In March the San Francisco Opera Scene Shop in Dogpatch welcomed 88 Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade students from Rooftop Alternative School along with their teachers, and parent chaperones for a much anticipated field trip as part of the Education Department’s ARIA Network program. What awaited us was the most amazing, exciting and inspiring experience ever! From the moment the scene shop crew ushered the students into the shop’s cavernous space, and handed them fluorescent pink, blue, green and yellow goggles, they knew they were in for something special. No ordinary field trip, this!
Posted: 05/10/2012 by
Mary Ann Cruz (Kindergarten teacher)
I worked in the rehearsal department for three seasons and after leaving that position, I was prepared to do just about anything. I could spit out any one of a hundred phone numbers faster than you could pull out your iPhone. People marvel at that, and I marvel that they marvel. It was just second nature to me and anyone else who worked here. You have to be ready to do anything at a moment’s notice. During the 1989 earthquake, one of my co-workers was at the ER with a singer who had injured her ankle during a performance while the rest of us phoned all remaining artists to be certain everyone was OK. Thankfully, all were fine, and one of our mezzos even invited all of the other artists to her apartment for a chicken dinner. The very next morning we had set up camp at the Masonic Auditorium where we proceeded to perform a week’s worth of opera there in concert version.
Posted: 05/04/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator & Assistant to the Musical Director)
Most people don’t spend their lives at the opera, although depending on the composer and the evening in question, it might seem that way. But I can say that I have been at the opera, actually in this building, 45 of my 49 years. No, I am not a phantom living in some part of the sub-basement near the stream that runs under the theatre. (Yes, there’s a stream and no, there are no people down there floating around in small boats wearing opulent costumes--at least not that we know of.)
Posted: 04/30/2012 by
Valentina Simi (Artist Services Coordinator and Assistant to the Music Director)
In Ms. Karen Chu's 5th grade class at West Portal Elementary, we struck story-writing gold. With this group, we had just thirteen weeks to write, compose, design, rehearse and perform a mini-opera. Needless to say, we moved through it all at lightning speed. Immediately after choosing a location (Atlantis) and listing possible characters (King Neptune, the Kraken, mermaid archers, and an evil sorcerer to name a few), the class broke up into four groups, with one story-sifting worksheet assigned to each.
Posted: 04/26/2012 by
Erin Bregman (San Francisco Opera Teaching Artist)
While Hollywood geared up for the Oscars this past weekend, we in the Education Department prepared for our own celebration of film: free screenings of Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West for Families
at the Herbst Theatre! The movie was a shortened, one-hour version of the production that premiered at War Memorial Opera House in June 2010.
Posted: 02/28/2012 by
Dolores DeStefano (Education Program Associate)