About the Bay: San Francisco Man Translates Opera for the Masses

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The language barrier prevents many people from enjoying opera, but one longtime San Francisco artist has made introducing English speakers to the beauty of opera his life’s work.

Donald Pippin, a San Francisco man in the midst of his 60th year on stage, uses what he calls the Pocket Opera to appeal to locals.

In short, he translates and sometimes changes the story into modern times to make opera more accessible and interesting for today’s potential audiences. Pocket Opera presents professional performances of operatic works in intimate, intelligible productions at affordable prices.

“That’s the labor of my life, to make it make sense,” Pippin said.

At 86, he’s a bundle of energy, even after 60 years on the local music scene.

“I had been doing a chamber music series in North Beach for about 20 years, at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and one day it occurred to me, why not try an opera?” he recalled.

More information, including show times and ticket sales, can be found online.

KCBS Mike Sugerman Reports:

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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