Robert Cahen the renowned opera photographer passed away on September 30, 2015. His obituary that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle is below. His photographs survive him, many of them can be seen on this site, Just put his name into the search box. The photo above the title is of Cahen and one of his favorite singers and close personal friend Giuseppe Di Stefano.


Robert Melvin Cahen passed away peacefully in his home in HIllsborough on September 28. He was a native of Chicago, and that is where his lifelong love of opera and photography began at the Chicago Lyric Opera. He became the first available light color opera photographer.

Bob moved to California in 1960 and in 1962 began his 50 year collaboration with the San Francisco Opera. His photographs have appeared on 70 album covers, numerous book jackets, and are on permanent display at San Francisco Opera House Gallery. His passion for photography took him to all the great opera houses of the world and created friendships with all the great artists.

Bob was also a successful real estate broker on the Peninsula and served as President of the San Mateo-Burlingame Board of Realtors.

Bob is survived by his wife Joan and daughters and sons-in-law Gwen Kresteller (Daniel), Betsey Kauffman (Richard) and his grandchildren Leland, Elizabeth, Harris and Sylvain. Bob will be missed for his enthusiasm for family, friends, opera, and life.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 30, 2015