Backstage at San Francisco Opera > August 2011 > Opening Night by the Numbers
Opening Night by the Numbers
Our 2011-12 Season opens on Friday, September 9 with Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera Turandot. But, before we get to the opera, the people need to eat! This year we celebrate the start of our 89th season with Opera Ball 2011—A Night in the Forbidden City and Bravo! Club’s Opening Night Gala. A decadent evening of celebration, these galas truly kick off the philanthropic season in San Francisco. And let’s not forget that amidst all the revelry, these events raise a whole lot of money to fund San Francisco Opera and the Opera Guild’s fantastic educational programs throughout Bay Area schools.
But it’s not all glitz and glamour! We reached out to McCalls Catering and Chef Lucas Shoemaker to ask them just what goes into throwing an event this size. Check out the list below for some staggering numbers! [Below: Diners seated for dinner at Opera Ball 2010. Photo by Drew Altizer]
The menu for Opera Ball 2011 will include:
·Over 4000 pieces assorted Hors d' oeuvres
·250 Racks of Lamb
·300 lbs. of assorted California Vegetables
·50 lbs. California Goat Cheese
·300 lbs. Choice Center cut Filet Mignon from Golden Gate Meats
·40 gallons Fresh brewed Coffee
·1200 pieces assorted Dim Sum
·20 gal. Fresh Gelato made in Belmont
·80lbs. Local fresh picked assorted Berries
·3000 cookies and Fresh Truffles all made in San Francisco
And, let’s not forget the staff of 80 waiters, 15 bartenders, 25 chefs, and 15 stewards working on the Ball. 
It’s going to be quite an evening!
Posted: 8/26/2011 2:00:32 PM by McCalls Catering (Opera Ball Caterers)
Filed under: OpeningNight, Turandot


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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