Arts & Events

Dvorák’s RUSALKA Is A Resounding Success

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday June 20, 2019 - 04:12:00 PM

In a summer season at San Francisco Opera where until now no production came anyway near being an unbridled success, we finally have in Dvorák’s Rusalka a production where everything came together beautifully. Rusalka is a fairytale folk opera rooted in Dvorák’s native Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic. With a libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, based on fairy tales by Karel Jaromir Erben and Božena Němcová (and remotely based on “The Little Mermaid“ by Hans Christian Anderson), Dvorák’s Rusalka is set in the magical world of water sprites who cavort in forest lakes. These female nymphs of the waters exert an erotic allure on any human men who chance to encounter them. -more-

An Underwhelming CARMEN at San Francisco Opera

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday June 20, 2019 - 04:09:00 PM

Bizet’s Carmen is almost unimaginable without a dynamic, alluring, title-role singer. Unfortunately, the San Francisco Opera’s current Carmen, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges. is a strangely underwhelming Carmen. Her voice simply doesn’t project, nor does her acting. She’s just there, going through the motions we associate with Carmen, but never catching fire either vocally or dramatically. .Although J’Nai Bridges was undertaking the role of Carmen for the first time, there was reason to think she could bring it off successfully, based on her performance, one of the few good things, in the 2017 world premiere of John Adams’ woebegone Girls of the Golden West. But, no, already into its third of seven performances, on June 14 J’Nai Bridges’ Carmen was still, at best, a work in progress. -more-

Russian and Middle Eastern Films You Might Enjoy

Margot Smith
Thursday June 20, 2019 - 03:54:00 PM

I've enjoyed these, didn't know that I was that interested in Russia until...

Good Russian Movies (In roughly chronological order):

Ivan the Terrible, Part I-- (1944) is set in sixteenth-century Moscow, where the newly crowned Czar Ivan attempts to thwart both the boyars (the feudal nobility) and the hold of the church to create a unified Russia. Part I follows Ivan from his coronation to his voluntary exile to Alexandrov to await his people’s summons.

Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great. (2014)--Great film, Katherine the Great from a modern perspective.The renowned Empress of 18th Century Russia and part of the Romanoff dynasty begins her journey as a German princess selected to marry Peter the Third, heir to the Russian throne and grandson of Peter the Great. 10 episodes. Filmed in Russia. (on Amazon Prime) -more-

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 23-30

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday June 22, 2019 - 10:19:00 PM

Worth Noting and Showing Up:

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are packed with meetings worth attending.

The City Council Agenda Committee on Monday afternoon and the City Council regular meeting Tuesday evening always have a long list of agenda items and make this week’s meeting summary extra thick.

NEW - Audio Recordings of the City Council Committee Meetings are now available and the quality is surprisingly good
Audio Recordings: click this link to access recent meeting MP3 audio files via Dropbox.

(Note: A Dropbox account is not required in order to access the MP3 files.)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

EV (Electric Vehicle) 101 Workshop, 11 am, - 12:30 pm, 2530 San Pablo, Event is free, but pre-registration needed – space limited, 350 Bay Area, Sponsored by Ecology Center and City of Berkeley, also offered Tuesday, June 25 at 6 pm

Housing is a Human Right Forum, 2 – 5 pm, 1802 Fairview, South Berkeley Community Church, hosted by Friends of Adeline -more-