"You're on!": two of the most thrilling and nerve-wracking words you will ever hear in the English language as a cover (or understudy). In my opinion, covering can be compared with thrill-seeking sports like bungee or base jumping. You must be prepared at a moment's notice to go onstage and perform. During this summer season at San Francisco Opera, I am covering two VERY different roles: Madame Mao from John Adams' Nixon in China
and The Queen of the Night from Mozart's The Magic Flute
Posted: 06/18/2012 by
Susannah Biller (Soprano)
Those of you who have passed in front of the War Memorial Opera House in the past week have likely noticed a beautiful new addition to our Van Ness entrance. Richly colored in red, yellow, blue, black, and white, renowned artist/sculptor Jun Kaneko’s HEADS will be in place throughout the run of the summer opera season and will coincide with the premiere of Kaneko’s production of The Magic Flute
Posted: 06/11/2012 by
San Francisco Opera
I am just going to admit it: I am showmanced.
And this is no run of the mill, 8 week and then you are done, showmance. This one will go the distance. The difficulty of this showmance is that it involves more than one artist and I am afraid that when Nixon in China
finishes its run here in San Francisco, I may be thrown into a fit of post-show depression that I can’t climb out of.
Posted: 06/08/2012 by
Buffy Baggott (Secretary to Chairman Mao, Nixon in China)
When I accepted the role of Richard Nixon a few years ago, I knew it was going to be the most challenging assignment of my career. Taking on Nixon in China
, the brilliant opera by John Adams, was a daunting task for so many reasons, but the obstacle that would challenge me most was that of becoming the iconic colossus, Richard Nixon.
Posted: 06/07/2012 by
Brian Mulligan (Richard Nixon, Nixon in China)
It may only appear in one short scene at the beginning of the opera, but unquestionably one of the stars of every production of The Magic Flute is the serpent that pursues Prince Tamino and is ultimately killed by the Three Ladies. Because our new hi-tech Magic Flute production is so heavily based on projections and digital images (8 projectors!), you might assume that the serpent chasing poor Tamino would simply be an image projected on the wall--but designer Jun Kaneko had a different idea! [Left: Jun Kaneko's design drawing of Tamino facing the two-headed snake]
Posted: 05/22/2012 by
San Francisco Opera