It is not surprising that many people assume Herman Melville wrote his classic novel Moby-Dick on Nantucket, a small island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is, after all, the setting for much of the book, home port to the Pequod and home to many of the story’s most central characters. But in reality, Melville never set foot on the island before Moby-Dick was published in 1851. He wrote the book at a secluded farm in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, over 100 miles from the nearest large body of water.

An excerpt from the Berkshire Historical Society explains:

Posted: 10/30/2012 by The Berkshire Historical Society


Arturo Chacón-Cruz is currently with us singing The Duke of Mantua in one of our two casts of Verdi's Rigoletto. While this is his mainstage debut at San Francisco Opera, the Mexican tenor is no stranger to our stage--he was a Merola Opera Program participant in 2002! Of his debut on September 8, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "[Chacón-Cruz] stepped into the role for a company debut of enormous grace, charisma and stamina. Here, clearly, is a singer of major promise." The young tenor sat down to answer our questions about singing the Duke, his love of San Francisco and making opera accessible to the public.

Posted: 09/14/2012 by Arturo Chacon-Cruz


San Francisco Opera will present Verdi’s Attila this June starring superstar bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. Co-produced with Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and directed by Gabriele Lavia, the new production is unusual and distinctive because it is set in three different periods of Italy’s history: ancient Rome circa 450 AD; the Viennese occupation of the early 1800’s; and the present day. Our Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducted the production in Milan and will conduct it here in June. He has this to say about the production:

Posted: 05/07/2012 by Nicola Luisotti (Music Director)


As I teach libretto writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, I’ve been asked what lessons I would draw for my own students from "Heart of a Soldier".
 
Since my approach to writing has always been structural, I chose three moments in the first act as formal examples of how to adapt and make dramatic a work of journalism, as well as the very structure of the act and the reaction to the opera as a whole.
Posted: 09/30/2011 by Donna Di Novelli (Librettist, Heart of a Soldier)


Besides reading and re-reading the book Heart of a Soldier by James B. Stewart, I took inspiration from a variety of other sources. Here are just some of the additional works that lent their weight as I wrote the libretto.

 

 

 

Posted: 09/12/2011 by Donna Di Novelli (Librettist, Heart of a Soldier)


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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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