Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, Jan. 13-20

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Alliance
Saturday January 12, 2019 - 10:22:00 AM

Women’s Marches in Oakland and San Francisco are Saturday January 19

Berkeley City Council Work Session on Tuesday, January 15 includes Future Development of North Berkeley BART and recommendations

January 22 City Council meeting agenda is available for comment -more-

Opera at the Hillside Club Tonight at 7, Sunday at 2

Friday January 11, 2019 - 02:42:00 PM

If you like to experience genuine opera up close and personal, the Berkeley Chamber Opera production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, at Berkeley’s Hillside Club tonight, January 11 and Sunday, January 13 is your opportunity. If your only exposure to opera has been recordings, videos in movie theaters, or cavernous auditoriums like the San Francisco War Memorial Opera house, you’re in for a revelation.

The BCO, a non-profit, presents locally-sourced professional casts singing with a chamber orchestra in a human-scale venue evocative of the many intimate opera houses in Italy. This is their sixth fully costumed and staged production, the last five mounted at the historic wood-paneled club.

Conductor Jonathan Khuner is a veteran of many operas, including several for BCO. The title role will be sung by Bay Area soprano Eliza O’Malley, whose last BCO role was Joan of Arc in Verdi’s Giovanna D’Arco, which Khuner also conducted. The stage director is Lisa Houston. All three, as it happens, are Berkeley High School graduates who have gone on to regional, national and international careers. Many of the cast and chorus are also local residents. -more-

New: Puccini’s Skewed View of the Quintessentially French MANON LESCAUT

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday January 17, 2019 - 10:23:00 AM

Berkeley Chamber Opera offered two performances of Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut Friday and Sunday, January 11 and 13, at Berkeley’s Hillside Club. Soprano Eliza O’Malley, founder and artistic director of Berkeley Chamber Opera, sang the title role on Friday in spite of suffering from early symptoms of laryngitis. However, for the Sunday performance Ms. O’Malley found an imaginative solution to her vocal issues. She lip-synced the role onstage while Russian soprano Olga Chernisheva sang the role from the orchestra pit. Strange to say, it worked fine. -more-