Virtual Event Series

Grab your Sunday afternoon tea and join our weekly meetup.

Opera Aficionado is an exciting, new suite of programs designed for patrons who are passionate about opera. Aficionado provides an opportunity to learn more, dive deeper, and get an inside look at the world of opera.

As part of Opera Aficionado, our Interactive Lectures Series gives opera-goers around the world a front-row seat to scholarly talks, allowing attendees to dialogue with fellow opera lovers, experts, and special guests. Each month will be focused on a concept or theme relevant to all of us.

May 2020: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

June 2020: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride and representation in opera

July 2020: Emotions in Opera

August 2020: Social Themes in Opera, Past and Present

September 2020: Celebrating San Francisco Opera

October 2020: Halloween!

November 2020: Opera in America

December 2020: Opera for the Holidays

Due to the interactive nature of this event, attendance is limited.


Every Sunday from 1:00 - 2:15 pm (PDT)

Starting Sunday, May 10, 2020


Zoom (links are emailed one hour prior to each event)

By participating in this event, you authorize San Francisco Opera to photograph, take video footage, and/or make electronic sound recordings of you. You permit the use of any such photographic or electronic reproductions for any purpose, including but not limited to educational and public media, and understand that you may be identifiable from such electronic reproduction.


$20 for each Interactive Lecture. 

A limited number of discounted tickets are available for individuals in need. Email [email protected] or call (415) 565-3274 if you have any questions.


Gaetano Merola & the Early Roots of the San Francisco Opera

Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1PM

Speaker: Pre-Opera Speaker Laura Prichard

Ever wonder how a world-class opera company evolved in post-earthquake San Francisco? Join us to explore the seedy world of Gold Rush opera troupes and hear rare recordings of Italian divas who toured the American West. We will focus on the remarkable innovations of conductor Gaetano Merola, who came from Naples, Italy (with a stop at the Met) to become SF Opera’s founding Director from 1923-1953.

Selling Your Soul at the Opera: The Faust Myth On Stage and In Song

Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1PM

Speaker: Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna

A Deal with the Devil. What could be spookier!  Countless works of theater and opera not to mention cinema are steeped in the legend of Faust. He sold his soul, but for what? Either youth, wealth, power, glory, or knowledge, depending on who tells the story. Which also determines whether he goes to Heaven or Hell at the end. San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna leads this interactive video exploration of the rich and potent world of Faustian dramas. (Note: The Devil is not always a "He.")

Opera Villains

Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 1PM

Speaker: Pre-Opera Speaker Robert Hartwell

Halloween means donning exotic costumes while reveling in the ghoulish, and nothing does those things better than opera.  Indeed, who needs Freddy Krueger when opera is teeming with murder, madness, mayhem, and making out with severed heads?  Please join such miscreants as the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), and Katerina Izmailova (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District) in the commission of their heinous deeds, all to the accompaniment of fabulous music. 



Opera & the Magical Female Voice

Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 11AM

Speaker: Pre-Opera Speaker Laura Prichard

Opera abounds with fantastic curses and spells. We will sit with the sorceress Armide (a favorite of composers from Handel and Salieri to Rossini and Dvorak), the witches of Henry Purcell and Verdi, and Madame Flora from Menotti’s film noir opera The Medium. Verdi and Wagner competed throughout their careers, and curses are some of their most dramatic music. Who is your favorite? We will hear from Azucena, Ulrica, and the Norns (and suggestions are welcome!).



Want to know more about that specific production you love? Want to hear from your favorite artist? Let us know what topics and contents you want to see as part of the Opera Aficionado program.