North Stage Door Podcast Delves Into Mozart, Da Ponte and San Francisco Opera's New Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy

Release date: 7/20/2021


New Episode Released Today / Available at

Podcast North Stage Door Ep 2.pdf  Photos

Lennon and McCartney. Kander and Ebb. Mozart and Da Ponte. San Francisco Opera’s North Stage Door podcast takes listeners backstage to examine the dynamic 18th-century duo of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. Members of the cast and creative team behind the Company’s new Mozart–Da Ponte trilogy and special guest, author Daniel Handler, explore how this creative partnership continues to move and inspire us today in Episode 2 of North Stage Door, now available for free at, as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.

North Stage Door host Chris Largent takes us on our Episode 2 journey:

  • The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni are three of opera’s most well-known works. San Francisco Opera’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro in 2019 made a profound impact on Company Music Librarian and North Stage Door producer Michael Bragg. He shares his story and reaction to the production and its casting of three of the lead roles with two members of the cast—soprano Nicole Heaston (Countess Almaviva) and bass-baritone Michael Sumuel (Figaro)—and San Francisco Opera’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Community Charles Mc Neal.
  • Mozart and Da Ponte never intended for these three operas to become a trilogy. So, where did this idea come from? General Director Matthew Shilvock and Michael Cavanagh, director of the Company’s new Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy—set in an American house across a 300-year timespan, and continuing this season with the premieres of his new productions of Così fan tutte (Nov/Dec 2021) and Don Giovanni (June/July 2022)—explore the origin with North Stage Door’s Jeremy Patfield
  • San Francisco Opera Assistant Stage Manager and North Stage Door producer Rachel Garoon has a Così–inspired confession … and gets through it with the help of Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano, chair of Music History at the Colburn Conservatory of Music and author of Understanding the Women of Mozart’s Operas, stage director Shawna Lucey and marriage and family therapist Kathleen Schiltz.
  • Did you know that Mozart was one of many composers who borrowed music from other operas for his own shows? San Francisco Opera Public Relations Director Jeffery McMillan takes us on a musical quotation treasure hunt, from Mozart to Louis Armstrong and the Grateful Dead.
  • How would you have written the end of Don Giovanni? Bay Area-native Daniel Handler—author of seven novels, including Why We Broke UpWe Are PiratesAll the Dirty Parts and, most recently, Bottle Grove; and who, under the pen name Lemony Snicket, is also responsible for the thirteen-volume A Series of Unfortunate Events—talks to North Stage Door executive producer Molly McBride about writing, music, opera and his relationship with all three.

San Francisco Opera’s North Stage Door podcast takes listeners into the swirl of creativity, stagecraft and performance at San Francisco Opera. Named for the artist and staff entrance into the War Memorial Opera House, this audio storytelling series takes listeners backstage into the creative environment and complex inner working of the Company via lively stories, true confessions and insightful interviews, opening a window into the complex inner workings of this vibrant company and the many aspects necessary to make a rich, multi-faceted art form come to life.

Episode 1 of North Stage Door, released in April, features an inside look at The Barber of Seville and the Company’s COVID-era return to live performance with a new production of Gioachino Rossini’s enduring masterpiece this past spring at the Marin Center drive-in. The episode’s voices include the Company’s Figaro for the Barber performances, Lucas Meachem, beloved soprano Patricia Racette, Academy Award-winning director and Pixar Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Craig Kausen and members of the creative and production teams behind the Company’s new Barber of Seville. To access this episode, and all of San Francisco Opera’s free digital programming, visit

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