San Francisco Opera’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Community Offers New Interactive Talks

By Chris Ruel

The San Francisco Opera’s Department of Diversity, Equity, and Community has announced the spring lineup for the Opera Aficionado virtual interactive conversation series. Each month from April through June, the company will offer themed discussions ranging from Shakespeare’s influence on opera to a celebration of African American Music Appreciation Month. All start times are 1:00 p.m. PDT.

The focus of discussions in April center on Shakespeare with “Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!” The series will provide comparisons between the scenes written by the Bard with those featured in opera. There is a fee to attend.

Sunday, April 4- “From Page to Stage: Shakespeare at the Opera,” with San Francisco Opera’s Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna.

Sunday, April 11- “Sir John Falstaff,” with Alexandra Amati.

Sunday, April 18 – “Romeos & Juliets,” with dramaturge Laura Prichard.

Sunday, April 25 – “If Music Be the Food of Love: Shakespeare’s Influence on Our Musical Heritage,” with Opera Aficionado host Cole Thomason-Redus.

The month of May’s theme is “Happy Birthday, Aficionados!” The theme celebrates the first anniversary of the Opera Aficionado series, and conversations are free to attend.

Sunday, May 2 – “Kip, Kip, Hooray! 40 Years at San Francisco Opera: A Retrospective,” with San Francisco Opera’s Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna and Opera Aficionado host Cole-Thomason-Redus.

Sunday, May 9 – “Our Favorite Opera Composers” (speaker to be announced).

Sunday, May 16 – “Our Favorite Moments in Opera,” with professor and author Robert Hartwell.

Sunday, May 23 – “Opera’s Hidden Gems” (speaker to be announced).

In June, the company will honor African American Music History Month with “Lift Every Voice and Sing!” There is a fee to attend.

Sunday, June 6 – “Landscape of Change: Interview with Frederick Matthews,” featuring baritone Frederick Matthews and Opera Aficionado host Cole Thomason-Redus.

Sunday, June 13 – “Opera in the Harlem Renaissance” with professor and soprano Melissa Givens.

Sunday, June 20 – “All About Marian Anderson,” with professor Mark Burford.

Sunday, June 27 – To be announced.

Ticket prices are tiered: $5 for students, educators, and those in need; general admission is $20 with a discount for attending multiple sessions, and the top tier price is $40 for two viewers. More information is available on the San Francisco Opera website.