Clifford “Kip” Cranna

Il Cenacolo
Person of the Year
2006

Dr. Clifford (Kip) Cranna is the Musical Administrator of the San Francisco Opera, where he has been on the staff since 1979. He received his BA in choral conducting at the University of North Dakota, and his Ph.D. in musicology at Stanford University, where his dissertation involved the translation of an Italian treatise on singing written in 1613. Kip's love of Italian culture began in the early 70s when he was a Navy Lieutenant stationed in Napoli, where he began learning Italian and spent vast amounts of time listening to opera at the Teatro San Carlo.

Dr. Cranna was associated for over 25 years with the Carmel Bach Festival as program editor, lecturer, and program advisor. He has conducted a number of choral groups in the San Francisco Bay area, and has been active as a director of church music programs.  He has been on the Board of Trustees of Chanticleer, the professional vocal ensemble, for the past 20 years, and is on the Artistic Advisory Board of the San Francisco Boys Chorus. He has judged vocal competitions for numerous organizations including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions and the New National Theater of Tokyo, Japan. 

Kip is a frequent guest lecturer throughout Northern California in the field of music appreciation, and has presented numerous programs for the Museo Italo-Americano, Italingua, the Leonardo da Vinci Society, and Il Cenacolo. He is also the author of numerous articles on opera. As an opera administrator, he manages commissions for new operas (such as The Dangerous Liaisons, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dead Man Walking, and Doctor Atomic), plans schedules for future seasons, and acts as editor-in-chief of the company's "supertitles."  He often serves as a speaker or moderator for the San Francisco Opera and the Opera Center, and is a regular host of the Opera Insights presented by the Opera Guild. He teaches courses on opera at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has taught on-line courses for Opera America, and has written music reviews for San Francisco Classical Voice. He has served as radio host for the San Francisco Opera broadcasts, and has worked as a Study Leader for Smithsonian Study Tours.

Kip lives in San Francisco with his partner of 34 years, conductor and teacher Bruce Lamott, and their two  Shiba-Inus (a Japanese breed) named Obi and Beni.  He is an avid bicycle rider, and is very proud of his world-class collection of martini shakers.