John Bischoff, a Pre-Opera Talks Lecturer is a versatile performer frequently featured in opera and choral performances throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Before devoting himself to a career in music, John taught English in Guangzhou, China. Below John shares some of his memories on Nixon’s historic visit to China.




Posted: 06/14/2012 by John Bischoff


Those of you who have passed in front of the War Memorial Opera House in the past week have likely noticed a beautiful new addition to our Van Ness entrance. Richly colored in red, yellow, blue, black, and white, renowned artist/sculptor Jun Kaneko’s HEADS will be in place throughout the run of the summer opera season and will coincide with the premiere of Kaneko’s production of The Magic Flute.



Posted: 06/11/2012 by San Francisco Opera


When I accepted the role of Richard Nixon a few years ago, I knew it was going to be the most challenging assignment of my career. Taking on Nixon in China, the brilliant opera by John Adams, was a daunting task for so many reasons, but the obstacle that would challenge me most was that of becoming the iconic colossus, Richard Nixon.


Posted: 06/07/2012 by Brian Mulligan (Richard Nixon, Nixon in China)


Did you know we are presenting Nixon in China in the 40th anniversary year of the historic visit? In the Education Department we don't often find ourselves discussing an opera based on an actual event, especially a recent one! So I decided to do some studying...




Posted: 06/06/2012 by Dolores DeStefano (Education Program Associate)


Previously, we took you back to the year 1972. Now, we journey to 1987 (and no, we aren’t talking about the band who sang about “a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world”). The year 1987 had some big album releases, a supernova was observed and the first airing of The Simpsons as a cartoon short. It was also the year that John Adams and Alice Goodman collaborated on a world-premiere opera for Houston Grand Opera called, Nixon in China.

Posted: 06/04/2012 by San Francisco Opera


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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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