Dr. Clifford (Kip) Cranna is Director of Musical Administration at the San Francisco Opera, where he has been a member of the administrative staff since 1979. He received his undergraduate degree in choral conducting at the University of North Dakota, and his Ph.D. degree in musicology at Stanford University.
He has served as vocal adjudicator for numerous organizations including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, The Henry Holt Memorial Auditions, and the New National Theater of Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Cranna was associated for over 25 years with the Carmel Bach Festival as program editor, lecturer, and program advisor. He has conducted a number of choral groups in the San Francisco Bay area, and has been active as a director of church music programs. He has served as a grant-award panelist for the Santa Clara County Arts Council, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Chanticleer, a professional vocal ensemble. He is on the Artistic Advisory Board of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.
He is a frequent guest lecturer throughout Northern California in the field of music appreciation, and has written numerous articles on opera. In his capacity as an opera administrator, Dr. Cranna manages commissions for new operas (such as The Dangerous Liaisons, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dead Man Walking, Doctor Atomic, and Appomattox), plans schedules for future seasons, and acts as editor-in-chief of the company's "supertitles." He often serves as a speaker or moderator for programs presented by the San Francisco Opera and the Opera Center, and is a regular host of the Opera Insights presented by the Opera Guild. He teaches courses on opera at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has taught on-line courses for Opera America. He serves as radio interview host for the San Francisco Opera broadcasts, and has worked as a Study Leader for Smithsonian Study Tours. He was named 2006 "Man of the Year" by Il Cenacolo, a San Francisco men’s Italian cultural organization. In 2008 he received the San Francisco Opera Medal, the company’s highest honor.