What Design Is Doing for the San Francisco Opera

On March 2, 2015, a line of people stretching around the block waited to get into the Rickshaw Stop on Fell Street in San Francisco. This was not like most nights at the funky music venue and bar; the people in line weren’t waiting to see an indie band, or dance to music spun by a DJ. This night the entertainment would be opera … of a sort. The evening, organized by the San Francisco Opera (SFO), was called “Barely Opera,” with the slogan “This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Opera.” Complete with a “Wheel of Songs” that audience members could spin to select the next song, a live DJ, opera-themed drinks, and costumes for attendees to try on, it was designed to remove the intimidation often felt by those new to opera and introduce a younger, hipper audience to operatic music.

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