Backstage at San Francisco Opera > October 2011 > Start Spreading the News (about the Rainbow Series)
Start Spreading the News (about the Rainbow Series)
Have you ever driven by the Opera House in the evening and wondered why its balcony is resplendent in rainbow hues and settled by gay merrymakers? It is the wine-and-cheese reception for Rainbow Series subscribers!

[Hint: The next Rainbow Series event happens to be November 2! For more information about Rainbow Series, visit]

Randy and I have been Rainbow Series subscriber for a couple of years now and just love it.  Randy is a classical music buff and I, an aficionado of vocal jazz.  We are devoted fans of Opera in the Park and had been going to the opera once or twice a year.  Then we were introduced to SF Opera's Rainbow Series at a joint party with the Museum of Performance & Design celebrating Noel Coward.  The Rainbow Series is a half subscription to the SF Opera directed to opera fans in the LGBT community.  This year, the Series includes the touching world premiere of Heart of a Soldier, Lucrezia Borgia (starring my favorite opera diva, Renee Fleming), a brand new production of Don Giovanni, John Adam's American classic Nixon in China and Verdi's Attila.
Now who doesn't like a glass of wine (or a non-alcoholic beverage) after a long day at work to relax before the opera? There is a complimentary wine and cheese reception at the balcony of the Opera House before each Rainbow Series performance. How very civilized! Going to the opera alone and longing for some company with similar persuasions? Andy Maguire, the charming director of donor stewardship, always has some ice-breaking games to help one mingle at these pre-opera receptions. Indeed, we have met some new friends there and even won some prizes.
Recently, the New York Times suggested if opera is only for the wealthy?  No, Randy and I consider ourselves educated and cultured, but we are so part of the 99%.  This is why we love that all Rainbow Series performances have OperaVision, HD video projection screens available at the balcony level.  We enjoyed seeing details of the close-ups and the grand scope on stage all at the same time; we even stopped bringing our opera glasses!

We think opera is a total experience -- Opera is spectacular staging, lavish costumes, large-scale orchestra and excellent voices.  We dress-up to see and be seen (at least for Ben) and we enjoy meeting other opera lovers.
Randy and I are very excited about the Rainbow Series concept and became subscribers last year. This year, we got the Rainbow Series and even purchased a discounted upgrade for the entire season.  However, I think the Rainbow Series is still much a hidden treasure for the LGBT community. So, we have decided to start spreading the news, and because the more the merrier--or gayer.  See you at the next Rainbow Series party! [Above: Randy enjoys the beautiful view of City Hall at a recent Rainbow reception.]
Posted: 10/31/2011 2:24:39 PM by Ben Shum and Randy Alfred (Rainbow Series Subscribers)


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