SF Guerrilla Opera (2011-12)


SF Guerrilla Opera (2011-2012) was a roving sound poetry troupe that gave voice to street signs, leaked US embassy cables, and other texts at numerous locations around the Bay Area. While we staged our first and last operas at venues where we were invited to perform, the majority of our nine operas were interventions, open-air performances, or staged beside protests. Our operas appeared in San Francisco at Adobe Bookstore, Borders Bookstore, the Philip Burton Federal Building, Civic Center BART platform, the Bay to Breakers route and Union Square. One opera was staged on the Internet. Our last opera took place at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Company homepage at sfguerrillaopera.wordpress.com

Links to information and media on all of our operas (in chronological order):

A Night At The Opera With Hosni Mubarak Hosted By Dave Eggers

Where:  Adobe Bookstore, SF

When:  February 26, 2011 @ 7:00pm as a part of The George Spelvin Show

Score:  40+ people read aloud for 40 minutes from books found in the bookstore.


Going Away Party

Where:  Borders Bookstore, Union Square, SF

When:  March 26, 2011 @ 4:00pm

Score:  40+ people read aloud for 40 minutes from books found in the bookstore.


MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Prozac for your AntiSec)

Where:  in front of the Philip Burton Federal Building, SF

When: July 12, 2011, from 7:00am to 7:00pm


1. Meet at the Philip Burton Federal Building at 7am.

2. Sing from our librettos (500+ pages of leaked U.S. embassy cables) until 7pm.

Note: July 12 was the first day of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing.

Additional footage:  B Side



Where:  Civic Center BART, SF

When:  August 15, 2011, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm


1. Meet down on the Civic Center BART platform at 5:00pm TODAY.

2. For one hour, with a phone to your ear, sing (from whisper to monotone to belch) and repeat this:

| |:  Can you hear me now?  😐 |

Note: This opera was staged beside an Anonymous-organized protest of a police officer killing a homeless person on the Civic Center BART platform and the BART’s previous attempts (on August 12, 2011) to censure a protest of this killing by cutting off cell phone access to the station.

Additional footage:  from Canyouhearmenow? (featuring paper hearts provided by the group Writers Bloc)


Bay to Breakers: Unpurposed

Where:  Bay to Breakers 12k foot race route, SF

When:  September 24, 2011 during 100 Thousand Poets for Change


1. This Saturday, just before 1:00 pm, meet at the intersection of Howard & Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco.

2. At exactly 1:00 pm, proceed on foot to Ocean Beach, singing text found en route.

Additional documentation was made by LA poet Mathew Timmons and can be found on the SF Guerrilla Opera site here.


The Leant Walrus Jolter

Where:  Union Square, SF and Liberty Square, NYC

When:  October 19, 2011 at 12 noon

Score: Sing The Wall Street Journal until you can’t sing anymore.


G.O. No.7

Where: Anywhere

When: October 26, 2011

Score: Sing the USA PATRIOT ACT to your nearest surveillance.

More documentation can be found on the SF Guerrilla Opera site here.


PIPA Longstocking and SOPAterno in The Magic Flute Mute


Where: The Internet

When: January 18, 2012

Score: For 24 hours, livestream no audio and no video from wherever you are.

Note: This opera was staged in conjunction with the massive Internet blackout protest against the PIPA and SOPA bills in congress.



Where:  Berkeley Art Museum, Berkley

When:  February 10, 2012

Score:  40+ people read aloud for 40 minutes from books found in the bookstore.