At the Stage Door with Jennifer and Roya
Get an inside look at the people that make SF Opera happen—no badge required.
Meet Jennifer Jordan (left), Director of Annual Giving and Roya Clune (right) our Annual Giving Assistant Manager.
AC: How long have you worked at the San Francisco Opera?
JJ: I have worked here almost two years this May.
RC: I started in March of 2014. I started working with the Community and Adult programs in the Education Department and then moved to the Development Department doing Annual Giving.
JJ: We nailed it.
AC: What brought you here?
JJ: I’ve been working in the non-profit sector since I was 20 years old. I studied Art History in college and graduate school and started working in the arts specifically when I was 27. I think art and culture is what makes life worth living so being a part of supporting that feels really good.
RC: I studied vocal performance in undergrad and graduate school and after a while I discovered that the opera performance track wasn’t for me. I spent a few years away from the field but then when I was living in Hawaii I started singing with The Orvis Opera Studio with Hawaii Opera and through that I started volunteering in their education and development department. Then when I moved to the Bay Area in 2013 I knew I wanted to be involved with San Francisco Opera in some way. I had admired what the Company was doing for a while from afar so I was thrilled when I got a job in the education department.
AC: What is your favorite Opera Memory?
JJ: Definitely attending and working at the first official SF Opera Lab Pop-Up at Public Works. It was really great to see the Company bring the art form to a venue like that before an entirely new audience who could enjoy a whole new kind of experience there. It really was an experience—we had signature cocktails, food, costumes and props and it felt really informal and fun. The first Pop-Up was pretty special. RC: I went to a High School Night at the San Diego Opera years ago and remember being blown away by this theater, filled with high school kids, who were so engaged in the performance. They were cheering, booing at the bad guy and laughing out loud. It was just so exciting to see an audience getting involved like that, especially these young kids. That was probably one of the most fun experiences I’ve had as an opera audience member.
AC: What would you tell someone who has never been to the opera before?
JJ: Opera is special because it is so many different art forms coming together. You know, the stage-craft, the live orchestra, the costume design, and so much more. And that ephemeral quality of live performance, when the artists on stage and the audience members gel exactly right, it’s really special and unique and you know if you came back the next night it might not be exactly the same…That’s pretty magical.
RC: For me, there’s a depth of emotion that the human voice in its extremes can take you to. I think seeing a live performance with a great opera singer is just like nothing else. Give opera a chance.
JJ: “Give opera a chance!”…That should be a bumper sticker…