Department of Diversity, Equity and Community Offers Interactive Talks Spotlighting San Francisco Opera Center and Fall Season Operas

Release date: 7/30/2021


DEC events_August September 2021.pdf  Photos

San Francisco Opera’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Community (DEC) has announced new Opera Aficionado virtual conversations in August and September. Subjects for the Zoom discussion series focus on San Francisco Opera Center, the arm of the Company that cultivates the development and training of young artists, and three operas taking the stage of the War Memorial Opera House during the 2021 Fall Season: Puccini’s Tosca, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The live, 75-minute Zoom discussions offer music lovers around the world a front-row seat to scholarly talks and conversations and an opportunity to dialogue with fellow opera enthusiasts and special guests. Speakers include soprano and young artist mentor Sheri Greenawald, soprano Leah Crocetto, director Aria Umezawa, San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna, past and present leaders of San Francisco Opera Center and Company staff members.

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(programs subject to change)

San Francisco Opera has had a busy summer and the War Memorial Opera House will reopen soon to live performances after almost two years of silence. Join us for deep explorations into the productions of our fall season and conversations with some of the faces—past and present—that define this company as a world-class center for the performance of opera and the education of its young artists.

  • Sunday, August 1, 1 pm: A Conversation with Sheri Greenawald

Interviewer: Kip Cranna

Sheri Greenawald performed many lead roles with San Francisco Opera and was a longtime mentor to young artists through her leadership as Director of San Francisco Opera Center and Artistic Director of Merola Opera Program. Outside the Bay Area, Greenawald appeared with major companies around the world. In conversation with San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna, Sheri will discuss her career highlights and give insights into the training of young singers and the science of vocal technique. Video and audio excerpts from her performances will demonstrate her artistry and versatility. Join the conversation and hear Sheri’s stories from her remarkable career on stage and in the rehearsal room.

  • Sunday, August 8, 1 pm: Tosca by the Bay

Speaker: Kip Cranna

On October 15, 1932, the War Memorial Opera House opened its doors for the first time with a production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. Before then and ever since, San Francisco has enjoyed a love affair with this iconic melodrama. San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna explores this masterful work which opens the Company’s 99th season and shares anecdotes of its triumphs and comic disasters. Cranna discusses why it is that Tosca has left her heart in San Francisco.

  • Sunday, August 15, 1 pm: A Conversation with Leah Crocetto

Interviewers: Cole Thomason-Redus and Kip Cranna 

American soprano Leah Crocetto astonishes audiences with her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines. The New York Times praised her as possessing an “agile coloratura technique and a feeling for the Italianate style.” And before all this, she was a young artist with Merola Opera Program and enjoyed an exciting tenure as a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow. Opera Aficionado hosts Cole Thomason-Redus and Kip Cranna will interview Leah about her career thus far and the world-class training she received here in this City by the Bay.

  • Sunday, August 22, 1 pm: A Spotlight on San Francisco Opera Center

Speakers: Carrie-Ann Matheson, Markus Beam and Jean Kellogg

Established in 1982, San Francisco Opera Center is dedicated to nurturing opera’s most promising young artists. Join us for a conversation with Opera Center’s new leadership, Carrie-Ann Matheson and Markus Beam, and Merola Opera Program Executive Director Jean Kellogg as we discuss this renowned program which reigns as one of the premier professional training centers for our beloved art form.

  • Sunday, September 12, 1 pm: Putting It Together: How to Build a Season of Opera

Speaker: TBA

How does one plan a season of opera? The members of San Francisco Opera who are responsible for doing just that will join us for a fascinating look inside the inner workings of opera season planning.

  • Sunday, September 19, 1 pm: Così fan tutte

Speaker: Aria Umezawa

Director and former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Aria Umezawa returns to Opera Aficionado for a woman’s perspective on the Mozart masterpiece Così fan tutte. As the Company’s Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy continues, we’ll 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, 1 pm: Fidelio

Speaker: Michael Bragg

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. Opera Librarian Michael Bragg returns to Opera Aficionado for a special look at the Company’s new production by Matthew Ozawa, part of a worldwide celebration (one year late) of the composer’s 250th birthday.

*For the complete press release please view the attached PDF.