Wednesday, November 30, 2016

West Edge Opera Snapshot

West Edge Opera has a new program called Snapshot. Its mission is to "introduce work by both emerging and established Northern California composers."

Here's a good chunk of the press release announcing this:

Conceived and curated by composer Brian M. RosenSnapshot presents excerpts from eight previously unproduced operas over two programs performed in intimate concert settings in venues in Berkeley and San Francisco: the Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way in Berkeley and the historic and newly renovated Bayview Opera House at 4705 3rd Street in San FranciscoConductorsMary Chun and Jonathan Khuner lead an instrumental chamber group featuring members of San Francisco-based new music ensemble Earplay

On January 21st at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House, Snapshot presents the work of David Conte, Stephen Eddins, William David Cooper and Alden Jenks: 
      ·      David Conte, Composition Chair at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and librettist John Stirling Walker’s Famous opens the first     Snapshot program. Famous is an exploration of the life of Ultra               Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne), one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars.”        ·      Stephen Eddins’s big band, gospel and jazz-inspired music and Michael O’Brien’s libretto bring 20th-century Southern novelist Eudora Welty’s story to life in Why I Live at the P.O.        ·      William David Cooper, a recent graduate of the PhD program at UC Davis, has received awards from ASCAP and the Academy of Arts and Letters. Snapshot presents a sample of Cooper and librettist Will Dunlap’s grand opera Hagar and Ishmael       ·      Alden Jenks helped found and served as Director of the Electronic Music Studio at San Francisco Conservatory. Jenks wrote both the music and libretto for Afterworld, a “serious comedy” loosely inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Works by Carla Lucero, Allen Shearer, Linda Bouchard and Liam Wade comprise the second program of Snapshot, presented on February 25th at 8:00 p.m. at the David Brower Center and February 26th at 3:00 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House: 
         ·      Carla Lucero’s One O’Clock, an excerpt from her opera in  progress about Helen Keller, opens the second Snapshot program. Lucero has received awards for her previous operas from Creative Work Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Meet the Composer and OUT Magazine, among other organizations.          ·      Longtime collaborators Allen Shearer and librettist Claudia Stevens, whose Middlemarch in Spring was produced last year in the Bay Area to critical acclaim, present an excerpt from Howards End Again, based on the eponymous novel by E. M. Forster.          ·      Linda Bouchard’s The House of Words was composed in 2003. Snapshot presents excerpts from the opera which includes a libretto constructed of excerpts from The Book of Embraces by celebrated Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist Eduardo Galeano.          ·      Liam Wade and librettist Vynnie Meli’s The Stranger the Better closes the second Snapshotprogram. A farcical riff on A Streetcar Named Desire, the opera is Wade and Meli’s 2016 prize-winning submission to The Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project, where an entire opera is composed, designed and staged within twenty-four hours. 
Interesting range of works and composers; wish more than 2 of the 8 composers were women! I am sure it's all worth hearing.

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