When I found out I was going to be the assistant conductor for Moby-Dick, I knew it meant that I was going to have to read the book. My attitude about that prospect was probably very much like yours. Sigh. But the choice was unflinching: Either I'm going to read Moby-Dick now, when I have every possible motivation and sufficient time, or I'm just never going to read it. Short of actually going on an extreme whaling vacation, I couldn't think of a more obvious circumstance to do something that I've long said I wanted to do. I'm happy I read it, and it made me feel more prepared, but it was unnecessary. Heggie's Moby-Dick does not need a primer to appreciate it, to explain it or even to fill in the blanks, it stands on its own as a thrilling and genuinely dramatic modern opera. But let's back up.

 

Posted: 10/22/2012 by Joseph Marcheso (Assistant Conductor, Moby-Dick)


How did you come to work on Moby-Dick and what was the early process?

We were getting ready to premiere Three Decembers in Houston (2008) and very close to the end of the process when Jake and Gene approached me about Moby-Dick. It was impossible for me to say no the challenge of staging Moby Dick, but even harder to pass up the opportunity to work with Jake and Gene again. Nothing had been written at that point, so I was part of the project from the very beginning and the three of us worked through it as a team.

I work on a lot of new pieces, and I’m often with them from the start. In this particular process with Moby-Dick, we all found our way through this massive book together, looking at it from three distinct points of view: Gene the words, Jake the music, and me concentrating on the structure of the story.
Posted: 10/18/2012 by Leonard Foglia (Director, Moby-Dick)


In 1997, we unveiled a brand new production of Verdi's Rigoletto, designed by Michael Yeargan. Inspired by the surrealist paintings of Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, the sets shine most because of their simplicity. The colors are bold, the lines are crisp and the lighting is daring. The costumes, designed by Constance Hoffman, are whimsical and classic, bringing these larger-than-life characters their own highly distinct personalities. While many of our 2012-13 Season productions feature brand new sets or bring a production to the Bay Area for the first time, Rigoletto is a revival of this favorite production. These sets and costumes have been presented at the War Memorial Opera House in three previous seasons, and due to double casting, by no less than six distinct casts. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we remember some of our past Rigolettos, Dukes and Gildas.
Posted: 09/27/2012 by San Francisco Opera


"I quite enjoy trying to understand the personality of the performer." –Harry Silverstein, Rigoletto Stage Director






Posted: 09/24/2012 by San Francisco Opera


Arturo Chacón-Cruz is currently with us singing The Duke of Mantua in one of our two casts of Verdi's Rigoletto. While this is his mainstage debut at San Francisco Opera, the Mexican tenor is no stranger to our stage--he was a Merola Opera Program participant in 2002! Of his debut on September 8, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "[Chacón-Cruz] stepped into the role for a company debut of enormous grace, charisma and stamina. Here, clearly, is a singer of major promise." The young tenor sat down to answer our questions about singing the Duke, his love of San Francisco and making opera accessible to the public.

Posted: 09/14/2012 by Arturo Chacon-Cruz


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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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