War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

4.4
The War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California is located on the western side of Van Ness Avenue across from the rear facade of City Hall. It is part of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. It has been the home of the San Francisco Opera since opening night in 1932.ArchitectureIn 1927, $4 million in municipal bonds were issued to finance the design and construction of the first municipally owned opera house in the United States. The architects of the building complex were Arthur Brown Jr., who had designed City Hall between 1912 and 1916, and G. Albert Lansburgh, a theater designer responsible for San Francisco's Orpheum and the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.Completed in 1932,it is one of the last Beaux-Arts structures erected in the United States and employs the classic Roman Doric order in a reserved and sober form appropriate to its function commemorating all those who served in World War I. A colonnade of paired columns screens colossal arch-headed windows above a severe rusticated basement, a scheme that owes something to Claude Perrault's severe East front of the Louvre.
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War Memorial Opera House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
82 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Great acoustics wonderful music. The show consisted of several short scenes and music. The narrators wer very helpful in helping to understand the sequences. Venue is classic old San Francisco, we lov...  more »
  • Party of 5 going to a matinee showing, was told we were not allowed to have our daughter at the show. The staff were rude and unapologetic about it, and told us no refunds. The usher said we could sit...  more »
  • This is where his Opera debut more than 20 years ago. Overflowed with people dressed up on opening night just at that time. Turn on normally without problems even in casual clothing. Again during your stay only one day stage one day had bought a ticket in prior to departure. Orchestra seats 10 row was top end tax $ 88 so save money. Unlike Japan, seat prices can be determined over the Middle at the same orchestra seats and will be about $ 300. I'd sit down before the tall man is found 10 minutes from the end, not much difference and in front of them and hard to see. There was no problem since I was a little old lady. Only English subtitles at the top of the stage so hard to see.
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  • Nice old theater. Caught the San Francisco ballet doing the Nutcracker with the family, but this is a review of the theater not the show. Upper seats are short pitched with little leg room, and there isn't much offset between rows, so a tall patron in front of you can block more of the stage than expected. Front room of the upper balcony is probably much nicer than even a few rows back. Acoustics are good and the orchestra was clear. Stage is deep, which gives the cast a lot of room. Definitely worth catching a show here.
  • Beautiful theatre - the seats are TIGHT! The performance was wonderful! The colors and chinese dance is very beautiful. The scenes are entertaining and the patented screen is a great enhancement to the performance. I would definitely see it again. The best part is its different every year.
  • We have been coming to the War Memorial Opera House for the last 10+ years. The Opera house is beautiful and always a treat. Besides having a good repertoire of the classics, the SF Opera always tries to bring modern operas to the stage. They are hit or miss but it's great that the opera supports modern composers! We got to see dream of the red chamber last year and it was really interesting.
  • The Opera was fabulous, but the Opera House, while it's beautiful and elegant, disappointed me. I might get slack for this, but it was kinda scary getting to our seats in Balcony 3. I didn't realize how steep the stairs we're and if I had to go any higher, I think my vertigo would have set in. There is no leg room. It was hot and after the second act, we moved to standing room because I was getting a little claustrophobic and fidgety. It's a good thing there was a screen displaying the Opera and subtitles. But, it was an experience and I am glad I went.
  • San Francisco Opera went out of their way to make you feel welcome here with pre-performance insights 1 hour before the show. Being a subscriber made it all the nicer with a courtesy note at your seat welcoming you on your first subscriber performance. The roster of operatic artists is also good. I haven't been disappointed yet. They also give good transport directions and dining pointers on the night out.

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