for immediate release

contact: Kate McKinney
(720) 840-1892
kate@westedgeopera.org

CONTACT

1700 SHATTUCK AVENUE, #312
BERKELEY, CA, 94709
(510) 841-1903
WESTEDGEOPERA.ORG

 

 

West Edge Opera Announces Cast and Orchestra for “Snapshot

Regional Artists Shine in New Opera by Northern California Composers and Librettists

January 21 and 22; February 25 and 26, 2017

 

Berkeley, CA - December 23, 2016 - West Edge Opera is proud to announce the artists involved in Snapshot. Over the course of two programs presented in both Berkeley and San Francisco, Snapshot presents excerpts from eight previously unproduced operas by Northern California composers and librettists. Snapshot’s chamber orchestra is comprised of members of San Francisco contemporary music ensemble Earplay and will be led by Earplay’s Mary Chun and West Edge Opera Music Director Jonathan Khuner.

 

The first Snapshot program takes place at 8 p.m. on January 21st at Berkeley’s David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way) and at 3 p.m. on January 22nd at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House (4705 3rd Street). The cast of the first Snapshot program includes mezzo-soprano Buffy Baggott, soprano Chelsea Hollow, sopranoAnn Moss, soprano Kristen Princiotta, baritone Jason Sarten, mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, sopranoShawnette Sulker, and tenor Jacob Thompson. Comprised of members of San Francisco-based new music ensemble Earplay, the orchestra for Snapshot’s first program includes pianist Karen Rosenak, violinist Terrie Baune, cellist Dan Reiter, bassist Michel Taddei, percussionist Kevin Neuhoff, and flutist Stacey Pelinka. The first Snapshot program features excerpts from David Conte and John Stirling Walker’s FamousStephen Eddinsand Michael O’Brien’s Why I Live at the P.O.William David Cooper and Will Dunlap’s Hagar and Ishmael, andAlden Jenks’s Afterworld.

 

The second Snapshot program will be presented at Berkeley’s David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way) at 8 p.m. on February 25th, and at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House (4705 3rd Street) at 3 p.m. on February 26th. The cast of the second Snapshot program includes baritone Daniel Cilli, tenor Darron Flagg, soprano Amy Foote, soprano Julia Hathaway, mezzo-soprano Molly Mahoney, and tenor Joe Meyers. Members of Earplayform the chamber orchestra for the second Snapshot program, including pianist Keisuke Nakagoshi, clarinetistNick di Scala, flutist Stacey Pelinka, bassoonist Erin Levine, percussionist Kevin Neuhoff, violinist Kate Stenberg, violist Ellen Ruth Rose, cellist Leighton Fong, and bassist Kristin Zoernig. The second Snapshotprogram will include excerpts from Carla Lucero’s TouchAllen Shearer and Claudia Stevens’s Howards End, AmericaLinda Bouchard’s The House of Words, and Liam Wade and Vynnie Meli’s The Stranger the Better.

 

Brief video interviews with Snapshot’s composers and librettists will air before each excerpt, and an open panel discussion will follow each program. General admission tickets, at $30, are on sale now and available for purchase at westedgeopera.org or by calling (510) 841-1903.

 

A not-for-profit performing arts organization, West Edge Opera was founded in 1979 by Richard Goodman. Music Director Jonathan Khuner led the company from 1994-2009, when he was joined by Mark Streshinsky as Artistic Director, now General Director. West Edge Opera believes that everyone, regardless of age, circumstance or background, can discover the excitement and relevance of opera in their lives. The company looks at the art form through a new lens, re-imagining tradition to connect with a modern audience and create innovative experiences of the highest quality that respect the original spirit of the work.     

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West Edge Opera is a not-for-profit performing arts organization and is a member of Opera America. 

 

 

West Edge Opera Inaugurates “Snapshot

New Program Highlights Northern California Composers’ Works

January 21 and 22; February 25 and 26, 2017

 

"I wish there had been something like [Snapshot] when I was first coming along and looking for such opportunities."

- Jake Heggie

 

BERKELEY - November 28, 2016 - This January and February West Edge Opera inaugurates Snapshot, an initiative that introduces new work by both emerging and established Northern California composers. Conceived and curated by composer Brian M. Rosen, Snapshot presents excerpts from eight previously unproduced operas over two programs performed in intimate concert settings in venues in Berkeley and San Francisco: the Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley and the historic and newly renovated Bayview Opera House at 4705 3rd Street in San Francisco. Conductors Mary Chun and Jonathan Khuner lead an instrumental chamber group featuring members of San Francisco-based new music ensemble Earplay.

 

On January 21st at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House, Snapshot presents the work of David Conte, Stephen Eddins, William David Cooper and Alden Jenks:

 

·      David Conte, Composition Chair at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and librettist John Stirling Walker’s Famous opens the first Snapshot program. Famous is an exploration of the life of Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars.”

·      Stephen Eddins’s big band, gospel and jazz-inspired music and Michael O’Brien’s libretto bring 20th-century Southern novelist Eudora Welty’s story to life in Why I Live at the P.O.

·      William David Cooper, a recent graduate of the PhD program at UC Davis, has received awards from ASCAP and the Academy of Arts and Letters. Snapshot presents a sample of Cooper and librettist Will Dunlap’s grand opera Hagar and Ishmael.

·      Alden Jenks helped found and served as Director of the Electronic Music Studio at San Francisco Conservatory. Jenks wrote both the music and libretto for Afterworld, a “serious comedy” loosely inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

 

Works by Carla Lucero, Allen Shearer, Linda Bouchard and Liam Wade comprise the second program of Snapshot, presented on February 25th at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and February 26th at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House:

 

·      Carla Lucero’s One O’Clock, an excerpt from her opera in progress about Helen Keller, opens the second Snapshot program. Lucero has received awards for her previous operas from Creative Work Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Meet the Composer and OUT Magazine, among other organizations.

·      Longtime collaborators Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens, whose Middlemarch in Spring was produced last year in the Bay Area to critical acclaim, present an excerpt from Howards End, America, based on the eponymous novel by E. M. Forster.

·      Linda Bouchard’s The House of Words was composed in 2003. Snapshot presents excerpts from the opera which includes a libretto constructed of excerpts from The Book of Embraces by celebrated Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist Eduardo Galeano.

·      Liam Wade and librettist Vynnie Meli’s The Stranger the Better closes the second Snapshot program. A farcical riff on A Streetcar Named Desire, the opera is Wade and Meli’s 2016 prize-winning submission to The Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project, where an entire opera is composed, designed and staged within twenty-four hours.

 

Earplay has been a cornerstone of new music performance in the Bay Area since its formation in 1985. Throughout its history the chamber ensemble has commissioned over 80 works and premiered more than 140 pieces by today’s leading composers. The musicians return to work with West Edge Opera in Snapshot after performing in last year’s Powder Her Face.  Conducting duties will be split between Earplay’s Mary Chun and West Edge Opera Music Director Jonathan Khuner. Vocalists are being confirmed and will be announced shortly.

 

Named after the “father of the modern environmental movement,” the David Brower Center houses 28 national and international organizations dedicated to environmental advocacy and creating sustainable living conditions for the global community. The Goldman Theater is an intimate space for lectures and performances within the center. The Bayview Opera House is an 1888 registered historic landmark and San Francisco’s oldest theater.  A venue located in the heart of San Francisco’s most diverse area, the organization is committed to providing affordable arts education opportunities for all.

 

Members of the audience will be treated to video introductions with Snapshot’s composers and librettists before each excerpt at both venues. General admission tickets go on sale December 1st and will be available online at westedgeopera.org or by phone at (510) 841-1903. Tickets are $30 each.

 

A not-for-profit performing arts organization, West Edge Opera was founded in 1979 by Richard Goodman. Music Director Jonathan Khuner led the company from 1994-2009, when he was joined by Mark Streshinsky as Artistic Director, now General Director. West Edge Opera believes that everyone, regardless of age, circumstance or background, can discover the excitement and relevance of opera in their lives. The company looks at the art form through a new lens, re-imagining tradition to connect with a modern audience and create innovative experiences of the highest quality that respect the original spirit of the work.     

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West Edge Opera is a not-for-profit performing arts organization and is a member of Opera America. 

 

West Edge Opera adds a Fourth Performance of Powder Her Face


July 14, BERKELEY, CA – by e-mail – Due to overwhelming demand, West Edge Opera has added a fourth performance of Thomas Adés’ Powder Her Face on Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 pm. The originally announced performances are Sunday, July 31 at 3 pm, Saturday, August 6 at 1 pm and Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm.

 

With a plot drawn from real life – the 1963 divorce proceedings of the “Dirty Duchess,” Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, this modern masterpiece provokes and challenges. Laura Bohn sings the role of the Duchess and Emma McNairy returns after her stunning performance as last season’s Lulu, to sing the Maid. Tenor Jonathan Blalock and baritone Hadleigh Adams round out the cast. Elkhanah Pulitzer, who stunned audiences with last summer’s Lulu, is the stage director. A collaboration with the San Francisco contemporary music ensemble EarPlay, Powder Her Face will be conducted by Mary Chun.

 

The other productions in West Edge Opera’s 2016 Festival are Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Jonathan Khuner and directed by Patrick Diamond (Saturday, July 30 at 8 pm , Sunday, August 7 at 3 pm and Saturday, August 13 at 1 pm) and Handel’s Agrippina, conducted by Jory Vinikour and directed by Mark Streshinsky (Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm.,  Friday, August 12 at 8 pm and Sunday, August 14 at 3 pm). 

 

All Festival performances take place at Oakland’s abandoned 16th Street Train Station.
For tickets, go to www.westedgeopera.org or call (510) 841-1903.

 

FOR CALENDAR LISTINGS
 Leoš Janáček’s
The Cunning Little Vixen
in Czech with English supertitles
conducted by Jonathan Khuner
directed by Patrick Diamond
featuring Amy Foote as the Vixen
and Philip Skinner as the Forester
Saturday, July 30 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 7 at 3 pm
Saturday, August 13 at 1 pm
Oakland’s abandoned Train Station at 16th Street and Wood

 

Thomas Adés
Powder Her Face
in English with English supertitles
conducted by Mary Chun
directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer
featuring Laura Bohn, Emma McNairy
Jonathan Blalock and Hadleigh Adams
Sunday, July 31 at 3 pm
Saturday, August 6 at 1 pm
Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm.
Oakland’s abandoned Train Station at 16th Street and Wood

 

George Frideric Handel
Agrippina
in Italian with English supertitles
conducted by Jory Vinikour
directed by Mark Streshinsky
Featuring Sarah Gartshore, Celine Ricci
Hannah Stephens and Ryan Belongie
Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm
Friday, August 12 at 8 pm
Sunday, August 14 at 3 pm
Oakland’s abandoned Train Station at 16th Street and Wood

 

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West Edge Opera is a not-for-profit performing arts organization and is a member of Theatre Bay Area and Opera America.

 

PLEASE NOTE: For press tickets or information please contact Marian Kohlstedt at artsmarian@yahoo.com or (510) 524-8606.
 

WEST EDGE OPERA'S 2016 OPENS JULY 30 AT OAKLAND'S ABANDONED TRAIN STATION

April 15, BERKELEY, CA – by e-mail – West Edge Opera’s 2016 Festival of three operas will take place July 30 through August 14 at Oakland’s abandoned Train Station at 18th and Wood in West Oakland.

Under the combined artistic leadership of General/Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky and Music Director Jonathan Khuner, the Festival opens on Saturday, July 30 at 8 pm with Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. With Janáček’s blend of lyrical modernism and central European folk melody, Vixen also has the distinction of being the only opera in the repertory based on a graphic novel.  Soprano Amy Foote will sing the title role of the Vixen, with bass-baritone Philip Skinner as the Forester. Mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz is the Fox and others in the cast are Joseph Meyers, Nikolas Nackley and Carl King. Patrick Diamond will direct and Jonathan Khuner will conduct. Repeat performances are Sunday, August 7 at 3 pm and Saturday, August 13 at 1 pm. 

The first Bay Area staging of Thomas Adés’ Powder Her Face opens on Sunday, July 31 at 3 pm. With a plot drawn from real life – the scandalous 1963 divorce proceedings of the “Dirty Duchess,” Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, this modern masterpiece provokes and challenges. Laura Bohn sings the role of the Duchess and Emma McNairy returns after her astounding performance as last season’s Lulu, to sing the Maid. Tenor Jonathan Blalock and baritone Hadleigh Adams round out the cast. Elkhanah Pulitzer, who stunned audiences with last summer’s Lulu, returns to direct. A collaboration with the San Francisco contemporary music ensemble EarPlay, Powder Her Face will be conducted by Mary Chun. Repeat performances are Saturday, August 6 at 1 pm and Saturday, August 13 at 8 pm. 

Handel’s Agrippina, directed by Mark Streshinsky, opens Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm. In this opera that could be considered a prequel to Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Handel has created an oddball comedy filled with scheming characters from ancient Rome with a plot full of humorous escapades laden with irony, deception and intrigue. Agrippina is sung by Sarah Gartshore, Celine Ricci is Nero, Hannah Stephens is Poppea, Ryan Belongie is Ottone and Nikolas Nackley is Pallante. Also in the cast are Johanna Bronk, Carl King and Michael Orlinsky. Renowned harpsichordist Jory Vinikour leads an early instrument ensemble. Agrippina repeats on Friday, August 12 at 8 pm and Sunday, August 14 at 3 pm.  

Pre-curtain talks will precede each performance in this year’s addition to the grounds, a Festival Pavilion, which will open two hours before each performance. Tables will be provided for picnicking in the pavilion and box meals will be available for order through our website in the near future. Each performance will feature complimentary beer and wine, with bar donations going to support our young technical internship program. The company will also offer tours of the 1912 Beaux-Arts train station, designed by architect Jarvis Hunt, which for decades was the main train station for Oakland. It was abandoned after the 1989 earthquake when the tracks were moved to the other side of I-880. Every performance will also feature a post-show reception where patrons can meet the performers.

Festival Subscriptions are now on sale, priced at $260 for “gold” seating and $154 for “silver” seating; also offered is $146 “silver” seating for seniors and youth. “Gold” seating is reserved; “silver” is general admission within a reserved section. Single tickets go on sale June 1 and will also include a non-series limited view price of $20, available a week prior to each performance. For more information or to view a virtual brochure, go to westedgeopera.org or call (510) 841-1903.

A not-for-profit performing arts organization, West Edge (formerly Berkeley) Opera was founded in 1979 by Richard Goodman. Music Director Jonathan Khuner led the company from 1994-2009, when he was joined by Mark Streshinsky as Artistic Director, now General Director. West Edge Opera believes that everyone, regardless of age, circumstance or background, can discover the excitement and relevance of opera in their lives. The company looks at the art form through a new lens, re-imagining tradition to connect with a modern audience and create innovative experiences of the highest quality that respect the original spirit of the work.     

# # #

West Edge Opera is a not-for-profit performing arts organization and is a member of Theatre Bay Area and Opera America. 
 

PLEASE NOTE: Requests for press tickets should be made by calling Marian Kohlstedt at (510) 524-8606 or e-mailing artsmarian@yahoo.com