SFOpera - At the Stage Door with Francis

At the Stage Door with Francis

Get an inside look at the people that make SF Opera happen—no badge required.


Meet Francis Crossman our Senior Video Editor.  

AC: How long have you worked here?
FC: I’ve been working here since 2007, so that’s just about ten years now.

AC: What brought you to SFO?
FC: Back when the media suite was first getting started they quickly realized that they needed somebody to manage all the video content they were acquiring and to cut together promotional material for the website and then later we got into cutting feature length product for cinema, DVD’s, Blu-ray and television. Back before I first started I had very little exposure to Opera. I mean, I’m much more of a Rock and Roll guy. I like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and The Beatles and that kind of stuff. So when I first started it was a steep learning curve but I’ve grown to enjoy opera over the years.

AC: What is your favorite Opera Memory?
FC: My favorite opera memory has to be when we released Moby Dick back in 2012. It was a huge project. We partnered with Great Performances to broadcast it nationally on PBS and we had a lot of people looking over our shoulder wondering if we could pull off such a thing to a level of quality that was good enough to broadcast on TV. And I’m happy to say that we had no problems, we met all of the technical specifications they needed. Later when we released it on DVD Jake Heggie, the composer, signed my copy of the DVD, "To Francis—the hero of this DVD." So that made me feel pretty good.

AC: What would you tell someone who has never been to the opera before?
FC: What I would say to somebody who has never been to the opera before is come. You’re going to know more than you think. Opera is used as the soundtrack in TV and commercials and you’ve probably heard a lot more than you think. Also, even though it’s in a foreign language and you might not be able to understand it, you’re going to be able to understand the emotions coming through. And they have supertitles up above the proscenium so you can read the translations. And you’re going to be impressed by the sheer power of the orchestra and the volume of the voice that these singers are able to produce…that is nothing short of athletic. Sure you can see it on TV, I mean that’s the work that I do, but there’s nothing quite like sitting in the opera house, hearing the music live and completely unamplified and hearing the power of that sound hitting your body and vibrating your body. It’s not something that really can be duplicated electronically and I know we try every day. So come and check it out.  

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