“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)


It all started innocently enough. Nine year-old Natalie Beier, who always loved art and fashion, needed to do research on costume design for an upcoming school production of Anne of Green Gables. For her research, she came to the opera with her family, went to the library, and ultimately got a very special glimpse into San Francisco Opera's Costume Shop. And for the budding costume designer, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose: to be a supernumerary or "super" chick in this summer's production of The Magic Flute!

Posted: 06/20/2012 by Natalie Beier ("Super" Chick and Budding Costume Designer)


The bus stop. It's a place I often find myself spending time as an Adler Fellow. I currently live in the Inner Richmond area, which is a good forty minutes from the opera house, but you can't beat the rent or the myriad of multicultural cuisine just steps from your door. Every morning, I wait for the 38 bus with my fellow passengers in silence, and it never ceases to shock me when someone speaks to me. "How strange!" I think to myself, and wonder what it is about me or my demeanor that invites conversation. What gives people the courage to strike up a chat? Such is the subject matter of LOVE/HATE, a modern love story about two people who meet at...you guessed it...the bus stop. And just as life imitates art, art often imitates life.
Posted: 04/02/2012 by Marina Boudart Harris (Adler Fellow)


As a native New Yorker, if someone had told me 3 years ago that I'd be working with the San Francisco Opera today, I'd have thought they were crazy. But, here I am, in California, having graduated from Merola and finished with my 2nd year as an Adler, and a lot has changed. One could say it has actually jump-started my career in singing because the past 2 years as an Adler were the first that I've sustained my income solely from singing. I've been coached into many roles, been given the time to learn a technique that works for me, and worked with a lot of the people we call stars in the opera business.
Posted: 02/01/2012 by Brian Jagde (Adler Fellow)


When a colleague in production called to ask if I would be willing to be a supernumerary in Carmen my first thought other than – why not!? – was “I have to call Bill.” Bill Klaproth and his wife Roberta are founding members of the Opera’s Medallion Society, longtime subscribers, and two of the most lovely people I have had the privilege of getting to know. When Bill retired in 1990, he decided it was the perfect time to become more involved with the Company, and he applied become a Supernumerary. He’s never looked back. Since 1990, he has appeared in dozens of operas, and is currently supering in his fourth Turandot as one of the soldiers.
Posted: 11/28/2011 by Bonita Hagbom (Individual Giving Officer) and Bill Klaproth (Supernumerary)


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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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