Santa Fe Opera production of Arabella. Photo by Ken Howard.

Santa Fe Opera production of Arabella. Photo by Ken Howard.


Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your October educational opera-tunities:

Afternoon at the Opera – Come immerse yourself in spellbinding stories with intriguing themes, daring schemes with intriguing developments and, in some cases, absolutely hilarious outcomes as instructor Shari Deghi guides you through six operas from the Met’s Live in HD series and more. $105
Mondays Oct 1 – Dec 3 from 2:30 – 4:30 pm
San Mateo Senior Center, 2645 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Ninety-minute sessions by noted musicologists, composers, librettists, and singers, locally sponsored by SF Opera Guild Chapters and the San Jose Opera Guild. These special events explore each opera’s historical and musical context as well as musical and dramatic challenges. Every session is illustrated by audio & visual examples and includes a question & answer and discussion period.
Arabella lectures by Simon Williams, UCSB Professor Emeritus of Theatre and Dance

MARIN CHAPTER: Mon Oct 8 at 7:30pm; $10
The Redwoods, 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley

SF CHAPTER: Tues Oct 9 at 12noon; FREE
Koret Auditorium, SF Public Library Main Branch 100 Larkin St., SF

PENINSULA CHAPTER: Tues Oct 9 at 7:30pm; $10
First Presbyterian Church 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto

SAN JOSE OPERA GUILD: Wed Oct 10 at 10am
FREE to SJOG and JCC members, $10 for others
Addison-Penzak JCC Silicon Valley, 14855 Oka Rd., Suite 201, Los Gatos

EAST BAY CHAPTER: Wed Oct 10 at 8pm; $10
Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

Captivating Carmen – Georges Bizet’s opera built around the allure of the Gypsy Carmen premiered in Paris in 1875 and his fame and her flame both still blaze after nearly a century and half. Instructor Diane Mauch invites us to meet the exciting characters of this masterpiece: Carmen herself, Don Jose, Escamillo, and the Gypsy band. Free for members & residents; $5 for non-members.
Sat Oct 13 from 10:30am – 12noon Stoneridge Creek, 3300 Stoneridge Creek Way, Pleasanton

The Metropolitan Opera Season – Course on the first five Met Live in HD broadcasts: Aida, Samson et Dalila, La Fanciulla del West, Marnie, and La Traviata. Instructor Diane Mauch will use CDs and DVDs to make vivid her exploration of the historical, musical, and theatrical high points of each. Whether you are a newcomer to opera or a veteran, here’s a chance to deepen your appreciation of the medium’s irresistible mix of music, drama, and visual splendor. $60 for members; $84 for non-members.
Mon October 1, 15, and 22; Wed Oct 31; Mon Nov 5
Fireside Room, Gateway Complex, 1001 Golden Rain Rd., Walnut Creek

Isolde’s Dream: A Biography of Mathilde Wesendonck – The fascinating untold story of this woman’s inspiring influence on the major works of Richard Wagner, based on facts related in their correspondence and other authentic documents. Writer and music critic Judith Cabaud will discuss the extensive research she conducted on this important muse of Richard Wagner. Free for WSNC members; $10 for non-members. Sat Oct 13 from 1 – 3:30pm JCC-SF 3200 California St., SF

Get a rare glimpse into the creative process with our cast and production team. Singers, directors, conductors and composers share insights about bringing these operas to life. Free for SFO members, subscribers, and students with ID, $5 for the general public; tickets available at the door 30 minutes prior to discussion or online at the link above.
Arabella (R. Strauss) – Sat Oct 13 from 3 – 4pm
Taube Atrium Theater, Wilsey Center for Opera. Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave., SF

Tosca Talk – Explore the themes and story behind Puccini’s melodrama with SF Opera librarian Michael Bragg. This talk includes an hour long lecture with a slide presentation, musical examples, pictures, and history as well as Q&A time at the end. *FREE*
Wed Oct 17 from 6 – 8pm SFPL North Beach Branch 850 Columbus Ave., SF

First Act: The Little Prince’s Adventure – Take a journey through this classic tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as set in opera by Rachel Portman. This workshop explores music, rhythm, visual arts, and movement, designed to foster social-emotional development, increased language, and fine-gross motor skills. $10/person. Sun Oct 14 at 9:30am and 11am
Wilsey Center for Opera, Veterans Building, 4th Floor 401 Van Ness Ave., SF