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Fafner Rears His High-Tech Head

June 19, 2018

Photographer Stefan Cohen takes us backstage at the San Francisco Opera during rehearsals for scenes with the dragon Fafner in Wagner’s Siegfried, now playing as part of the company’s full Ring cycle through July 1. Fafner, guardian of the Nibelung gold, is rendered into a high-tech mechanical monster in this production, and synching singers with machinery presented its own set of challenges. Special thanks to the S.F. Opera’s Senior Communications Manager Jeffery McMillan for the behind-the-scenes information.

CORRECTION: The story as originally published misidentified the tenor brandising the sword in the caption for a photo above. It is Daniel Brenna in the current production.

Paul Kotapish is the managing editor for SFCV.  You can learn more here or at