Arts & Events

New: Outstanding Singers in Merola 2017 Grand Finale

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Tuesday August 29, 2017 - 10:14:00 AM

Throughout the 2017 Merola Opera Program’s season I have been impressed by the uniformly excellent quality of the young singers, having heard thirteen of them in fully staged operas. Well, on Saturday, August 19 at the War Memorial Opera House I heard all twenty-three of this year’s crop of singers in the Merola Grand Finale, and without hesitation I would salute the 2017 Merola singers as the finest annual class in recent memory. In the Grand Finale there wasn’t a mediocre performance anywhere in the program. Every number, whether a solo aria, a duet, or an ensemble, was excellently sung. In reviewing a program chock full of highlights, I intend to give each and every singer their due by addressing every musical number in this concert in order of appearance. -more-

Preview: Céline Ricci To Star in LA CIRCE

Previewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday August 26, 2017 - 09:07:00 AM

On September 8-9, Ars Minerva will present the opera La Circe by Pietro Andrea Ziani at San Francisco’s ODC Theatre in the Mission District. Ars Minerva is the company founded by renowned mezzo-soprano Céline Ricci with the purpose of reviving lost and forgotten operas from 17th century Venice. In 2015 Ricci revived La Cleopatra by Daniele da Castrovillari, and last year she brought us Le Amazone nelle isole fortunate by Carlo Pallavicino. Neither of these operas had been performed anywhere since their respective premieres in Venice in 1662 for La Cleopatra and in 1679 for Le Amazone. -more-

"Saddam's Parrot" by Jim Curry
(Aignos Publishing, 2017)

Reviewed by Gar Smith
Saturday August 26, 2017 - 09:28:00 AM

A new book that recently landed on my desk provided for a very entertaining weekend read—beginning with one of the year's best dedications: "To Blessed Elephants, Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution." -more-

Some Weekend Protests

Compiled by Mary Barlow from online sources
Friday August 25, 2017 - 12:11:00 PM

White supremacists seem to have cancelled their 3 rallies this weekend: (1) Google, Mountain View on Saturday, August 26 at 1pm; (2) San Francisco at Crissy Field on Saturday, August 26 at 2pm; and (3) Berkeley on Sunday, August 27, 1-4pm at Civic Center Park, downtown right between Cal & Berkeley High. This would have been their third visit to Berkeley this year, each prior visit resulting in violence and arrests. It is still possible that they will show up, however.s -more-