With the final performance of Madama Butterfly on July 9, let's take a moment and rediscover how artist and production designer Jun Kaneko took his first foray into opera design. Below is an excerpt from his 2011 book.

One sunny afternoon in early Spring 2003, I received an invitation to fly with Madama Butterfly. After a few months of consideration, I accepted and my journey designing scenery and costumes for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly began.
Posted: 07/02/2014 by Jun Kaneko (Production Designer, Madama Butterfly)


When I first met Jun Kaneko, he was on a ladder with clay up to his elbows, working on a gigantic head. He joked that the piece might take two years to dry, and then he wouldn’t be able to say whether it would crack when it encountered the incredible heat of the kiln. I knew then that we would have a rich collaboration! As with one of Jun’s large clay pieces, we worked for over two years to create the world that was to be our Madama Butterfly. It was an incredibly rich creative and collaborative process born out of deep respect for Puccini’s masterpiece and its resonance within Jun Kaneko’s beautiful and profound aesthetic vision.

Posted: 06/27/2014 by Leslie Swackhamer (Director, Madame Butterfly)


On Saturday, November 9, we hosted our 2nd free Community Open House, featuring fun events and activities for all ages. It's such a joy to open the doors of the beautiful War Memorial Opera House to droves of people who may have never even been inside before. The 2013 Open House included many diverse presentations and opportunities to connect with opera in new ways, including onstage musical demonstrations; sing-alongs with the San Francisco Opera Chorus and San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows; stage combat workshops; costume, wig and makeup demonstrations; a costume photo booth; an opportunity to meet San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley; and family activities throughout the opera house lobbies including a scavenger hunt, prop-making, costume crafts, and more, with workshops designed for both adults and families. 
Posted: 11/18/2013 by San Francisco Opera


If you were to browse through a high school student's iTunes playlist, you'd be more likely to find pop hits by artists such as One Direction or Rihanna than you would arias from classic operas. But what happens when you tear students away from YouTube and Snapchat for a day to see Puccini's Tosca at the War Memorial Opera House? Find out from high school student, Kelsey Page as she describes her experience attending the Madeline H. Russell High School Day at the Opera last November. Then, check out which San Francisco Opera final dress rehearsals are open to students during this upcoming fall season!
Posted: 08/26/2013 by Kelsey Page (Atherton's Sacred Heart Prep student)


Over the next few months, we'll be profiling each of our current Adler Fellows here at "Backstage at San Francisco Opera."  If you have some questions you'd like to ask them, send us a message via email at socialmedia@sfopera.com or via Facebook or Twitter.  Our first Adler Profile is mezzo-soprano Laura Krumm who you can catch this month starring in the world-premiere of Nolan Gasser's The Secret Garden as Martha Sowerby.
Posted: 02/27/2013 by San Francisco Opera


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Introduction

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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