Virtual Event Series

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.

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


Sundays from 1:00 - 2:15 pm (PDT)


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.


$5 Student/Educator

$20 Standard Rate*

$40 Enable a Student/Educator to Attend**

*Buy 2 for a 10% discount, 3 for a 15% discount, and 4 for a 20% discount

**this is not a tax-deductible contribution


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.

Donors giving $200+ qualify for at least one complimentary Opera Aficionado event while space is available.  Please call (415) 621-4403 to reserve your spot. Visit sfopera.com/benefits to review benefits for your giving level.

Putting It Together: How to Build a Season of Opera

Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 1PM

As we excitedly pour through our brochures for the 2021–22 Season of opera, one might ask themselves, “How does one plan a season of opera?” The members of this company who are responsible for doing just that will join us for a fascinating look inside the inner workings of season planning at San Francisco Opera.

Return to the Opera House

Così fan tutte

Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 1PM

with Aria Umezawa, Stage Director & Former Adler Fellow

Former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Aria Umezawa returns to Opera Aficionado for a woman’s perspective on this Mozart masterpiece. As our Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy continues, we’ll take a look at the gender roles and stereotypes that pervade this classical favorite and discuss how it stands and survives in the contemporary world of cancel culture.


Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 1PM

with Michael Bragg, Music Planning Associate & Opera Librarian

Ludwig van Beethoven is known for producing some of the most beloved, emotional, and masterful works in classical music. His funeral in 1827 brought over 10,000 people onto the streets of Vienna to cheer his name. Among his vast and impressive output of musical compositions lies just one opera – Fidelio. Music Planning Associate Michael Bragg returns to Opera Aficionado for a special look at our new production by Matthew Ozawa, part of a world-wide celebration (one year late) of the composer’s 250th birthday.

The Young Verdi

Sunday, October 3, 2021 at 1PM

with Kip Cranna, Dramaturg Emeritus

Verdi was not a child prodigy. He was 28 by the time of his initial big success. But much glory and many masterpieces were to follow. San Francisco Opera's Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna will trace the young composer's early development, outlining the forces that shaped him and the family tragedies he overcame. Audio and video examples will introduce us to his first published composition, his first opera, his first comedy (also his first flop!), and his first big hit. 

Verdi's Birthday Party: Our Favorite Moments of Verdi

Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 1PM

with Melissa Givens, Professor & Soprano

What are your favorite moments of Verdi? Join us on the anniversary of the composer’s birth for a grand celebration of his most praiseworthy measures of composition. Kip and Cole, along with returning guest Melissa Givens, will discuss and share the music of Verdi they love best. 


Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 1PM

with Robert Hartwell

Rigoletto, perhaps Verdi’s first mature masterpiece, is among the most widely performed of all operas. Based on a scandalous play by Victor Hugo, Verdi has infused this elemental story of betrayal and revenge with some of his greatest music. But Rigoletto is more than a compelling story with a profusion of hit tunes: under its veneer of accessibility is a sophisticated and even revolutionary work. Frequent guest speaker Robert Hartwell joins us once more to explore this beloved and multi-layered masterpiece.

Verdi and the Human Voice

Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 1PM

with Alexandra Amati, Professor of Music

The music of Giuseppe Verdi displays a passionate love for the human voice. With more than fifty works to his name, only a handful of them lack this most natural of instruments. From his selection of voice types for specific characters, to the way in which his melodic writing morphs as the characters evolve, the human voice serves as his most important tool in dramatic storytelling. Alexandra Amati returns to Opera Aficionado to explore how the music of Verdi gives us all something to sing about. 



Opera Aficionado is generously sponsored, in part, by Wells Fargo.  



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.