Arts & Events

New: See Verdi's Joan of Arc this weekend

Pamela Tibbits
Monday July 09, 2018 - 03:13:00 PM

Tickets are now available for Berkeley Chamber Opera’s summer production of Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc) at the historic Hillside Club in Berkeley, with chamber orchestra under the baton of Alexander Katsman and directed by Elly Lichenstein.

Two performances this weekend only: Fri, July 13 (7 pm) and Sun, July 15 (2 pm)

Music by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Libretto by Temistocle Solera, inspired by the play Die Jungfrau von Orleans (1801) by Friedrich von Schiller


Brown Paper Tickets:
General: $37 in advance, $42 at the door
Senior/Student: $25 in advance, $28 at the door
12 and under: free

Don’t miss this opportunity to see a recently revised authentic version of a rarely-performed gem by Giuseppe Verdi. Giovanna d’Arco (Joan of Arc) had its world premiere during the turbulent years of the Italian risorgimento at Milan’s La Scala in 1845 (with the composer himself at the keyboard).

Berkeley Chamber Opera (BCO) is using the 2009 scholarly edition from the University of Chicago Verdi series, restored by Alberto Rizzuti from original manuscripts without text changes which had been mandated by Verdi’s contemporary censors. For this production, BCO has once again assembled an outstanding cast with company founder soprano Eliza O’Malley as the medieval heroine Giovanna, baritone Geoffrey Di Giorgio as Giacomo, Giovanna’s father, and tenor Salvatore Atti as Carlo VII, King of France. All three were principals in the company’s 2017 Verdi offering, Luisa Miller. -more-

Merola Opera Launches Its Summer Season

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday July 06, 2018 - 03:09:00 PM

Opening with the Schwabacher Summer Concert, Merola Opera launched its 2018 Summer Season with two performances, Thursday, July 5, at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Saturday, July 7, at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall. I attended the Thursday evening performance, which was a sold-out affair, though I saw a few empty seats. Featured on the program were extended excerpts, often whole scenes, from Samuel Barber’s Vanessa, Giacomo Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Georges Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The Orchestra was conducted by Kathleen Kelly, who was an apprentice coach for Merola back in 1991-92. The minimal staging was provided by Aria Umezawa. -more-

Produced by Arianne MacBean and The Big Show Company

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday July 05, 2018 - 01:09:00 PM

[Disclaimer: Arianne MacBean is my daughter. However, I have tried to write an objective review of this complex dance-event, though, as you will see at the end of this review, I have not shied away from acknowledging my personal involvement as Arianne’s father.]

On Thursday-Friday, June 28-9, Arianne MacBean and The Big Show Company in Los Angeles offered the world premiere of The Collective Memory Project at Ford Theatre in Hollywood. This was a bold, provocative work utilizing dance, text, music, video, and drawing to examine the rich contours of memory. Some of the memories evoked in this show were those of veterans who experienced combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. However, many of the memories evoked here were those of cast members or Arianne MacBean herself. The very nature of memory was brilliantly investigated here, including its possible distortions, its fragmentation, its dispersal, and its tenuous reconnections to ongoing life. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 8-15

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday July 07, 2018 - 10:47:00 AM

Worth Noting:

The summary of meetings for the coming week is not as heavy as expected considering the canceling and rescheduling for the 4th of July Holiday. When the Peace and Justice Commission meets on Federal Immigration abuses on Monday evening it will be after the working poor and nine children living in vehicles at the Marina are evicted from their current location under threat of arrest and being jailed in Berkeley or Santa Rita.

The Tuesday City Council Agenda is packed. The Vacancy Ordinance, Police Commission Charter Amendment, Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness and Transfer Tax Ballot Initiative are in the agenda item list.

The Community meeting on fire safety Thursday evening organized by Sophie Hahn District 5 is timely given that fire season is upon us. The announcement does not list speakers. -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar

Kelly Hammargren
Sunday July 01, 2018 - 04:20:00 PM

Worth Noting:

With the Fourth of July in the middle of the week on Wednesday, most of the City meetings are either postponed, cancelled or rescheduled leaving a very light week. There are only two more regular City Council meetings before the summer recess (July 25 – September 10). The July 10 City Council agenda is available for review and comments. Any/all City ballot initiatives must be completed before summer recess to be on the November ballot.

Agenda for July 10 City Council meeting: Email comments to Consent items, 11. Bike Station Agreement with BART City to pay $130,000 in new Center St. Garage, 19. Commercial Cannabis Retail Nurseries, 20. Permit Process for Scooter Sharing Companies on Public Streets, 21. Revisions to Short Term Rental Ordinance, 26. Request for Comprehensive Annual Report on Homeless Services (past reports in packet well worth reading), Action items, 24. ZAB appeal 840 Page Street, 28. Unlawful Nuisance Ordinance Residential Buildings vacant > 120 days and meeting 2 or more specified conditions 29. a.&b. Immediate Priorities for Fire Safety and Overall Disaster Preparedness, 30. Affordable Housing Bond Nov. Ballot Initiative, 31. Ballot Initiative Rent Ordinance, 31. Berkeley Waterfront Parking Restrictions, 32. a.&b. Charter Amendment Police Commission, 34. Auto Sales in Commercial South Area, Urban Agriculture Ordinance, 35. ADU Ordinance Updates, 36. Standards for Views, 37. CEAC recommendations City-wide Green Development requirements apply to 50 units or more, LEED Silver, 38. Ballot Initiative Increase Transfer Tax to fund Homeless Services. -more-