You might know actress Harriet Harris from her recurring roles on hit TV shows like Frasier, Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal, Nurse Betty, and more. Or from her many feature films, or her Tony Award-winning turn on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie. But one place that Harris has yet to make her debut is on the San Francisco Opera stage, which she will do in this summer's grand production of Show Boat. In today's blog post, we ask Harris six questions about her experience here at San Francisco Opera.

Posted: 06/03/2014 by Harriet Harris (Parthy Anne Hawks, Show Boat)

John Bolton is one of a number of "triple threats" in the cast of Show Boat. A staple on Broadway stages, Bolton has brought characters as diverse as King Arthur in Spamalot, the Evil Critic in Curtains, and The Old Man (the dad) in A Christmas Story: The Musical to Broadway audiences. But the Great White Way is not the only place you may have seen John Bolton. No matter what your taste in television, chances are you've been addicted to at least one of the shows he's been on--whether it's HBO's Boardwalk Empire where he portrays Carl Switzer, the CW's Gossip Girl where he spent four seasons as Bruce Caplan, or The Good Wife, Law and Order or even All My Children and As the World Turns. But this month Bolton is here in San Francisco starring as comedian, singer, dancer and all around good guy Frank Schultz in Show Boat. We can assure you that what he's bringing to this production is unlike anything the War Memorial Opera House stage has seen. And we mean that in a good way!
Posted: 05/31/2014 by John Bolton (Frank, Show Boat)

“Ol' Man River” is arguably the most recognizable tune in all of Show Boat. What’s it like to interpret a song that the entire audience likely knows and has heard their entire life?
Well, honestly, as a Bass it's quite rare to have the "hit tune" as a responsibility.  With that responsibility comes a tremendous amount of pressure to deliver the goods. I liken it to the pressure of singing "Nessun Dorma" in Turandot or "Celeste Aida" in Aida, "Pace Pace mio Dio" from Forza or "Der Holle Rache" from Die Zauberflote. People know it's coming and everyone has an ear for their FAVORITE interpretation of the piece. I can't compete with those preferences (Robeson, Warfield etc.), so I just try to be honest and in the moment. Certain nights may be different vocally because things change according to how one is feeling physically etc. But an honest offering, full of emotion and connection to the music and lyrics is the best one can give. Astute  audiences pick up on that, and they are usually quite appreciative. 
Posted: 05/27/2014 by Morris Robinson (Joe, Show Boat)

San Francisco Opera’s spectacular Show Boat opens June 1 and we could not be more excited! With music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Show Boat is the original great American musical. Based on the novel by the same name by Edna Ferber, the musical is a sweeping tale of the closeness of family, the destructive power of hate, and the incredible strength of love to overcome it. Centered on a traveling showboat full of colorful characters and songful tunes, this is a show you can only properly appreciate live. Below, we share some of the deep history associated with the musical, as well as some of our favorite tidbits about the San Francisco Opera production. If you haven’t already, purchase your tickets now online to this monumental show – they’re going fast! – and get ready to come aboard the Cotton Blossom this summer!

Posted: 05/21/2014 by San Francisco Opera

On Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 8 p.m., we're heading back to San Francisco's stunning AT&T ballpark for a free live simulcast of Verdi’s La Traviata. On a recent sunny afternoon, La Traviata cast member Zanda Švēde and San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford met at the ballpark for a fun promotional photo shoot. The two donned their respective attire—Zanda in her Flora costume and Brandon in his Giants uniform—and posed for cameras on the field and in the Giants’ dugout at AT&T Park. The photos highlight the lasting partnership of two iconic San Francisco institutions—the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco Opera. We just couldn't be happier to be joining together again to bring this unique free community event to the Bay Area. We've been able to bring world class opera to nearly 197,000 people through our free live simulcasts these last nine years. Let's take a look back at how it all started, shall we?
Posted: 05/08/2014 by San Francisco Opera


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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