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San Francisco Opera Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Opera

Mission: San francisco opera's mission is 1) to present opera performances of the highest international quality available to the widest possible audiences; 2) to perpetuate and enrich the operatic art form; 3) to be creative and innovative in all aspects of opera; and 4) to take a leadership role in training, arts education, and audience development. Current programs include community outreach, training and professional development of young artists and community education.

Programs: Production and artistic accomplishments the opera presented 68 main stage performances of nine operas of the highest quality in addition to numerous concerts, recitals, workshops, and community engagement events attracting more than 265,029 individuals during the 2017 season. Highlights of the 94th season included the world premiere of bright sheng's dream of the red chamber; a new production of verdi's aida; productions new to san francisco: giordano's andrea chenier, donizetti's don pasquale, and revivals of janacek's the makropulos case, puccini's madama butterfly, verdi's rigoletto, mozart's don giovanni, and puccini's la boheme. The company presented the second season of sf opera lab at the diane b. Wilsey center for opera; highlights included ted hearne's the source, poulenc's la voix humaine, a concert by the a cappella group room full of teeth, and a chamberworks concert with musicians from the sfo orchestra. Additionally, the company presented out of the shadows, a concert with the san francisco opera chorus, san francisco opera orchestra up close: the strings and two sold out pop-up events. Many of the world's most important singers, conductors, directors and creative artists were assembled for the season including singers: raymond aceto, julie adams, julius ahn, erik anstine, anna caterina antonacci, j'nai bridges, lawrence brownlee, arturo chacon-cruz, anthony clark evans, vincenzo costanzo, leah crocetto, ildebrando d'arcangelo, stanislas de barbeyrac, ellie dehn , george gagnidze, erika grimaldi, lianna haroutounian, audun iversen, brian jagde, pureum jo, quinn kelsey, yonghoon lee, nino machaidze, ana maria martinez, lucas meachem, nadja michael, maurizio muraro, edward nelson, pene pati, anna pirozzi, stephen powell, irene roberts, erwin schrott, ekaterina semenchuk, sarah shafer, yijie shi, heidi stober, michael sumuel, zanda svede, dale travis, erin wall, and charles workman. On the podium leading the san francisco opera orchestra and chorus were company music director nicola luisotti, resident conductor jordi bernacer, as well as yves abel, giuseppe finzi, george manahan, marc minkowski, carlo montanaro, and mikhail tatarnikov; ian robertson, director of the san francisco opera chorus, and fabrizio corona, associate chorus master. For the 43rd year, the opera held its opera at the park concert at golden gate park's sharon meadow featuring various stars of the fall season conducted by nicola luisotti and george manahan. San francisco opera returned to at&t park for the company's 11th opera at the ballpark live hd simulcast of don giovanni over the july 4th holiday weekend. Throughout the 2017 season, numerous educational performances, workshops/training programs for teachers and adults, and opera study clubs were held reaching thousands of individuals.

electronic media the objective of this initiative is to extend the company's audience through television and radio broadcasts, home video products, local simulcasts, cinema presentations, web videos, and in-house hd coverage. Classical radio station kdfc in san francisco broadcast the company's full season to an audience of approximately 25,000 listeners per title, with rebroadcasts via the wfmt radio network to a national and international audience of nearly 7 million for the entire series. Continuing a partnership started in 2010, kqed public television broadcast two encore titles attila and mefistofele which were previously released as part of the company's grand opera cinema series and presented in movie theaters and performing arts venues throughout the western united states. The eleventh live simulcast to at&t park mozart's don giovanni attracted a crowd of over 26,000 to opera at the ballpark, an event produced in partnership with the san francisco giants. Short format web videos were viewed on the company's youtube page over 261,000 times throughout the year, bringing the total views as of july 31, 2017 of these 700+ videos, to over one million-three hundred thousand. The company's pioneering operavision, offered at select performances, gives balcony audiences a better view of the stage with screens showing real-time hd video and subtitles.

opera center (training and professional development) the opera supports an internationally recognized training and professional development program, the adler fellowship program. The adler fellowship program is a performance-oriented residency of two years offering advanced young artists intensive individual training, coaching, professional seminars, and a wide range of performance opportunities. Adler fellows gain valuable professional experience by performing roles of increasing importance in the opera's main-stage season. In addition to performances on the main stage, selected adler fellows are featured in the schwabacher recital series. The adler season culminates in an adler fellows concert. Alumni from the adler program include: sopranos leah crocetto, nancy gustafson, patricia racette, nadine sierra, ruth ann swenson, elza van den heever, and deborah voigt; mezzo-sopranos zheng cao and dolora zajick; tenors brian jagde, sean panikkar, and noah stewart; countertenor brian asawa; baritones mark delavan and lucas meachem; and bass-baritones monte pederson and john relyea. The san francisco opera also supports the merola opera program for aspiring professionals, offering up-and-coming singers, coach-accompanists and stage directors the opportunity of intense study and performance during an eleven-week summer program. The opera's commitment to providing music education and enrichment opportunities to students, teachers, young audiences, and adults continued in a myriad of school and family programs and online resources. The san francisco opera and opera guild bring opera and music education to students and individuals throughout northern california.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

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12 Halle

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This world-renowned Opera has resided in the Civic Center's War Memorial Opera House since the building's completion in 1932. The opera presents about 70 performances of 10 to 12 operas. Long considered a major international company and the most important operatic organization in the US outside New York.