Thousands attend SF Opera’s reunion show at War Memorial, Oracle Park

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – After a long pandemic hiatus, the curtain has been raised at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, where opera fans have gathered for a homecoming performance.

“Life just isn’t the same without music and the people around you,” said Helen Sheaff, resident of Moraga, who has attended San Francisco Opera for decades.

“It kind of indicates that we may be nearing the end of the pandemic,” opera fan Janet Pease said.

Vaccine checks and masks are mandatory to get inside the National War Memorial, but the experience remains.

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“It’s so invigorating to see all of the energy in opera come to life – the orchestra, the soloists, the stage,” said San Francisco Opera General Manager Matthew Shilvock, who has explained how returning to the performing arts is a powerful thing. :

“There is still so much going on in the world, that we can bring people together and enable people to find this catharsis through music – it’s what we do, it’s the heart we bring to the community. . “

There were nearly 2,000 people at the War Memorial on Friday night, but it turns out most of the audience was at Oracle Park. Opera officials said 7,000 people came to watch the simulcast for the Opera at the Ballpark event.

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“I really love opera,” said Carol Shariat, who traveled all the way from San José for the event. “I’m totally excited about this!”
“It’s very safe for COVID, everyone is outside, with masks on or at least six feet apart,” said Jennifer Estrada, who is visiting San Francisco from Tampa, Fla. .

“I mean you have garlic fries and opera – that’s perfect,” exclaimed Melissa Yeh.

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Yeh, a mom, brought her kids and newborn baby to Oracle. She hosted a family picnic on the outfield for the free event. “It’s music, our kids love music. We used to come to this event all the time before COVID, so it’s a good night to go out!”

“Being in the Oracle field is pretty amazing,” said Emil Irimpan, a resident of San Francisco. “You get a sense of wonder just being here.”

Irimpan believes that accessible opera is good for everyone. “I missed the opera. I think it’s a place to come and relax and understand a little more about who you are as an individual, but also bigger as a community.”

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