Opera Medium-Rare
(but well done!)

final offering in the series—

May 4
Aroldo
by Giuseppe Verdi

all performances Sundays at 3:00 pm
Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley
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2014 Summer Festival Season
announcement coming April 17

From the Press

March 30, 2014
West Edge Opera Rediscovers Donizetti Treasure
By Steven Winn

Based on the true story of a Venetian-born woman who married royalty at age 14 and ruled the is­land of Cyprus from 1474-89, Doni­zetti’s 1844 opera Caterina Cornaro is an act of decisive historical re­imagination. The composer and librettist Giacomo Sacchèro grafted a melodramatic love triangle onto the story, gave the heroine a made-up noble suitor, and killed off a king in battle who actually died of an illness. In a final twist, two different endings now finish off the opera. Donizetti shaped and reshaped the facts to his dramatic and musical purposes.

Presented in a lightly staged con­cert version by West Edge Opera at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley, Caterina Cor­naro proved to be, especially in the gripping final acts, an unjustly neglected lyric tragedy from the composer’s late period. The piece premiered a year after Don Pas­quale. It’s a shame there was only one performance. This is a rarity that merits a more sustained rediscovery.


January 19, 2014
Thrilling Flights in Rare Rossini
By Jason Victor Serinus

The word must have gotten out about soprano Emma McNairy. How else to explain the warm Sunday afternoon packed house at Berkeley’s Northbrae Community Church for West Edge Opera’s concert performance of Rossini’s early opera, Elizabeth, Queen of England, (or, more rightly put, for an opera performed in Italian with well-projected English translations, Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra).

. . . Music director Jonathan Khu­ner’s pianism, pacing, and English supertitle authoring were exemplary, and the other two members of the piano trio “orches­tra,” violinist Sara Usher and cellist Judiyaba, per­formed quite well. . . Meanwhile, a major thumbs up, not only to Mc­Nairy, but also to a laudably deter­mined company whose motto for its three-concert performance series — Opera Medium-Rare (but well done!) — absolutely spoke the truth on January 19.


Bay Area Pioneers: Mining the Imagination
Opera America Magazine, Winter 2013

West Edge Opera Director Mark Streshinsky is interviewed in this Opera America article [pdf] about Bay Area opera com­panies pro­ducing adventuresome new work. (Reprinted by permission of Opera America, the quarterly magazine of the national service organization for opera.)


Opera Medium-Rare
the series continues

More concert performances of undeservedly-obscure operas by some of the world's great composers, presented at Northbrae Community Church in North Berkeley. Find all about the series here.


Aroldo
by Giuseppe Verdi

Sunday, May 4, 3:00 pm

final offering in our concert opera series

Verdi

Verdi's re-working of Stiffelio with a new cast of characters and additional gorgeous music.

Tickets are $40 for the reserved section or $15 for general admission.


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Opera Medium-Rare presents concert per­formances, with Jonathan Khuner leading a piano ensemble, of operas by some of the world's great composers that—due to the un­fathomable whims of history—are rarely performed. Loosely based on historical characters, these neglected works are full of wonderful music that deserves to be heard. Follow the story with English supertitles showing words and actions.

Northbrae Community Church is at 941 The Alameda, Berkeley (parking behind the church or on the street).     > get map


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West Edge Opera

     "Always trying to push the envelope."
        —San Francisco Classical Voice

Pushing the envelope. This is what drives our work. At West Edge Opera we believe there is no limit to where this art form can go. We want to break down the perceptions of opera as exclusive and distant and present the essence of the story. To reveal the emotions that can't be spoken.


Our 2014 Season, in part:

  • Opera Medium-Rare — a concert-opera series of obscure works by famous composers
  • Piedmont Center for the Arts
    Holiday Concerts
  • Three fully-staged operas, to be announced soon


West Edge Opera thanks our Sponsors

d'jour wellgrounded East Bay Express

Opera America
The Bernard Osher Foundation National Endowment for the Arts EchidnaMedia Motet Music
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