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Superfan Profile: Ann Rosenfeld, Tea Maiden

Ann Rosenfeld is a familiar figure around the San Francisco Opera House, particularly to those in the Orchestra and Chorus. We think of Ann as one of our Superfans.

Ann’s twin passions of opera and tea have provided sustenance for countless San Francisco Opera musicians over the years.

Originally from Los Angeles, Ann has been a Bay Area resident since 1979. Ann reveals that Opera came and found her when she first heard Puccini’s Turandot playing on a friend’s cassette deck in a VW Beetle, then later a housemate (owner of "Tebaldi", a cat named for the famous soprano) introduced her to many opera recordings and videos. Attending her first full opera performance of Handel’s Giustino in 1988, Ann became an unrepentant fan in the mid-90’s when a classmate received discount group tickets for all San Francisco Opera performances for two seasons! There was no turning back.

Ann's camera finds unique images in the Opera House.

Ann had been ushering sporadically when, in 2000, she was invited to join the Coffee Service team at opera rehearsals and performances. She quickly became known for her delicious blends of tea served at rehearsal breaks to grateful members of the company. It is an understatement to say that Ann is appreciated by many at SF Opera, being recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the SF Opera Guild in 2009, and as the Opera Orchestra’s official Tea Maiden in 2008.

Ann Rosenfeld sharing a moment with Lotfi Mansouri, SFO's General Director from 1988-2001

In addition to her interest in opera, Ann has always loved many genres of music, particularly classical music. Ann studied ballet in her teen years, and later danced with a San Francisco group of Irish set dancers. Photography and other aspects of print and design have also been a source of interest and inspiration for Ann, who majored in photography in college. Ann has found the hours spent backstage at the Opera House an opportunity to capture many visual facets of the Opera House—moments between rehearsals and performances that detail the quiet, moody corners of the empty building, to the bright, lively sounds and images of a full, boisterous hall.

Ann photographs a quiet moment during a rehearsal break.

Often attending multiple performances at the Opera over the years, Ann has several fond memories: performances of Boris Godunov, every Richard Strauss opera, standing in the wings above the low strings as the Act III Prelude of Tristan und Isolde started, a final performance of Giulio Cesare while standing at the back of a fully packed Orchestra section, the performances of Rusalka with Music Director Designate, Eun Sun Kim—and that’s just for starters!


While Ann has expressed that the Opera Orchestra and Chorus have always lifted her spiritually, it is safe to say her warm presence at San Francisco Opera make the feeling mutual. Thank you, Ann! 🎵

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Photo of San Francisco War Memorial Opera House © Mingjia Liu