We’re ready for your return!

Backstage with Matthew: We’re ready for your return!

Return of Live Opera

Dear Members of the San Francisco Opera Family,  

We are  close to the return of opera on the War Memorial stage! Two days ago, we had the dress rehearsal of Tosca, and it is thrilling to know that the next note of music we hear in the theater will be opening night of the 99th Season of San Francisco Opera on Saturday, August 21.  

I have been privileged to be in the theater for hours of rehearsals these last few weeks, and I can report that seeing live opera return to our house is one of the most life-affirming experiences I have ever had. It is as though we are hearing opera for the first time, and it is a unique chance for us all to connect anew with this art form we love so deeply.  

Opera sweeps us up in larger-than-life expressions of what it means to be human, and it does so collectively. Whether as artists or audience members, opera allows us to feel the shared bonds of human experience. That is why our return to the Opera House after 18 months of silence is particularly important. We need ways to process the emotions of this unique global event together, and the return of collective music making will allow us to find that shared catharsis.  

We have been building towards this moment for over a year, readying the Company to raise the gold curtain once again. But we are not simply returning where we left off. We are beginning a new chapter with San Francisco Opera’s new Music Director, Eun Sun Kim. I know that this Tosca will be just the first of many transformative musical experiences under her leadership.   

A vitally important part of our return has been our health and safety protocols, which are governing every element of our return. Thanks to the diligence of our team of consulting doctors from UCSF , our own staff, and the Department of Public Health, you can feel very safe returning to the Opera House. You can learn more about our safety protocols here. And, with the first new seats in 90 years, you will experience a new level of comfort as well!  

Eighteen months ago I shared with you an image of an empty theater with a single ghost light there, sentry-like, guarding the silent theater. Today I share with you an image of a theater fully back to life—the energy of live opera coursing through every nook and cranny of our beloved opera house.  

Thank you for all you have done to sustain hope in the vital importance of opera. The theater is ready for your return, and I am thrilled to welcome you home.  

With warmest wishes,  

Matthew Shilvock
Tad and Dianne Taube General Director

Backstage with Matthew: A Glorious Reawakening