Backstage at San Francisco Opera > July 2012 > Why I Joined Orpheus
Why I Joined Orpheus
Sometimes I feel like I’m living a virtual existence. I pay for things with money I don’t see; I download albums in seconds - never touching or holding them - and heaven knows I haven’t read a liner note in years. While I love the ease and convenience of our digital age, sometimes I find myself missing the communal experience that came from going somewhere and doing something as simple as buying an album at a record store full of other like-minded people.

Then I joined Orpheus at San Francisco Opera. Yes, I work for San Francisco Opera, but like the Hair Club for Men, “I’m not just an employee, I’m also a client.” I joined because I wanted to be a part of a real, live community of people who are interested in this art form and who want to learn more; people who care about investing in this great Company and who want to lead the way for the next generation of opera lovers.

There are some great perks to being a member of Orpheus: private events with artistic staff, backstage tours, invitations to three final dress rehearsals per season, VIP access at community events like Opera at the Ballpark, and whole lot more. But perhaps more importantly, as a member of Orpheus you get to be a part of a communal opera-loving experience, surrounded by the magic of art being performed live. [Above: Orpheus's annual 1st Base Dugout Party at Opera at the Ballpark.]

And did I mention the matching gift you receive as a member of Orpheus? The Orpheus matching fund -- which is generously sponsored by founders Ben and Marina Nelson, as well as Chandra Rigg and the Koret Foundation – provides a matching gift for your contribution, providing up to a 5:1 match to bring you up to the Medallion Society Founder level! Gifts or pledges (which can be made in up to 12 payments per year) which are received by July 31, 2012 will be matched as follows:

Gifts of $500 from donors ages 18-24: 5:1 match
Gifts of $600 from donors ages 25-29: 4:1 match
Gifts of $1,000 from donors ages 30-34: 3:1 match
Gifts of $1,500 from donors ages 35-40: 2:1 match

[Left: Orpheus members go backstage to the Opera's Wig and Makeup department prior to a November 2011 performance of Xerxes.]

So if you are feeling like you are living an increasingly virtual existence, combat it by joining Orpheus at San Francisco Opera today. You can make a gift online, by calling 415-551-6239, or emailing The transcendent experience of live opera and a dynamic community of young opera lovers await you.


Posted: 7/19/2012 2:16:47 PM by Kristen Jones (Senior Leadership Gifts Officer)
Filed under: donor, Orpheus


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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