The second largest opera company on the continent, this opera company is also one of the most courageous: along with presenting the classics, in lavish, huge productions, the SFO commissions new works each year. Sometimes these fresh operas can be quite controversial, such as the fall of 2013 adaptation of the Stephen King novel “Dolores Claiborne” by American composer Tobias Picker. All productions have English supertitles. The performance schedule is a bit of an odd one, with the season starting in September and lasting 14 weeks. It then takes a break for a few months before starting again in June for 2 months. It’s usually possible to get the less coveted seats as late as the day of performance (though prime seats can go months in advance).