SFOpera - 15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones

15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones

Incest. Dragons. Bastard sons. Unexpected love stories. Girls disguised as boys. Why, George R.R. Martin took more than one page from opera when he created his epic series Game of Thrones! And so as we eagerly anticipate the premiere of season 6 on Sunday night, we at San Francisco Opera give you 15 Ways Opera is like Game of Thrones:

1) We know that winter is coming...

In San Francisco , it's called June.

2) Girls sometimes have to dress up as boys to stay alive and save their loved ones.

Leonore (Christine Brewer) disguises herself as a man named Fidelio in order to try and save her husband in our 2005 production of Fidelio.

3) But make no mistake, the women can be strong. They get stuff doooonnne.


Odabella (Lucrecia Garcia) makes Attila the Hun (Ferruccio Furlanetto) meet his maker in our 2012 production of Attila. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

4) There are bastard sons who get dragged into the messes their families have made.

Lucrezia Borgia (Renée Fleming) hesitates to reveal to her illegitimate son Gennaro that she is his mother in our 2011 production of Lucrezia Borgia. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

5) Meanwhile, other siblings have completely inappropriate relationships.

Siegmund (Brandon Jovanovich) falls in love with his twin sister Sieglinde (Anja Kampe) in our 2011 production of  Die Walküre. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

6) Everyone loves a good playboy.

Don Giovanni (Lucas Meacham) works his seductive charms on Zerlina (Kate Lindsey) in our 2011 production of Don Giovanni. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

7) Did we mention the dragons?

In our 2011 production of Siegfried, Fafner (transformed into dragon form) is reimagined as a dragon of the Industrial Revolution. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

8) And the Leitmotifs. Leitmotifs everywhere.

Siegfried's horn call from Siegfried.

9) Don't forget to guard your heart, because no one is safe.


The Cavaradossi (Brian Jagde) is betrayed by Scarpia's soldiers, meeting his untimely end in our 2012 production of Tosca. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]


And if that wasn't tragic enough, this is what Tosca (Pat Racette) does when she learns the news of the Cavaradossi's murder:  she jumps to her death. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

10) No really, you watch the first act and this is how you feel about a certain character...

...You tell you operagoing friends at intermission how much you love the character, and they give you this face...

...And when the inevitable tragic end happens, you feel like...

11) Because there are plot twists when you least expect it.

Rigoletto (Zeljko Lucic) holds his daughter Gilda (Aleksandra Kursak), who was mistakenly murdered at his order, in our 2012 production of Rigoletto. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

12) Also, some weddings don't end well.

Giuletta (Nicole Cabell) and Romeo (Joyce DiDonato) are unable to stay together after their wedding in our 2012 production of The Capulets and the Montagues. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

13) Though sometimes, the most unlikely of pairs end up falling in love...

Papageno the Bird Catcher (Nathan Gunn) finds his soul mate in the transformed bird Papagena (Nadine Sierra) in our 2012 production of The Magic Flute. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

And when they do fall in love, you think...

14) If we do have to send someone off, a fiery funeral is always possible.

Brunnhilde sets herself aflame to cleanse the world of its sins at the end of our 2011 production of Götterdämmerung. [Photo by Cory Weaver.]

15) But in the end, even in spite of the tragedy, you feel like this when it is all done: