Daniel Knapp Appointed New Director of Production

Release date: 11/3/2014

San Francisco Opera Appoints Bregenz Festival Executive Daniel Knapp As New Director Of Production

Daniel Knapp New Production Director.pdf

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley announced today the appointment of Daniel Knapp as director of production, effective February 11, 2015.  Knapp currently serves as artistic production director and head of company management of the world-acclaimed Bregenz Festival in Austria. He succeeds Greg Weber, who has joined the staff of Tulsa Opera as managing director.

As a member of San Francisco Opera’s senior management team reporting directly to David Gockley, the director of production manages an annual departmental operating budget of $22 million that encompasses stage operations, production stage management, technical administration, scene construction, costume shop and wig and make-up services for all War Memorial Opera House stage productions, in addition to concerts, recitals and special events. This position plays a significant role with the Company’s Koret-Taube Media Suite and maintains a strong relationship with the War Memorial administration and San Francisco Ballet, the other principal tenant of the Opera House.  The director of production is responsible for managing co-productions with international and national opera companies in addition to San Francisco Opera’s rental programs, while working closely with the general director in creating strategic plans for each of these areas. Knapp’s work will also include oversight of the Company’s new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera and 299-seat flexible theater, scheduled to open in January 2016.

David Gockley commented, “San Francisco Opera is fortunate to have recruited one of Europe’s most successful production executives. Daniel will be a strong member of our senior management team and I look forward to working with him.”

Daniel Knapp said, “I am excited and honored to have been offered the position of director of production at San Francisco Opera, one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Together with my talented and experienced colleagues at San Francisco Opera, I look forward to engaging in a continuous dialogue within the widespread culture and entertainment network to convey our passion for the arts. I am privileged to have the role of converting design and staging concepts that creative teams bring to the production table into engaging, live opera experiences. It's a big move for my family and me, and we are looking forward to becoming close friends with the Belle of the Bay."

Knapp’s professional credits since 2008 include serving as artistic production director and head of company management for Austria’s Bregenz Festival, where he served as house producer for both the Opera on the Lake Floating Stage and Bregenz Festival House overseeing such recent productions as Die Zauberflöte, Andrea Chénier, Aida, Król Roger, The Passenger and four world premiere-commissioned works. In this capacity he served as executive liaison for all creative teams, technical departments, co-producers and rental partners in addition to all TV, DVD and other media productions as well as overseeing all composers, stunt performers, acrobats, aerialists, assistant directors, stage managers, chorus, stage music, actors and supernumeraries.

Knapp’s professional work also includes serving as Austrian location manager for the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig; company manager for Tosca on the Floating Stage at the Bregenz Festival; director of his own opera touring company, Galicia Arts Ltd., including collaborations with the Ukrainian State Opera Kharkiv and the KammerPhilharmonie Lviv; arts, tour and event management that included work with Sting, David Copperfield and Peter Gabriel; host of a weekly radio show “Sound in V” that was aired on Austria’s ORF V; and produced the world premiere of An Authorized Adaptation of Frank Zappa’s Thing Fish in London (2003).

Since March 2010, Knapp has been a frequent lecturer on the subjects of arts management and theater producing for the University of Arts Helsinki-Sibelius Academy, and presents workshops and seminars at London’s Rose Bruford College of Theater and Performance, the Shanghai Theater Academy, and Germany’s prestigious Zeppelin University. Knapp will relocate to San Francisco from his native Germany with his wife and children in 2015.

San Francisco Opera is one of the leading producers for the lyric theater stage renowned for presenting innovative and bold productions that feature the world’s most notable singers, conductors, directors and designers along with the resident San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Additionally, San Francisco Opera is highly regarded in the opera industry for its training of young professional singers through the efforts of the San Francisco Opera Center and its affiliate Merola Opera Program. Founded by Italian conductor and pianist Gaetano Merola, San Francisco Opera’s first season was in 1923 at the Civic Center Auditorium. In 1932, the Beaux Arts-designed 3,100 seat War Memorial Opera House opened and remains the home of San Francisco Opera. 

Maestro Merola, who led the Company until his death in 1953, was succeeded by Austrian-born Kurt Herbert Adler (1953–81), Terry McEwen (1982–88), Lotfi Mansouri (1988–2001), Pamela Rosenberg (2001–05), and David Gockley, who began his tenure in 2006. Nicola Luisotti is San Francisco Opera’s music director, Patrick Summers principal guest conductor and Giuseppe Finzi resident conductor.

In January 2016, San Francisco Opera will open the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera in the adjacent Veterans Building on the War Memorial campus, featuring a new 299-seat flexible theater, rehearsal hall, education center, public archive and exhibition galleries, administrative offices and a new location for the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop.

The Company’s current 92nd repertory season for 2014–15 includes Bellini’s Norma, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Handel’s Partenope, Puccini’s Tosca and La Bohème, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Berlioz’s Les Troyens, the world premiere of Italian composer Marco Tutino’s Two Women, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. San Francisco Opera’s operating budget for the 2014-15 season is $77 million.  For further information, including video and production photographs, visit sfopera.com.

For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.