Click the title to see the specifics for each program.
Prior to every opera performance listen to charismatic music scholars present a 25-minute overview of the opera, with insights on the music, composer and historical background. Opera Talks, provided by San Francisco Opera, are free to ticketholders and take place in the main theater in the Orchestra section 55 minutes prior to curtain. Enhance your experience by attending Opera Talks, whether you're a newcomer, opera aficionado or anywhere in between.
Renowned artists and personalities from the world of opera share their insights and experiences during informal panel discussions. Insights, presented by the San Francisco Opera Guild, are held on specific dates from 6 pm to 7 pm in the Herbst Theatre.
Learn more about each opera's composer and librettist and historical and musical context at one of Guild's special preview lectures. These 90-minute sessions feature noted musicologists, composers, librettists, and singers and are sponsored by the Bay Area's Opera Guild Chapters (East Bay, Marin, Peninsula, San Francisco and Sonoma) and the San Jose Opera Guild. Each session is illustrated by audio and visual examples and includes a question-and-answer and discussion period.
San Francisco Opera's Education Department conducts interactive workshops about different aspects of opera throughout the year. Upcoming workshops include a four-session series about how operas are created. You can also sign up for our E-Opera Newsletter to receive announcements about future workshops.
Opera Appreciation Courses are offered through the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's Adult Extension Division. Taught by San Francisco Opera's Director of Music Administration, Clifford (Kip) Cranna, these classes will give you deeper insight into the history of opera.
Trained Guild volunteer docents lead groups through the War Memorial Opera House describing its architecture, construction, recent renovations, colorful history, and performance highlights. Your tour will take you through the boxes, auditorium and backstage areas, Wig and Makeup department and other areas as available.