We sat down with San Francisco Opera Guild volunteer docent Timothy J. Muldoon to find out what it’s like leading tours of the War Memorial Opera House, how one keeps straight all the facts and figures and what are some of the most satisfying – and challenging – parts of the job.
How did you come to be an Opera Guild tour docent?
If you’re asking about my motivations for becoming a docent, there are three important ones:
The first time I walked into the Opera House I knew, without doubt, I was standing in the most beautiful building in San Francisco. After all these years, walking into the foyer and looking up at that magnificent vaulted ceiling still gives me chills. I wanted to be a part of that house, and leading tours gives me that opportunity in a very personal way.
Posted: 11/05/2013 by
Timothy J. Muldoon (Volunteer Docent)
It’s one of the favors many of us hate to ask for: “Hey there, would you mind picking me up at the airport? And at 11:30pm, since I’m coming in from Europe?”
This most needed and minimally glamorous task is one that Christine Miller and Gary Glaser have done on behalf of San Francisco Opera for more than 30 years. They have picked up countless artists from San Francisco International Airport over the years, and it is one of the many reasons why they are the recipients of the 2013 Spirit of the Opera Award, the highest honor the Opera bestows upon members of our community.
Posted: 02/21/2013 by
San Francisco Opera
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)
We at San Francisco Opera think of every person who comes to the Opera as part of our family. And our family, like any family, contains a wide variety of personalities and interests. But the undisputed ‘mother hen’ of our Opera family is Board Member Sylvia Lindsey, who this spring received the 2012 Spirit of the Opera Award, the highest honor the Opera Association confers upon non-artistic members of its community.
Posted: 05/14/2012 by
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)