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Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO, 9 October 2006—San Francisco Opera and MobileCast Media have announced the formation of a new podcasting partnership, which will debut online as David Gockley, General Director of the San Francisco Opera, interviews Deborah Voigt.  In a candid interview, Ms. Voigt addresses her recent weight-loss surgery and covers personal and professional topics ranging from her international singing career, future operatic roles, her dating life, and the love she has for her dog, Steinway. In addition to the interview with Deborah Voigt, the initial launch will also include San Francisco Opera's 2006-2007 Season Preview – a synopsis of each opera written and narrated by David Gockley.  Users can access San Francisco Opera podcasts from http://podcast.sfopera.com , or from iTunes by searching for "San Francisco Opera Podcast."

John Houghton, CEO of MobileCast Media, takes the term "audience development" to entirely new levels with his generosity and partnership in launching podcasting for San Francisco Opera.  A former opera singer, Houghton became involved with San Francisco Opera as an audience member and as an active board member of the Company's young audience development group, Bravo! Club.  "It's the marriage of two of my life's passions," says Houghton, who made the podcast possible through a donation of services.  "As a Bravo! Club board member, I worked hard to bring new people to the art form.  Then I realized that I could literally reach millions through podcasting, and this perfect marriage of my passion and my profession came about."

San Francisco Opera tested this concept with an initial Bravo! Club lecture called Opera 101, featuring conductor Sara Jobin.  The podcast is available at the Bravo! Club Podcast Page
(http://www.newmediaconversations.com/bravo) or from iTunes by searching for "Bravo Club."

But will any of this bring new, and especially young, audiences to the opera?

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