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)
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)
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
“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)