With the final performance of Madama Butterfly on July 9, let's take a moment and rediscover how artist and production designer Jun Kaneko took his first foray into opera design. Below is an excerpt from his 2011 book.

One sunny afternoon in early Spring 2003, I received an invitation to fly with Madama Butterfly. After a few months of consideration, I accepted and my journey designing scenery and costumes for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly began.
Posted: 07/02/2014 by Jun Kaneko (Production Designer, Madama Butterfly)


This year, San Francisco Opera came out... to celebrate LGBT pride by marching in the SF Pride Parade. Adding this to our Rainbow Series Subscription, LGBT focused receptions and events, and the decoration of the opera house with rainbow lights, San Francisco Opera is proud to support our LGBT friends, family, and community. The whole group, including Tosca, five of Scarpia's henchmen, and the many volunteers who marched in the parade, was made up of SFO staff members, supernumeraries, bravo club members, and donors – a collaboration representative of the whole San Francisco Opera family.
Below are some photos from this exciting event. 
Posted: 06/30/2014 by San Francisco Opera


When I first met Jun Kaneko, he was on a ladder with clay up to his elbows, working on a gigantic head. He joked that the piece might take two years to dry, and then he wouldn’t be able to say whether it would crack when it encountered the incredible heat of the kiln. I knew then that we would have a rich collaboration! As with one of Jun’s large clay pieces, we worked for over two years to create the world that was to be our Madama Butterfly. It was an incredibly rich creative and collaborative process born out of deep respect for Puccini’s masterpiece and its resonance within Jun Kaneko’s beautiful and profound aesthetic vision.

Posted: 06/27/2014 by Leslie Swackhamer (Director, Madame Butterfly)


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)


The Secret Garden premiere is just around the corner and to whet your appetite even more, we've decided to delve a little deeper into painter and video artist Naomie Kremer's designs for the show. Read on to see a selection of Naomie's storyboards showing plans for the set and projections as well as costume sketches by costume designer Kristi Johnson.

Additionally, Cal Performances met up with Naomie for a walk through her Bay Area art studio. The resulting video shows her process from concept to finished product. We think you'll be surprised what has gone into creating the backdrop for this exciting new opera!  
Posted: 02/08/2013 by Naomie Kremer (Visual Designer, The Secret Garden)


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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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