The gift is the largest ever received by the company, and possibly the largest single donation by an individual to any American opera company.
Littlefield has been a frequent supporter of the San Francisco Opera; she inaugurated the company sponsorship program in 2002 and has made numerous multi-million dollar gifts.
Born in Paris, Littlefield earned a baccalaureate degree in France and a bachelor's degree in English from Wells College and a master's degree in languages from Mills College.
She is the widow of Edmund Wattis Littlefield, who served as the chief executive officer of Utah Construction Company, which merged with General Electric in 1976 in what was, at that time, the largest corporate merger in history.
Littlefield commented, "San Francisco Opera is very important to me, so it was particularly meaningful to provide support to ensure its future for generations to come. I have always loved opera and am so very grateful to be able to participate now in contributing towards a brilliant future for San Francisco Opera."
San Francisco Opera board president George Hume said, "On behalf of the entire company, I want to express my enormous gratitude to Mrs. Littlefield. Her generosity is driven by her passion for opera and her unwavering devotion to this company. Such inspiring leadership sets a standard. It reminds us all of our obligations to opera and to the opera-loving community, and in doing this it points our company toward the future."