It’s one of the favors many of us hate to ask for: “Hey there, would you mind picking me up at the airport? And at 11:30pm, since I’m coming in from Europe?”
This most needed and minimally glamorous task is one that Christine Miller and Gary Glaser have done on behalf of San Francisco Opera for more than 30 years. They have picked up countless artists from San Francisco International Airport over the years, and it is one of the many reasons why they are the recipients of the 2013 Spirit of the Opera Award, the highest honor the Opera bestows upon members of our community.
Posted: 02/21/2013 by
San Francisco Opera
Sitting around a table enjoying happy hour with a couple of my brother’s friends, I casually mentioned that I had attended a performance of The Marriage of Figaro
and really enjoyed it. One friend, who I shall do the service of not naming, said “Anna, I didn’t realize you attended operas!” “Oh!,” I replied, “it’s one of the great perks of working at San Francisco Opera—I get to see every production we do!” “Wait,” he said, “you work
at the Opera?” He started laughing, and unfortunately continued: “I imagine you and seven other people crammed around a table sewing a bustier or something.”
Posted: 08/31/2012 by
Anna Sopko Wright (Sr. Marketing Manager, Subscriptions)
I worked in the rehearsal department for three seasons and after leaving that position, I was prepared to do just about anything. I could spit out any one of a hundred phone numbers faster than you could pull out your iPhone. People marvel at that, and I marvel that they marvel. It was just second nature to me and anyone else who worked here. You have to be ready to do anything at a moment’s notice. During the 1989 earthquake, one of my co-workers was at the ER with a singer who had injured her ankle during a performance while the rest of us phoned all remaining artists to be certain everyone was OK. Thankfully, all were fine, and one of our mezzos even invited all of the other artists to her apartment for a chicken dinner. The very next morning we had set up camp at the Masonic Auditorium where we proceeded to perform a week’s worth of opera there in concert version.
Posted: 05/04/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator & Assistant to the Musical Director)
Most people don’t spend their lives at the opera, although depending on the composer and the evening in question, it might seem that way. But I can say that I have been at the opera, actually in this building, 45 of my 49 years. No, I am not a phantom living in some part of the sub-basement near the stream that runs under the theatre. (Yes, there’s a stream and no, there are no people down there floating around in small boats wearing opulent costumes--at least not that we know of.)
Posted: 04/30/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator and Assistant to the Music Director)
Why in the world would a 95-year-old-lady, doddering along with a cane, be asked to share her thoughts about the intricate world of opera? Because if you’ve traveled the world, as I have, to see 63 complete Ring cycles and countless other operas besides, you want the world to know why you’re so passionate about opera and why it’s so important to keep this priceless art form thriving. Opera has enriched my life beyond measure, and my financial support of San Francisco Opera—including my legacy gift—will help enrich the lives of others in the coming years.
Posted: 03/12/2012 by
Verna Parino, Bel Canto member