Can you plan a San Francisco Opera season?

That was the question posed to participants in our Overture Workshop on March 11, "Behind the Curtain: Planning a San Francisco Opera Season." After a lively discussion with Kip Cranna, Director of Musical Administration and Jen Good, Associate Director of Production and Head of Staging, we passed the baton to the audience: it was their turn to decide which operas would comprise a season.
 

Posted: 04/02/2013 by Dolores DeStefano (Assistant Director of Education)


I began supering in 1985, with a brand new complete Ring cycle. Since then, I’ve done all the classics—Carmen, La Bohème, Rigoletto, etc. etc. —as well as my share of more obscure pieces. However, the one thing I’ve never done is a brand-new, hot-off-the-presses, world-premiere opera—until now!!! [Photo Left: Laurel Winzler in her English maid costume from The Secret Garden.]


Posted: 03/06/2013 by Laurel Winzler (Supernumerary, The Secret Garden)


On Saturday November 10, San Francisco Opera opened the doors of the War Memorial Opera house and welcomed thousands of Bay Area residents and visitors to our first ever Community Open House! Presented in celebration of our 90th Season and the opening of the opera house 80 years ago, this completely free event was geared towards opera lovers and newbies of all ages. Activities ranged from crafts, temporary tattoos and sing-alongs to musical performances, technical demonstrations and screenings of Carmen for Families--The Movie! One of the most popular highlights of the day was the costume photo booth where guests were able to try on actual San Francisco Opera costumes and pose for photos taken by a professional photographer. From the moment lines began to form around the block in the morning to the moment the last person walked out the door, we were overwhelmed by the response from each and every one of you. Seeing every nook and cranny of this iconic building filled with smiling, energetic faces was truly a sight to behold! We think Gaetano Merola and the founders of San Francisco Opera would be thrilled to see all of you enjoying the fruits of their labors all these years later. All photos by Kristen Loken.


Posted: 12/11/2012 by San Francisco Opera


Opera novices and aficionados alike had a ball at our Overture: Opera Workshops for Adults this past spring! In an intimate setting, experts like Director of Music Administration Kip Cranna and Tosca Director Jose Maria Condemi led the participants in interactive exercises that made the process of creating opera come to life.
Posted: 08/13/2012 by Dolores DeStefano (Assistant Director of Education)


“What do you mean when we spin Nixon on the banquet table?” My head cocked to one side the way my dog Earl’s does when I ask him to do something new.

For at least seven rehearsal meetings my “Supers” table partner and I had been practicing the choreographed banquet scene for Nixon in China. The table is at least five feet in diameter.

 

Posted: 06/21/2012 by Tess Uriza Holthe (Super, Nixon in China)


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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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