The BullhornCommunity Programs

The Bullhorn is designed to uplift and inspire, to activate and initiate, and to challenge expectations of what an opera company can be and do.

Rooted in civic practice, OP’s community programs reflect the company’s aspiration to amplify unheard voices. The Bullhorn is inspired by late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk who used his platform to bring communities together.

Central to this program are partnerships with organizations such as The Transgender District, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Ruth’s Table, and the Chan National Queer Arts Center. The Bullhorn represents a vision for how we hope arts organizations might build stronger, lasting relationships with the communities we work in.


Join us at these upcoming community events, to explore the process, themes, and history of the music and stories of our current season. Check back here for the latest on Bullhorn events.

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Bullhorn Programs

The Bullhorn includes our perennial Expansive and Hands-On-Opera programs, as well as special events and resources created for each production in our season. Additional Bullhorn programming includes:

  • Engaging conversation series exploring the themes of each production
  • Free and low-cost community events with artists and experts on the themes and creation of OP’s productions, and to go behind the scenes in OP’s process
  • Special performances for local schools and community groups
  • In-depth online resources curated by Michael Mohammed, OP’s Scholar in Residence
  • Behind-the-scenes video series on each production


Since 2013, Opera Parallèle’s Hands-On-Opera program has created opportunities for students of all ages to have a complete operatic experience. This program gives non-professional singers the opportunity to participate in producing and performing in a fully-produced opera. The program also provides opportunities for emerging composers, librettists and creatives through the commission of new works, specifically for young performer participants and multi-generational audiences.

Learn More About Hands-On-Opera

Participants in Hands-on-Opera experience the following:

  • Learning and preparing music, with professional guidance accompanied by orchestral instruments
  • Telling a story and developing a character with singing and movement
  • Working with a conductor and a stage director
  • Performing on stage in front of a live audience with professional singers

View previous Hands-On-Opera productions in our Past Productions


The Transgender District & Opera Parallèle present Expansive – A Showcase of Transgender and Non-Binary Classical Artists. Established in 2022, this annual public event is a classical music showcase concert highlighting a new lineup of artists in each iteration and part of a partnership between the two organizations designed to create more opportunities for transgender or gender-expansive performers. The Expansive Showcase serves as an open invitation from The Transgender District to join them in their place, an area of great cultural and historical significance, and to celebrate the stories and artistry of the transgender community.
Learn More About Expansive

2022 Expansive Artists:

  • Rahzé Cheatham – Baritone
  • Breanna Sinclairé – Soprano
  • Reuben Zellman – Countertenor (with New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus)

Learn more about Expansive 2022

2023 Expansive Artists:

  • Katherine Goforth – Classical Vocalist
  • Nikola Printz – Mezzo Soprano
  • Ahya Simone – Harpist, Multidisciplinary Artist

Learn more about Expansive 2023


Major funding for The Bullhorn has been provided by a Civic Practice Grant from OPERA America’s Opera Fund, Henry W. Robinson & Nettie Robinson Foundation, and from Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, with the on-going support of the following individuals and institutions:

If you are interested in supporting The Bullhorn and Opera Parallèle’s programs, contact our Development Team at