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War Memorial Opera House

301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street, San Francisco, CA (Civic Center)
415 864 3330
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Ranked #84 of 374 attractions in San Francisco
Type: Theaters, Architectural Buildings
Traveler Description: The War Memorial Opera House is home to both the San Francisco Opera and Ballet.  Opera season runs approximately 6 weeks in June and July and then... more »
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35 reviews from our community

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English first
Fremont, California
Top Contributor
394 reviews 394 reviews
84 attraction reviews
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

My wife & I went here for Shen Yun 2014. It is a very historic & elegant facility. You can spend at least 30 minutes just looking at its art & architecture. Parking is plentiful in lots nearby. As with most such venues, food & drink is expensive & limited. Bathrooms are a short walk down the stairs.

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Walnut Creek, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

The theatre is beautiful, but the seats killed my back and knees. I'm 5'3, 125 lbs, so I'm not a very big person. We got the more costly seats in the dress circle area, hoping it would provide more room. alas, this was not the case. to top it off, a tall person sat in front of me, so I... More

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
19 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

Went to see the Nutcracker here for the first time. The building is stunning...However we opted to spend less on seats and sit up in the balcony. Wow, this was a mistake. The seats are absolutely tiny...worse than airline seats. Ridiculously uncomfortable. I wish we would have spent more money and gotten better seats. It was really hot, noisy, and... More

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San Francisco
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

This is a lovely old (1920s) opera house. The SF Opera is world-class, with not only good singers, but a wonderful orchestra. All sorts of opera is presented, including Mozart's masterpiece Cose fan Tutte which has a brilliant score. The Green Room in the adjacent Veteran's Memorial indeed would have terrible acoustics if music were performed there, but fortunately it's... More

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Hamilton, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

I wish I could check out the grand theater. But instead we had a banquet gala in their dining hall (aka the Green Room). The balcony has a very nice view of the City Hall across the street, but the rest of the hall appears rather old and tired. Their food was bland and mediocre at best. The worst part... More

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Springfield, Illinois
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

This is our third trip to San Francisco and the War Memorial for opera. Easily accessibly by BART's Civic Center Station (with a 20 minute walk) this is a beautiful venue for opera. As out-of- towners, we're relegated to the "nose bleed" seats, which gives a distant view of the stage. If going and seated in balcony, ask for seats... More

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Carmel, California
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
10 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Judy and i saw Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tuti", a comparatively little-performed opera about two soldiers, their girl friends, deception and swapped identities. The acting was fine, and the staging was attractive, but the musical score lacks even a single melody that's memorable or listenable (Mozart must have had his learner's permit at the time). Worse still, there's so little space... More

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Martinez, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

We go every Christmas to enjoy the Nutcracker--a traditional for the last 38 years! We have been to other Nutcrackers, even in other countries; we have been in many other venues (including the year of the earthquake, when the SF Nutcracker was temporarily relocated); nothing compares to the beauty and comfort of the War Memorial Opera House.

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Livermore, California
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
6 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

The ballet was fabulous. But truly this venue is just sublime to visit for a show. The ambiance and charm of the Opera House is just stellar. We loved our outing to the ballet, staged at the War Memorial Opera House

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Berkeley, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

The War Memorial Opera House was the location of the organizing of the United Nations, so it also is an historic location. Fall and early Summer features Opera and it has a long tradition of introducing opera stars to the US. Opera here is always a fine experience, and the opera company regularly commissions new operas to keep the art... More

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