Opera in the Park | Photos by Stefan Cohen

Each year, San Francisco Opera kicks off the new performing arts season with Opera in the Park, a free concert in Golden Gate Park. (Not to be confused with Opera at the Ballpark, the free simulcast at Oracle Park on September 21st). It’s a tradition going back to 1973 and the days of SF Opera General Director Kurt Herbert Adler. Here’s a photo of KDFC’s Bill Lueth with General Director Lofti Mansouri in 1992. Check out that hair!


This year’s event happens Sunday, September 8 at 1:30pm in Robin Williams Meadow (formerly Sharon Meadow.) The key to getting the most out of Opera at the Park is to really get into the spirit with a gourmet picnic lunch, a big floppy hat, and plenty of champagne! Here are a few quick tips to make your afternoon of opera special:

1. Arrive early. Not only is it easier to park, but if you time it right, you’ll see the dress rehearsal of the complete program. It’s like getting an extra performance!

2. Resist the urge to sing along. The folks sitting next to you will appreciate it. Besides, why not let some of the greatest voices in the world do what they do best?

3. DO sing along with the big finale! Every Opera in the Park concert ends with all the singers on stage for a rousing rendition of the “Drinking Song” from La Traviata, champagne glasses in hand! Not only are you encouraged to sing along, but the lyrics are provided for you inside the paper programs.

4. And about those paper programs, be sure to grab one of them before the show begins so you’ll know who’s singing what when.

5. Do stop by the KDFC table and browse through a selection of CD’s on sale from the massive KDFC library. (Proceeds benefit KDFC) Or just stop by and say hi!


6. Dress in layers. Come on San Francisco, you know the drill; it will be either freezing or sweltering in Golden Gate Park!

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