Opera Blog

July 26, 2016

Looking Back: My Favorite Operas of the Gockley Era

Kristen Jones has been with San Francisco Opera for nearly seven years. In today's blog post, she reflects on the productions of David Gockley's tenure that have stuck with her most. 

July 25, 2016

Reasons to See 2016–17

From vampire stories and Death Becomes Her to adaptations of classic epic novels, our Annual Giving Manager, Jennifer Jordan shares her thoughts on what's she is most excited about in our 2016–17 Season. 

July 8, 2016

Reasons to See 2016–17

Our librarian and self-proclaimed opera nerd Michael Bragg dishes immortality, sex, divas, and other reasons to see the shows he is most excited about in our 2016–17 Season.

July 6, 2016 Carmen

Carmen at AT&T Park: an operatic home run!

This past Saturday, over 28,000 opera and baseball fans gathered at AT&T Park to watch a free live simulcast of Carmen at Opera at the Ballpark. The San Francisco Opera social media accounts were lit up by happy fans celebrating anniversaries and birthdays, or fans who were just there to sit on the field, watch opera, and have a great time with family and friends.

June 30, 2016

Emerging Stars

Each year our stage is graced with superb operatic talent, but this season offers something completely new, thanks to the generosity of Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem: our first-ever Emerging Star of the Year Competition and Award. 

June 27, 2016 Carmen

5 ways Opera is like Baseball

An evening spent at the opera is a very different evening than one spent at the ballpark. But they may be more similar than you imagine...

June 21, 2016

A Man with a Vision

San Francisco Opera dramaturg Kip Cranna reflects on the legacy and career of General Director David Gockley.

June 20, 2016

Reasons to See 2016–17

Another installment of Reasons to See, where Opera employees to share their thoughts on the operas in our 2016–17 Season.

June 20, 2016 Don Carlo

The Long Opera Survival Kit

There is nothing worse than waiting two hours for your favorite jealous aria, dramatic death scene, or hunky shirtless baritione to come on stage, only to be distracted by your fatigue and exhaustion. How do the Opera Pros do it? It's all in the preparation...

June 16, 2016

Opera Props Get a Second Life in Shanghai Disneyland

Like many, we have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. But for us, the reason is much more personal...

June 8, 2016

Reasons to See 2016–17

Earlier this year we asked San Francisco Opera employees to share their thoughts on the operas in our 2016–17 Season. - See more at: http://sfopera.com/blog/reasonstosee/#sthash.b3t8er3S.dpuf
Earlier this year we asked San Francisco Opera employees to share their thoughts on the operas in our 2016–17 Season. - See more at: http://sfopera.com/blog/reasonstosee/#sthash.b3t8er3S.dpufWe asked San Francisco Opera employees to share their thoughts on the operas in our 2016–17 Season.

We asked San Francisco Opera employees to share their thoughts on the operas in our 2016–17 Season.

May 27, 2016 Carmen

Love, Lust and Murder: Live Tweeting Carmen

What happens when you gather twenty, social-savvy opera lovers for the final dress rehearsal of Bizet’s Carmen? They tweet about it!

May 4, 2016

12 Ways Opera is like Star Wars

Star Wars...is an opera?! It's THE ultimate space opera! In honor of Star Wars Day, San Francisco Opera presents 16 ways Opera is like Star Wars:

April 22, 2016

15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones

Incest. Dragons. Bastard sons. As we eagerly anticipate the premiere of season 6 on Sunday night, we at San Francisco Opera give you 15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones.

March 28, 2016 Svadba-Wedding

5 Favorite Wedding Moments in Opera

With rehearsals for SF Opera Lab's exuberant production of Svadba underway, we find ourselves thinking about weddings. Opera weddings, specifically!

March 18, 2016 Svadba-Wedding

Wedding Traditions from around the World

With Svadba coming up soon, we looked into different cultural wedding traditions from around the world.

March 15, 2016 Dream of the Red Chamber

Dream of the Red Chamber Family Tree

Also called the Chinese Romeo and Juliet, Dream of the Red Chamber, is an epic tale including over 400 main characters.

February 26, 2016

9 Awesome Oscar Winning Films That Feature Opera

With the Oscars fast approaching this weekend, we scoured the internet looking for Oscar winning films that use opera in their soundtracks.

January 14, 2016

Opening the Bryan Education Studio

In addition to the exciting programming being planned for the new Dianne & Tad Taube Atrium Theater, the opening of the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera in February 2016 will also mark a major expansion of San Francisco Opera’s Education programs.

January 13, 2016

Adler Profile: Anthony Reed

Anthony Reed is a second-year Adler Fellow who appeared in The Magic Flute, Die Meistersinger, and The Fall of the House of Usher this past fall. Read on to learn what he compares his experience as an Adler Fellow to, his original pop music, and more.

December 18, 2015

Embracing Change

San Francisco Opera is expanding into the historic Veterans Building adjacent to the War Memorial Opera House. On the top floor, construction of the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera is nearing completion, and everything is on track for the first performance in the brand-new Dianne & Tad Taube Atrium Theater in early March, 2016.

December 17, 2015 The Barber of Seville

Singing Together

Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack and her husband, tenor Alek Shrader, are enjoying enviable careers on the international operatic stage. They met while they were both participating in the Merola Opera program in 2007 and were married in 2011 after successful Adler Fellowships.  Now, after the birth of their baby daughter Evangelina in January, they are choosing to put their young family at the center of their professional decisions.

December 7, 2015 The Magic Flute

Our Newest Collaboration with Music App Developer Smule

Over the last two years, we have been working with San Francisco-based musical app developer Smule to bring songs from productions like The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville to the Smule Songbook, as well artist performances to the Smule app platform. Our latest collaboration gives users a taste of what it feels like to sing on stage at the War Memorial Opera House with the the “SF Opera” vocal effect in Sing! Karaoke on iOS.

December 3, 2015 The Magic Flute

A Three Year-Old's First Opera

For many, attending their first opera can occur as early as age seven or eight. However, with the right opera and some fun preparation, one patron learned that you can successfully bring a three year-old to the opera. Meet Nathaniel, one of San Francisco Opera's newest (and youngest) fans. 

5 Questions with Brandon Jovanovich

Tenor Brandon Jovanovich can currently be seen as knight Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. He first made his San Francisco Opera debut in 2007 as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, and has been thrilling San Francisco Opera audiences ever since. Read on to learn about where he first got his love for singing, his favorite things to do in San Francisco, and more!

November 18, 2015 The Magic Flute

Adler Profile: Efraín Solís

Mexican-American baritone Efraín Solís is a second-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow who is currently appearing as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He made his Company debut in 2014 as Prince Yamadori (Madame Butterfly) and has appeared in our recent productions of A Masked Ball, Cinderella and Tosca. Read on to learn more about his backstage rituals, how we knew he wanted to be a performer and more.

November 16, 2015 The Magic Flute

Adler Profile: Nian Wang

Mezzo-soprano Nian Wang is a first-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow who made her Company debut as Ascanius in our summer 2015 production of Berlioz' The Trojans. Learn more about this brilliant young mezzo-soprano.

October 26, 2015 The Magic Flute

Live Magic – Live Tweeting The Magic Flute Dress Rehearsal

Recently a group of social-savvy tweeters gathered at the Opera House to live tweet the final dress rehearsal of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

October 26, 2015 The Magic Flute

A Flying Start: Thoughts from a Child Spirit

Pietro Juvara is one of the three Spirits in our 2015 production of The Magic Flute. Read on to find out what was going on in this 11-year-old's mind during opening night of the production!

October 16, 2015 Lucia di Lammermoor

Tartan, Leather, and Plot Twists: Live Tweeting Lucia di Lammermoor

They came, they saw, they tweeted: last Sunday a group of social-savvy tweeters gathered at the Opera House to live tweet the final dress rehearsal of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. As usual, the tweets ranged from personal reactions to pop culture comparisons to advice for the characters.

5 Questions With Andrea Silvestrelli

Italian bass Andrea Silvestrelli can be seen in three of our productions this fall: Luisa MillerDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and The Barber of Seville. He has been performing at San Francisco Opera since 1998, and consequently knows the city well. Read on to learn about Andrea's love of motorcycles, his struggle to find shoes, and more!

October 12, 2015

Join Connor Rapier at the Opera!

My name is Connor and  I attend the San Fransisco Opera pretty regularly with my mother, Tiffany, a fellow opera member. Though I am young and only in middle school, I enjoy the performances immensely. "But, wait!" you might be thinking, "He's too young for the opera; this is abnormal!"

September 21, 2015 Sweeney Todd

5 Questions with Stephanie Blythe

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is back in San Francisco this September starring as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She kindly gave us some insight into her Mrs. Lovett, her favorite things to do when she's not on stage, and what she will be doing once Sweeney Todd ends...

September 20, 2015 Sweeney Todd

5 Questions with Elliot Madore

Canadian baritone Elliot Madore made his San Francisco Opera debut this month as Anthony in Sweeney Todd. We were curious to find out what his dream roles are, and what profession he would pursue if he weren't a singer.

September 10, 2015 Sweeney Todd

Blood, Gore and Pies: Live Tweeting Sweeney Todd

San Francisco Opera has hosted tweet seaters at selected final dress rehearsals since June 2012. The latest iteration saw a group of social-savvy tweeters attend the final dress of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd on September 9.

July 9, 2015

The Cats of San Francisco Opera

This week we are turning our attention to our feline friends. Here's to those furry four legged companions who make our lives that much more wonderful—#OperaKittehs!

July 6, 2015

Hitting it out of the Park: The Marriage of Figaro at the Ballpark

On July 3, opera fans converged on AT&T Park for the 9th simulcast from the War Memorial Opera House since 2006. Mozart’s classic, The Marriage of Figaro, was greeted with joy by over 30,000 spectators at the ballpark along with some 3,000 audience members in the House.

June 25, 2015

5 Questions with Phillippe Sly

Bass-baritone Philippe Sly finished his Adler fellowship this past December and returned to San Francisco this summer to play the title role The Marriage of Figaro.

June 17, 2015

Live Tweeting a Marriage... of Figaro

On June 11 a brave band gathered in a box to live tweet their views from the final dress rehearsal of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

June 15, 2015

Adler Profile: Edward Nelson

First year Adler Fellow Edward Nelson made his professional debut at San Francisco Opera this past weekend as Lieutenant John Buckley in the world premiere of Two Women.

June 1, 2015

The Top 6 Opera Tips

We asked and you answered! We reached out to our brilliant opera fans via social media for their top #OperaTips for people who have never attended live opera before. The top 6 suggestions may surprise you. Enjoy!

May 26, 2015

The Dogs of San Francisco Opera

Today we're barking up a totally different tree! This blog is dedicated to our outstanding staff members and the four-legged furry friends that inspire them—#OperaDoggies

April 29, 2015

Adler Profile: Zanda Svede

Second year Adler Fellow Zanda Švēde has graced the War Memorial stage countless times since she joined us last year. Originally from Latvia, Zanda has undoubtedly flourished during her time in San Francisco, and we can't wait to see her shine this Summer and Fall in our productions of La CiociaraLucia di Lammermoor, and The Magic Flute.

April 7, 2015

Adler Profile: Julie Adams

Julie Adams may be a first year Adler Fellow, but she is no stranger to San Francisco. Julie first came to SF for her undergraduate degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and never left, except to pursue further education at prestigious programs like Music Academy of the West and the International Vocal Arts Institute.

March 20, 2015 Don Carlo

Did you know? Verdi's Don Carlo

Today we dive into the history of Verdi’s brilliant work, Don Carlo.

March 13, 2015 Carmen

Carmen goes to the movies

Carmen routinely ranks among the world’s most performed operas, but perhaps no single work in the repertoire is as well known outside the opera house.

February 27, 2015 The Barber of Seville

Where have you heard the Barber of Seville before?

Gioachino Rossini's comic and musical masterpiece, The Barber of Seville has long been a favorite of opera aficionados and novices. 

February 26, 2015

Adler Profile: Chong Wang

Chong Wang joins us as an Adler Fellow from Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China. Mr. Wang studied at the Conservatory of the People’s Liberation Party in China, and has performed numerous roles at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts...

February 25, 2015

5 Questions with Daniel Knapp

We're excited to welcome Daniel Knapp, our new Director of Production, to the San Francisco Opera family. We had the opportunity to sit down and ask him a few questions about his career in opera and his new home in San Francisco! Enjoy!

Did you know...? Wagner's Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Did you know...? In writing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wagner turned to Johann Christoph Wagenseil’s 1697 historical study, Buch von der Meister-Singer holdseligen Kunst Anfang (Book of the Mastersingers’ Fair Art), for the basis of his libretto.

February 16, 2015

Adler Profile: Matthew Stump

Matthew Stump is a first year Adler Fellow from Goshen, Indiana. He holds a Bachelors degree from Luther College, and also studied at the University of North Texas before joining San Francisco Opera. Learn more about Matthew's hobbies, aspirations, and his insights regarding the opera industry, as well as some sincere advice for young singers.

February 13, 2015

What's in a (Opera) Kiss?

Over the last few years, we've asked some of our artists the same question: "Describe your first onstage Opera Kiss." Their responses were vastly different. Many of the stories were funny, some were sweet, and some couldn't even remember!

February 12, 2015 The Magic Flute

Jun Kaneko's Colorful World

The use of video projections to complement traditional scenery and backdrops is by now a familiar sight to most operagoers. Perhaps no production mounted at the War Memorial Opera House depends as heavily on this technology as Jun Kaneko’s whimsical interpretation of The Magic Flute, returning to our stage this fall.

February 2, 2015 Lucia di Lammermoor

The Lucias of San Francisco Opera

Gaetano Donizetti’s beloved bel canto opera Lucia di Lammermoor returns to the War Memorial Opera House stage this October after seven years.  The new production will be directed by Michael Cavanagh and stars soprano Nadine Sierra as Lucia and Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as Edgardo.  

January 28, 2015 Sweeney Todd

All The Buzz around Sweeney Todd and the 2015–16 Season

The news is out and people are thrilled! Stephen Sondheim’s macabre musical thriller Sweeney Todd; The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is coming to San Francisco Opera.

January 22, 2015 Luisa Miller

"Quando le sere al placido" from Luisa Miller

Our dear friend Placido Domingo recently celebrated his 74th birthday. In celebration of his birthday, we thought we’d share this special video of the brilliant tenor performing one of his signature arias, “Quando le sere al placido.”

June 17, 2014

Earl & Alexis Return to SFO: Somthin' That the Angels Done Plan

It was cold in New York in February, 2008 when I flew into LaGuardia airport, but not too cold...

January 28, 2014

Red Carpet-Worthy Looks from 10 San Francisco Opera Productions

The Golden Globes, Screen Actor's Guild and of course the Grammy Awards are all behind us, and yet we've still got the Oscars to look forward to this winter!

November 23, 2013

Live Tweeting the #WilyBarber

On Friday night, during the dress rehearsal for the San Francisco Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville, sixteen preselected audience members broke every cardinal rule of operagoing by pulling out their phones, signing into Twitter, and tweeting non-stop for all three hours of the rehearsal.

View More

Resources for the media including press releases, press kits and more.

Carmen

May 27–July 3, 2015

Don Carlo

June 12–29, 2015

Jenůfa

June 14–July 1, 2015