The lobby of a Silicon Valley tech company is not where you would expect to hear a soprano belting out a Puccini aria, but that was exactly what happened at the first performance of Arias in the Office.
With "Ch'il Bel Sogno," soprano Katharine Gunnink kicked off the new pop-up series at Adobe's San Jose headquarters at the beginning of August. The initiative by Opera San José aims to introduce people to the very concept of opera as something that can be fun and enjoyable.
"That's the idea — to bring what we do, and the level at which we do it, to people who've heard it and are fans, or people who've never heard it," explains Aaron Nicholson, director of Marketing and Development for Opera San José.
The free performance had the intended effect on Jyh-Jiun Liou, a software quality engineer for Adobe who has lived in nearby Sunnyvale for 25 years but had no clue Opera San José even existed.
"Not a fan, but I really like it," she remarked. "So if I see they will have a performance — maybe I will purchase a ticket."