On Friday, May 17 the San Francisco Opera Orchestra along with Music Director Nicola Luisotti will cross the twinkling Bay Bridge for a rare concert at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The program includes music by Puccini and Brahams, and a Piano Concerto by Italian composer Nino Rota, performed by Giuseppe Albanese.
Posted: 04/17/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Calendar 2013 will be a record year in San Francisco Opera history, with three—count’em—THREE world premieres of brand new operas happening in a seven month period! Our new work for families, The Secret Garden, opens in March at Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley, followed smartly by our two new main-stage works, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in June and Dolores Claiborne in September. My job as Director of Music Administration carries with it the privilege (and sometimes the headache) of nudging these commission projects along from initial conception to opening night. So far I’ve been involved with 14 new commissions (not counting the several that never quite made it all the way), and each project has had its unique challenges. 
Posted: 01/22/2013 by Kip Cranna, Director of Music Administration


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)


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)


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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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