Theater Diary: San Diego Opera House Logo Changes Name and Season Artwork in Honor of ‘Frida y Diego’ Premiere

The San Diego Opera celebrates its growing Hispanic audience and the upcoming world premiere of its Spanish-language opera “El ulitmo sueno de Frida y Diego” with new brand logos and a series of performance posters designed by the prominent artist Mexican Raúl Urias.

The 57-year-old arts organization today announced a new partnership with Esser Design, a national brand design firm that helped San Diego Opera create a new logo and graphic feel for the 2022 season- 23. Single tickets for the season also went on sale today

The season kicks off October 29 through November 6 with the new opera by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz, which translates to “Frida and Diego’s Last Dream.” It is the fictional story of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera praying for a final visit from his late wife, painter Frida Kahlo, who returns from beyond on Day of the Dead to rekindle their passion one last time.

Pam Esser, partner and chief marketing officer of Esser Design, said a primary goal of the rebranding campaign was to better align San Diego Opera with San Diego’s culturally diverse communities and reach new audiences.

“San Diego has a rapidly growing Hispanic population and with that in mind, we decided to explore illustrators who would provide this infusion of Latin culture to celebrate the new season and world premiere,” Esser said in a statement.

The new San Diego Opera logo, created by Esser Design.

(Courtesy of San Diego Opera)

The new logo has a playful, younger look and bold colors, and the new marketing tagline, “Every Voice Tells a Story” reinforces the company’s mission to tell stories that celebrate the expressive power of the human voice.

At the same time, Esser was tasked with finding a new artist to design the show’s posters for the 2022-23 season. In recent years, the posters have been designed by artist R. Black. For the upcoming season, San Diego Opera and Esser Design have chosen Urias, an artist based in Chihuahua, Mexico. His artwork and illustrations blend his own Mexican heritage with influences from Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau, 60s psychedelic poster art, Austrian Art Deco and graphic designer Milton Glaser. .

The San Diego Opera marketing poster

San Diego Opera’s “The Falling and the Rising” marketing poster, designed by Mexican artist Raúl Urias.

(Courtesy of San Diego Opera)

Urias said in a statement: “I was excited about this project because it’s my first time working on an opera project. When I researched, I learned that there was already posters made 100 years ago for operas. I am delighted to be part of this heritage and this tradition.

Matt Graber, who recently joined the San Diego Opera as chief marketing officer, said the company’s ticket sales got off to a good start this year, which “already shows…that our community looks forward to this incredible season. The work that Esser and Raul have done will only amplify that excitement.

The season continues with: “The Puccini duo: Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi”, from February 11 to 19; “Tosca” by Puccini, from March 25 to April 2; the world premiere of “Ghosts” by Nicolas Revèles, a trio of one-act operas inspired by horror, from April 14 to 16; and “The Falling and the Rising” by Zach Redler, May 12-14.

For tickets, visit

Kragen writes about theater and opera for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email him at [email protected]

The San Diego Opera marketing poster

The San Diego Opera “Ghosts” marketing poster, designed by Mexican artist Raúl Urias.

(Courtesy of San Diego Opera)

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