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.


The Great Opera Make-Up & Costume Party

Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1PM

Grab your favorite wig and tiara, or perhaps a witch’s hat or devil horns… it’s time for The Great Opera Make-Up and Costume Party – the most dazzling online Halloween celebration that could only be brought to you by Opera Aficionado.

Host, Cole Thomason-Redus, will be joined by SF Opera’s Head of Wig & Make-Up, Jeanna Parham, and San Francisco’s most favorite opera-star drag queen, Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. We’ll discuss the careers and characters created by our talented guests, see how the faces of opera are designed and brought to life, and provide a few holiday make-up tips to help you look your most fabulous on stage or on Zoom. 

We’ll cap-off this Sunday soiree by awarding an operatic goody-bag to the viewer boasting the best onscreen appearance!

Roots of American Opera: Masterworks from 1845-1945

Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 1PM

Lecturer: Pre-Opera Speaker Laura Prichard

French and Spanish Colonial America has a long history of opera, dating back to 18th-century performances of Rameau and Grétry, and Italian operas were first presented in New York in the 1830s by a close friend of Mozart. Opera in the American Wild West and the Louisiana Purchase began with traveling companies toured from Cuba and Mexico. But what about home-grown American opera? We will explore the earliest American opera houses and sample snippets of American opera.

Joplin’s Treemonisha

Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 1PM

Lecturers: Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna & San Francisco Opera Librarian Michael Bragg

Unique in its originality, Treemonisha holds a special place in the history of American opera and of African-American composers. Published in 1911 but incredibly not premiered until 60 years later, this infectious blend of popular idioms, ragtime, and classical traditions eventually won the Pulitzer Prize, but sadly long after composer Scott Joplin's death.  The joyful work celebrates African-American culture as it underscores the vital role of education in lifting people out of oppression.    

Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 1PM

“With Porgy and Bess,” said Leonard Bernstein, "you suddenly realize that Gershwin was a great, great theater composer . . .  Thrilling stuff, isn’t it?”  Famous for his Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin blended bluesy Tin Pan Alley tunefulness with the powerful music of operatic grandeur in his heartfelt portrait of a close-knit African-American community in Charleston’s Catfish Row. He pulls at our heartstrings with his tale of the disabled beggar Porgy and his love for the troubled but passionate Bess. The opera has been hailed by many as an American masterpiece, while others have criticized what they view as its stereotyping and cultural appropriation. 

Michael Bragg, who has performed in numerous Porgy productions and is now San Francisco Opera's Music Planning Associate and Librarian, shares his insights as he joins with the Company’s Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna for a contemporary assessment of this remarkable work’s status in the world of American opera.

The Sound of America: Barber, Bernstein & Copland

Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 1PM



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.