about the company
West Edge Opera looks at the art form through a new lens: we present early and contemporary works and re-imagine opera tradition to engage and entertain a diverse audience.
Now in its 44th season, West Edge Opera has presented 98 complete operas. Repertoire includes new and unusual works as well as favorite and lesser-known works by well-known composers.
Formerly known as Berkeley Opera, the company was founded in 1979 by baritone Richard Goodman. As the company grew under General Director Streshinsky and Music Director Khuner, the company was renamed West Edge Opera in 2014. Since then, West Edge Opera has presented world, American, and west coast opera premieres, and commissioned three new operas and several new translations and adaptations of classic works.
West Edge is a family. A family of artists, singers, musicians, donors and patrons. When the festival was forced to be cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, our family of donors came through with the funds to help our singers, musicians and stage crew. Everyone who was contracted to work on Festival 2020 received two-thirds of the amount they would have made. They also received an invitation to return in 2021 to perform the planned 2020 season.
2016: Agrippina at Oakland's abandoned 16th Street station
2017: Frankenstein at Pacific Pipe
In 2021, West Edge Opera took part in Cal Shakes’ Season of Shared Light in The Bruns Ampitheater. It was a triumphant return to live performance.
Now in 2022, West Edge Opera present its summer opera festival at The Oakland Scottish Rite Center on Lake Merritt this July and August. For its most ambition season yet, West Edge Opera presents The American Premiere Coraline by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Julius Caesar by Handel, and Ariane & Bluebeard by Paul Dukas. At The Taube Atrium Theater on August 14th, West Edge Opera presents a preview performance of Bulrusher, by Nathaniel Stookey and Eisa Davis, due to premiere in 2023.
In addition to the summer festival, West Edge Opera presents a showcase of new operas by west coast composers called SNAPSHOT, hosts a residency for American composers and librettists called Aperture, and is currently commissioning 2 new operas: Dolores by Nicolas Lell Benavides and Marella Martin Koch, and Bulrusher by Nathaniel Stookey and Eisa Davis.