Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar: November 10-17

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday November 09, 2019 - 09:18:00 PM

Worth Noting:


Petition to Save Traffic Circle Trees- sign by November 11, (Meeting Nov12)

Petition in opposition to Dredging the Bay, sign by November 12 (meeting Nov 13)


Sunday Nov 17 – Berkeley ½ Marathon, 5K, 10K – check street closures


Holiday Food Drive – November 1 – 29, daily from 8:30 a – 6 p, for more information

Future -more-

Motherless Brooklyn as Film Art

Reviewed by Charlene Woodcock
Saturday November 09, 2019 - 08:36:00 PM

An unexpected example of film as art (to quote Rudolf Arnheim, UC Press, 1957) is Edward Norton’s just-released Motherless Brooklyn. Unexpected because the reviews don’t hint at the core of the film—Robert Moses' drive to eliminate poor neighborhoods, especially poor colored neighborhoods, to remake New York City to serve the wealthy and the automobile. Nor was I prepared for the gorgeous cinematography, the 1950s period detail, and a jazz club with great music. With Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis. -more-

Lianna Haroutounian Lights Up Puccini’s Dark MANON LESCAUT

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday November 09, 2019 - 07:56:00 PM

Having quickly emerged as perhaps this era’s leading Puccini soprano, Lianna Haroutounian returns to San Francisco Opera by adding the role of Manon Lescaut to the list of Puccini heroines she has sung here, starting with Tosca in 2014 and Madama Butterfly in 2016. Ms. Haroutounian also sang here the role of Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in 2018. On Friday, November 8, Liana Haroutounian sang in the first of six performances of Manon Lescaut, the opera that gave Puccini his first success when it premiered in 1893. If Manon Lescaut has never achieved the audience adulation accorded Puccini’s La Bohème, Tosca, or Madama Butterfly, it nevertheless contains some excellent music. Manon’s Act II aria “In quelle trine morbide”/“In these soft laces” is considered by many one of the finest arias Puccini ever wrote. At the first performance this year of this San Francisco Opera production of Manon Lescaut, Liana Haroutounian not only sang this aria beautifully, she even conveyed the chilling effect experienced by Manon amidst all this luxury. Not that Manon doesn’t like luxury! But she also confides to her brother that she longs for the humble dwelling where she and Des Grieux knew true love. -more-

Florin Parvulescu Performs Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday November 10, 2019 - 09:59:00 AM

In a fortuitous combination of events, Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3, “Ballade,” was played as an encore at San Francisco Symphony on October 4 by Maria Dueñas, and a month later Florin Parvulescu performed all six of Ysaÿe’s Sonatas for Solo Violin on Sunday, November 3, at Piedmont Center for the Arts. The former event ignited great local interest in Eugène Ysaÿe; and the latter event offered a rare opportunity to hear a live performance of all six of Ysaÿe’s notoriously difficult Sonatas for Solo Violin. At the Piedmont Center for the Arts, René Mandel's introductory remarks noted that these Ysaÿe Sonatas for Solo Violin are among the most difficult works ever written for the violin. So it was a rare treat indeed to hear them admirably performed by Florin Parvulescu. -more-