With the arrival of the newest member of the British royal family, we here at San Francisco Opera decided to take a look at the members of nobility seen throughout opera to see what kind of lessons they could impart to the world's newest prince. Compiled here are a selection of lessons from twelve of our favorite operas that we think will serve the future king well.

Young prince, remember...
Posted: 07/23/2013 by San Francisco Opera


Beginning November 16, Mark Delavan will grace the War Memorial Opera House stage as Scarpia in Tosca. Before his arrival to San Francisco, Mr. Delavan took the time to answer some questions for us. What are his pre-performance rituals? What craft (besides singing, of course) does he have a passion and talent for? Read on to find out!



Posted: 11/12/2012 by Mark Delavan (Scarpia, Tosca)


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


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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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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