audience but also see through, like mirrors in a police lineup room. The design intent was to have each of the mirror’s speed and position controlled independently. Below is one of 30 stunning renderings drawn by set designer Alessandro Camera.


Posted: 10/12/2011 by Marc Scott (Technical Director)


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)


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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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