Alek Shrader as Tamino in San Francisco opera production of The Magic Flute by Mozart.
Radio New Zealand Concert has just begun a summer season of broadcasts from San Francisco Opera.
The series is introduced by Kiwi baritone Hadleigh Adams, a young artist in the company. Darren Pene Pati from Sole Mio was also in its young artist programme before he became famous.
They follow in the footsteps of Kiri te Kanawa, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Jonathan Lemalu who have all starred at San Francisco Opera.
The company has been led for the past eight years by General Director David Gockley. He says he remembers the days when opera stars like Luciano Pavarotti could cause traffic jams on Fifth Avenue.
These days the company works with hit novel writers like Stephen King to create operas that will attract new audiences.
And while its major competitor, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, keeps hitting the headlines with talk of industrial unrest and a huge deficit of 22 million dollars for the past season, San Francisco Opera has almost balanced its budget.
David Gockley tells Eva Radich how the company manages to achieve such a good result.
The San Francisco Opera production of The Magic Flute will be broadcast at 8pm 24th December during Music Alive on RNZ Concert.