A report on San Francisco Opera

San Francisco War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco Opera programs, 1934–36
Kurt Herbert Adler (1966)

American opera company founded in 1923 by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953) based in San Francisco, California.

- San Francisco Opera
San Francisco War Memorial Opera House

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Domingo in June 2019

Plácido Domingo

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Spanish opera singer, conductor and arts administrator.

Spanish opera singer, conductor and arts administrator.

Domingo in June 2019
Seventeen-year-old Plácido Domingo as the tenor Rafael the bullfighter in El gato montés with Rosa Maria Montes (Mexico City, 1958)
Domingo made his debut in Verdi's Otello at Bellas Artes in the comprimario rôle of Cassio in 1962
Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where Domingo began his operatic career
Domingo in Argentina (1979)
Backstage at the Washington National Opera after the opening night of Idomeneo on 3 November 2002
Domingo with American opera singer Stacey Robinson in 1994
Domingo singing at a concert at the Obelisco in Buenos Aires in 2011
Domingo as the president of Europa Nostra at the organization's awards ceremony in 2014
Domingo (center right) as the baritone in Il trovatore at the 2014 Salzburg Festival with Francesco Meli (far left, with sword)
Domingo's father, Plácido Domingo Ferrer (right), with composer Federico Moreno Torroba in Madrid, 1946
Domingo with his wife
Domingo has recorded many compositions by his singer-songwriter son, Plácido Domingo Jr. (pictured here in a publicity photo)
Domingo at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009
At the Washington National Opera on 14 April 2007 after a performance of Die Walküre, his most frequently performed German opera
Placido Domingo at a Concert.
Domingo with young Operalia singers, Budapest, 2016

He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1967; at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1968; at both La Scala and San Francisco Opera in 1969; at Arena di Verona on July 16, 1969 as Calaf (his first) in Turandot with Birgit Nilsson; at the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company in 1970; and at Covent Garden in 1971.

Jake Heggie, 2015

Jake Heggie

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American composer of opera, vocal, orchestral, and chamber music.

American composer of opera, vocal, orchestral, and chamber music.

Jake Heggie, 2015

Heggie worked briefly as a public relations writer for Cal Performances at UC Berkeley in 1993 before being hired by San Francisco Opera the following year as the company's Public Relations Associate, a position previously held by novelist Armistead Maupin.

Frederica von Stade, July 24, 2014

Frederica von Stade

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Semi-retired American opera singer.

Semi-retired American opera singer.

Frederica von Stade, July 24, 2014
Von Stade's grandparents, Francis Skiddy von Stade Sr. and Kathryne Nevitt Steele von Stade, pictured in 1910.
Ethel Merman, von Stade's idol for years, and her employer for a day
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, who introduced von Stade to opera in Salzburg and to art song in Paris
The Metropolitan Opera in the Lincoln Center, New York City, was where von Stade's operatic career began, and is the theatre that she loves most
The organ room at Glyndebourne
The Royal Opera of Versailles, where von Stade made her French debut in 1973 as Cherubino
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where von Stade appeared in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 1975 and La donna del lago in 1985
The Vienna State Opera, where von Stade was Charlotte opposite Alfredo Kraus's Werther in 1987
Paris's Palais Garnier, where von Stade was Mélisande in 1977 and 1986
The stage of San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, where von Stade was Octavian in 1993
Jake Heggie, who wrote roles for von Stade in three of his operas
Leonard Bernstein. Von Stade sang in his On the Town in London in 1992, and in his Candide in Tanglewood in 2014
Dominick Argento, who composed Casa Guidi and A Few Words About Chekhov for von Stade
Michael Tilson Thomas, who accompanied von Stade in her debut solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1976
Von Stade singing "Nobles seigneurs, salut" from Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots at President Ronald Reagan's second inaugural gala in 1985
Kiri Te Kanawa, one of von Stade's oldest and closest friends, and her frequent concert partner when they were in their sixties
Paris's Church of St Gervais and St Protais, where von Stade married Peter Elkus in 1973
Von Stade's peripatetic life has taken her from New Jersey to Greece, Italy, Washington DC, New York City, Paris and Long Island, but she has now made her home in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than a quarter of a century
St Joseph's Basilica, Alameda, von Stade's parish church

In spring 1971, she gave her first performance with the San Francisco Opera as Sesto in an F. Scott Fitzgerald-inspired production of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, and in the summer, she took part in two productions in Santa Fe: she was Maria in the posthumous premiere of Villa-Lobos's Yerma, and she sang her first Cherubino in a staging of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro that was notable as the US debut of Kiri Te Kanawa.

San Francisco

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Commercial and cultural center in the northern region of the U.S. state of California.

Commercial and cultural center in the northern region of the U.S. state of California.

Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores)
Port of San Francisco in 1851
Juana Briones de Miranda, considered the "Founding Mother of San Francisco"
City seal from before the Consolidation Act of 1856. The phoenix references the early fires that burn early San Francisco. Significant fires occurred December 1849, May 1850, June 1850, September 1850, May 1851, and June 1851.
The Palace of Fine Arts at the 1915 Panama–Pacific Exposition
The Bay Bridge, shown here under construction in 1935, took forty months to complete.
The Transamerica Pyramid was the tallest building in San Francisco until 2016, when Salesforce Tower surpassed it.
The San Francisco Peninsula
San Francisco Chinatown is the oldest in North America and one of the largest Chinese enclaves outside of Asia.
The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero
Fog is a regular feature of San Francisco summers.
Race and ethnic/ancestral origins of San Franciscans, 2019
Map of racial distribution in San Francisco Bay Area, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
A tent city in San Francisco in May 2020
California Street in the Financial District
Ships docked at Pier 3, with Financial District skyscrapers in the background
Lombard Street is a popular tourist destination in San Francisco, known for its "crookedness".
Boutiques along Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights
High-rises surround Yerba Buena Gardens, South of Market.
The rainbow flag, symbol of LGBT pride, originated in San Francisco; banners like this one decorate streets in the Castro.
The lobby of the War Memorial Opera House, one of the last buildings erected in Beaux Arts style in the United States
Oracle Park opened in 2000.
The Olympic Club
Ocean Beach, San Francisco, with a view of the Cliff House
Alamo Square is one of the most well-known parks in the area, and is often a symbol of San Francisco for its popular location for film and pop culture.
San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco State University Main Quad
The Lone Mountain Campus of the University of San Francisco
San Francisco Chronicle Building
A cable car ascending Hyde St, with Alcatraz on the bay behind
The Golden Gate Ferry M/V Del Norte docked at the Ferry Building
The Bay Bridge offers the only direct automobile connection to the East Bay.
San Francisco International Airport is the primary airport of San Francisco and the Bay Area.
A bike lane in San Francisco.

The city is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the University of San Francisco (USF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the SFJAZZ Center, the California Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Giants, and the Golden State Warriors.

Graham hosting the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors in 2008

Susan Graham

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American mezzo-soprano.

American mezzo-soprano.

Graham hosting the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors in 2008
Graham at the Metropolitan Opera opening in 2008

She was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, and also a recipient of the Schwabacher Award from the Merola Program of San Francisco Opera.

Price in 1981, by Jack Mitchell

Leontyne Price

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American soprano who was the first African American soprano to receive international acclaim.

American soprano who was the first African American soprano to receive international acclaim.

Price in 1981, by Jack Mitchell
Price in 1951
Price in Porgy and Bess in 1953
Price in 1981
Price in 1995
From left to right, NEA Chairman Dana Gioia honors the first class of National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honorees in 2008: Price, Carlisle Floyd, Richard Gaddes.

She regularly appeared at the world's major opera houses, the Royal Opera House, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and La Scala, the last at which she was also the first African American to sing a leading role.

Louisiana State Penitentiary, the opera's setting

Dead Man Walking (opera)

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First opera composed by American Jake Heggie, with a libretto by playwright Terrence McNally.

First opera composed by American Jake Heggie, with a libretto by playwright Terrence McNally.

Louisiana State Penitentiary, the opera's setting

Based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., the work premiered on October 7, 2000, at the War Memorial Opera House, produced by the San Francisco Opera.

A Streetcar Named Desire (DVD cover of original production)

A Streetcar Named Desire (opera)

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Opera composed by André Previn in 1995 with a libretto by Philip Littell.

Opera composed by André Previn in 1995 with a libretto by Philip Littell.

A Streetcar Named Desire (DVD cover of original production)
Scene from Act III of a production at Florida Grand Opera, 2021

The opera received its premiere at the San Francisco Opera, September 19 – October 11, 1998.

Hampson in June 2014

Thomas Hampson

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American lyric baritone, a classical singer who has appeared world-wide in major opera houses and concert halls and made over 170 musical recordings.

American lyric baritone, a classical singer who has appeared world-wide in major opera houses and concert halls and made over 170 musical recordings.

Hampson in June 2014

The next years brought performances in many of the world's most important concert venues (including Avery Fisher Hall, Barbican Centre, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet), opera houses (including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera) and festivals (Mostly Mozart Festival, Maggio Musicale, the Salzburg Festival), where Hampson performed with some of the world's most renowned pianists (incl.

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in Strasbourg, 1980

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle

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French opera director, set and costume designer.

French opera director, set and costume designer.

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in Strasbourg, 1980
Catherine Malfitano in La traviata, 1980

His work throughout the world included stage productions at the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera; productions for television (Puccini's Madama Butterfly in 1974 notable for performances by Mirella Freni and the young Plácido Domingo); and filmed versions of operas such as Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro conducted by Karl Böhm.