Creation. Temptation. Destruction.
1 hour 30 minutes. Performed without intermission.
New archetypes aren’t minted very often, but Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is certainly among them. Two hundred years after the publication of the novel, West Edge presents Libby Larsen’s operatic treatment with its resonant themes of ego, ambition, and the war between reason and emotion. Working with frequent collaborator Jeremy Knight, West Edge brings to fruition the technological innovations suggested in this rich score that could only be hinted at in the work’s premiere. Frankenstein is the kind of work that has become West Edge Opera’s calling card.
Opera talk begins 45 minutes before curtain.
Music and libretto by Libby Larsen
In English with English supertitles
Conducted by Jonathan Khuner
Directed by Matthew Ozawa
Video design by Jeremy Knight
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR FREE SHUTTLE RUNNING FROM THE WEST OAKLAND BART STATION TO PACIFIC PIPE BEGINNING TWO HOURS BEFORE CURTAIN. NO RESERVATIONS NEEDED!
Frankenstein photos by Cory Weaver
Director Matthew Ozawa makes his West Edge debut with Frankenstein. Ozawa has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for prestigious companies worldwide including Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Siam, Macau International Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a Chicago-based incubator advancing collaborative art and artists.
Jonathan Khuner has been Musical Director of West Edge Opera since 1986 and served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2009. He has conducted over 65 of our productions. He has also worked as assistant conductor at the San Francisco Opera for over thirty years, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for over fifteen years, and has served as well on the musical staff of Chicago's Lyric Opera since 1992. In 2013 he conducted the first Wagner opera ever performed in the nation of Albania: Tannhӓuser, at the National Theater in Tirana, and the Wagner Mini-Ring at Minnesota Concert Opera
Projection designer Jeremy Knight has produced more than two dozen videos for West Edge Opera. His work with theatrical projection began with Berkeley Opera's 2004 production of Legend of the Ring, a one-evening condensation of Richard Wagner's four-opera cycle. In addition to West Edge Opera, his work has been seen in productions by Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Yale Opera, Oakland Opera Theater, Livermore Opera, Townsend Opera, Youth Musical Theater Company, The Crucible, and Lamplighters Music Theatre. Knight had a long career as a computer software designer before entering the video field. Co-inventor of the popular OCR program OmniPage, he holds eight software patents in the fields of optical character recognition and computer evaluation of mental ability.
Costume designer Christine Crook (The Chastity Tree, Frankenstein) made her West Edge debut designing costumes in 2014's Hydrogen Jukebox. She also designed for Lulu in 2015, and The Cunning Little Vixen and Powder Her Face at last year's festival. Crook is the resident costume designer with Opera Parallèle, and is a company member of Shotgun Players in Berkeley. Upcoming projects include Black Rider (Shotgun Players) and Leonard Bernstein's Mass (LA Philharmonic). Recently Christine has begun to explore her work independently in the context of design-driven performance art. This August 2017, in collaboration with Maggie Whitaker, she will present a new experimental performance titled Laughing & Crying at Z Space in San Francisco.
Costume designer Maggie Whitaker (Hamlet, Frankenstein) received her BFA in Theatre Design at the University of South Florida and her MFA in Costume Design at the University of San Diego, California. She has designed costumes for the world premieres of nationally recognized plays including “HeLa” by Lauren Gunderson and Geetha Reddy at TheatreFirst, “I and You,” by Lauren Gunderson at Marin Theatre, “Truffaldino Says No!” by Ken Slattery at Shotgun Players, and “Wildflowers,” by Lila Rose Kaplan at UCSD. Her work as a costume designer has been seen at theaters internationally including The Apollo Theatre, Teatro Tinta Roja, Canal Café Theatre, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, Ray of Light Theatre, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire Theatre, and Cutting Ball Theatre.
Set designer Jean-Francois Revon has designed over 250 productions for theaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of his credits include the world premiere of Opera San José’s The Tale of the Nutcracker, as well as West Bay Opera’s Tosca, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Turn of the Screw, Don Pasquale, The Consul, The Tales of Hoffmann and La bohème. He also designed North Bay Opera’s La Bohème and Don Giovanni, which was nominated in the 1998 “Artsy” for set design. He recently designed La Bohème for the Berkshire Opera. Jean-Francois made his Rimrock Opera debut with Girl of the Golden West.
Lighting designer Lucas Krech (Hamlet, Frankenstein) is a New York City based Lighting & Video artist who has designed operas, dances, plays, and performance pieces across the United States and in Europe. Installation, lighting, and video art has been shown at Black Rock City, SOMArts, Studio Gracia, and others. Krech was the winner of the 2011 “Best Lighting Design – Local” at Broadway World, San Francisco for his lighting of “Care of Trees” with Shotgun Players. He has designed Off-Broadway (“Sake with the Haiku Geisha”, “The Last Word…”, “Becoming Adele”, “Fate’s Imagination”) and Regionally (The Magic, Marin Theatre Company, The Barter, Center Rep, and others).