Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New to the SF Opera Board of Directors

I've been muttering to myself for a few years about the failure of the current generation of tech giants to donate to the Bay Area's arts organizations. Oh, there are a few exceptions - I saw Marissa Mayer's name (and that of the company she then worked for) on the donor board for a fashion-related exhibit at the De Young a while back (maybe it was the Saint-Laurent, maybe the Balenciaga). Still, you'll hunt far and wide to find these folks' names in the programs of SF Opera and Symphony.

Perhaps there's been a change! San Francisco Opera just announced some changes on its Board of Directors, and some prominent tech folk have joined. I actually did a double-take, because no one at Google ever called Bill Coughran "William M. Coughran, Jr." when he worked here. (Update: Bill is still at Google in an advisory capacity, it turns out.)

In any event, congratulations to everybody at SFO who had a hand in recruiting the new board members.


Henry Holland said...

It's been sad over the last 20 years or so to watch the LA Philharmonic and the LA Opera try to woo the big-money "Hollywood" types. What they never seem to get is that Hollywood doesn't *need* them to provide a gloss of class and sophistication, they're the #1 entertainment provider in the world, so why should Spielberg or Bruckheimer care if they get their picture taken with Dudamel or Domingo?

One of the last tries by the Phil was a series that matched Hollywood film composers with filmakers to make short, original pieces, shown at the Dot (that's how long ago it was!) on a screen with the orchestra playing the score. It was....OK, I guess, but it was stopped after two of the four proposed films, with zero explanation why.

Lisa Hirsch said...


Good points - although of course that $100 million gift from Lillian Disney was a big help! I know nothing about the history of that donation, of course. She didn't live to set foot in Disney Hall, ISTR - sad.

SFS has a series coming up where they play famous film scores live. Should be fun!