Spotlight is on new American opera in SF Bay Area this weekend

West Edge Opera’s subscription season is a summertime thing, but this is the time of year when the East Bay company under Mark Streshinsky’s artistic direction offers intriguing glimpses of new works.

The company’s third installment of “Snapshot,” presented in Berkeley and San Francisco, gives audiences previews of four operas by West Coast composers:

Nathaniel Stookey’s “Ivonne,” with libretto by Jerre Dye, is a solo opera set in an abandoned Sears building and features the luminous soprano Marnie Breckenridge.

“The Road to Xibalba” by UC Berkeley’s Cindy Cox and librettist John Campion, dives into the Mayan myth of creation.

“Medicus Mortem,” by composer Beth Ratay and librettist Andrew Rechnitz, explores the ethics of euthanasia.

And of particular interest is “Zheng”; Shinji Eshima’s opera, with libretto by Tony Asaro, portrays the life of brilliant Chinese-American mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao, whose death from cancer at age 46 left the opera world in deep mourning.

Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 19, Odd Fellows Lodge, Berkeley; 3 p.m. Jan. 20, Taube Atrium Theatre, San Francisco; $40; 510-841-1903,

This weekend also brings Island City Opera’s new production of Mark Adamo’s “Little Women.” Based on Louisa May Alcott’s quintessentially American novel, the opera features eight March sisters – Alcott’s original Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth, plus four “future” March girls, all grown up and reflecting on their lives together. The opera receives four performances, directed by Igor Vieira and conducted by Dana Sadava. Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 and 25, 2 p.m. Jan. 20 and 27; Elks Ballroom, Alameda; $10-$60; 510-263-8060;

Source: mercurynews
Spotlight is on new American opera in SF Bay Area this weekend