San Francisco Opera Honors Composer & Philanthropist Gordon Getty

By David Salazar

The San Francisco Opera presented composer and philanthropist Gordon Getty with The Spirit of the Opera Award following the Dec. 9 performance of “The Elixir of Love.”

Following the presentation, Ramón Tebar and the cast, chorus, and orchestra performed “Happy Birthday” for Getty, who turns 90 this month.

Getty and his late wife Ann have been major supporters of the company throughout four decades and their commitment has led to the premieres of new works on the San Francisco Opera stage as well as the creation of new productions of classic operas.

Additionally, San Francisco Opera presented scenes from his “Plump Jack” in 1984 as well as his “Usher House.”

“The Spirit of the Opera Award is given in recognition of lasting and profound support of this company and so it is my great honor to present Gordon Getty with the award with the heartfelt gratitude of this house and this community for the transformational impact he has had on this company and this art form in so many ways—as a composer, philanthropist, historian and as a carrier of the torch that keeps opera vital in our lives,” said Dianne and Tad Taube General Director Matthew Shivlock, who presented the award to Getty.