Arts & Events

New: Janáček’s CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN at West Edge Opera

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Sunday July 31, 2016 - 10:50:00 AM

Kicking off their 2016 Summer Season, West Edge Opera opened with Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen on Saturday, July 30, at West Oakland’s abandoned train station. Coming on the heels of San Francisco Opera’s beautifully sung Jenufa by Janáček, The Cunning Little Vixen shows us another side of this erstwhile composer whose musical and cultural roots lie deep within his native Moravian soil. Whereas Jenufa explores Moravian peasant culture, Vixen examines the fertile life of the animals and humans who live in the Moravian forests. Vixen is thus a kind of Aesops fable, in which animals have human characteristics, and the humans, well, they take on quite a few animal characteristics. -more-

Theater Review: 'The Tempest' at John Hinkel Park

Ken Bullock
Friday July 29, 2016 - 09:52:00 AM

'The Tempest,' Free Weekend Afternoon Performances, at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre

Miranda: Oh wonder!/How many goodly creatures are there here!/How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,/That has such people in 't!

Prospero: Tis new to thee.

Prospero the Magician's admonition to his daughter's gushing, on the verge of their return from the exile of an isle like Bermuda was imagined to be, back to Milan, is as quietly telling as Hamlet's raucous self-rebuke carried out to the race, 'What a piece of work is a man! ... The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me , what is this quintessence of dust?"

Inferno Theatre's free, plein air weaving of 'The Tempest' 's spells in John Hinkel Park's old New Deal CWA Amphitheatre, dedicated to "cultural recreation" in 1934, hits so many of the "Coincidentia Oppositorum," the opposites of mood and humor on earth that coincide in the infinite, a Renaissance ideal, that picnickers may halfway imagine themselves on The Bard's island of spirits, tamed by Prospero's magic ... -more-