Berkeley Opera’s 31st Season Opens with Mozart’s Don Giovanni
at El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater February 20-28–three performances only
January 22, 2010, BERKELEY, CA – Berkeley Opera’s 2010 31st season opens with a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on Saturday, February 20 at 8 pm, with repeat performances on Friday, February 26 at 8 pm, and Sunday, February 28 at 2 pm. Berkeley Opera’s performances move this season to the new, state-of-the-art El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater, 540 Ashbury Avenue (at El Cerrito High School). The production is conducted by Alexander Katsman and directed by Berkeley Opera’s new Artistic Director, Mark Streshinsky.
Pictured above, wizard and librettist David Scott Marley outside the Julia Morgan Theater at his “Tales of Hoffman” last spring. Here is the new El Cerrito Performing Arts Center.
Berkeley Opera announces new state of the art theater in El Cerrito
Baritone and former Adler Fellow Eugene Brancovenau is featured in the title role, with Igor Vieira as Leporello. Aimée Puentes sings Donna Elvira, Kaileen Miller is Donna Anna and Michael Desnoyers is Don Ottavio. Zerlina and Mazetto are sung by Stephanie Kupfer and William O’Neill, and James Grainger is the Commendatore. Susan Swerdlow directs the Berkeley Opera Chorus.
When Brancovenau appeared as one of the rogue courtiers in the live broadcast of Rigoletto at San Francisco opera a few years ago, the broadcast went to Stanford University. Live on the Kip Cam in his dressing room after, he looked into the camera and said, arousing laughter outside at Civic Center,
Stanford do your homework.
The quintessential libertine, Don Giovanni (or Don Juan) is a womanizer with a list of conquests so long that his servant Leporello is given an aria just to enumerate them. That sounds like a recipe for a comic opera. And Mozart’s Don Giovanni is a comic opera. But it’s also far more than that. It’s a tragedy. . . and a psychological drama. . .and a brilliant moral tale. Its complexity is part of the genius of Mozart’s matchless music and Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto that combine to make Don Giovanni widely regarded as as one of the greatest operas of all time.
The new production will present Mozart’s masterpiece in a fully contemporary setting following Berkeley Opera’s mission to present time-honored classics in new ways for a contemporary audience.
Tickets to Don Giovanni are $65, $50 and $25 for adults, and $32, $25 and $15 for youth (17 and under). Wheelchair seating is $25. $15 Rush tickets for full-time students with ID are available at the door one hour before curtain, as available. Advance tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006 or online at www.berkeleyopera.org. For more information, go to Berkeley Opera’s website at www.berkeleyopera.org.
Don Giovanni at the Library
A free noon concert featuring highlights from Don Giovanni will take place on Thursday, February 11, 12:15-1:00 pm in the 5th floor Art & Music Room at the Berkeley Public Library Main Branch, 2090 Kittredge (at Shattuck) in downtown Berkeley. Mark Streshinsky will speak briefly about the opera and Alexander Katsman will accompany Aimée Puentes and Igor Vieira in excerpts from the opera.
About Berkeley Opera
A not-for-profit performing arts organization, Berkeley Opera was founded in 1979 by Richard Goodman. Jonathan Khuner has led the company since 1994 and is now joined by Mark Streshinsky as Artistic Director. Berkeley Opera is committed to presenting opera as lively, compelling musical theater that fuses music and drama to delight, move, and challenge its audiences, while remaining affordable and engaging. Offerings encompass a wide range of repertoire – the new and unusual as well as both favorites and overlooked gems by well-known composers.
Time-honored classics have been presented in new ways to make them fresh for contemporary audiences, while always striving to honor the intentions of the composer. The company has recently decided to feature operas from three different musical eras each season – the Early/Classic. 19th Century Romantic, and 20th Century/Contemporary. Berkeley Opera has been called “one of the best community opera companies in California” and “one of the most interesting small companies in the nation.”
Berkeley Opera presents
W. A. Mozart’sDon Giovanni in Italian with English supertitles
Musical Direction by Alexander Katsman
Stage Direction by Mark Streshinsky
Saturday, February 20, 2010, 8 pm
Friday, February 26, 2010, 8 pm
Sunday, February 28, 2010, 2 pm
El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater
540 Ashbury Avenue, El Cerrito
Tickets: $65, $50 & $25 general
$32, $25 & $15 youth (17 & under)
$25 wheelchair seating
$15 student rush; with ID, at the doorone hour before curtain
CHARGE BY PHONE: 1-800-838-3006
or online at www.berkeleyopera.org
Information: (510) 841-1903
Noon Concert at Berkeley Public Library
Highlights from Don Giovanni
Mark Streshinsky and singers from
the production: Aimée Puentes and Igor Vieira, with Alexander Katsman accompanying
Thursday, February 11, 12:15-1:00 pm
5th floor Art & Music Room
Berkeley Main Library
2090 Kittredge, at Shattuck, Berkeley
Admission is free
Berkeley Opera is a not-for-profit performing arts organization, funded in part by the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley. Berkeley Opera is a member of Theatre Bay Area.
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