Cal Performances Expands Into Oakland With Diverse Programming

Paul Kotapish on October 6, 2017
Nicola Benedetti performs Feb. 14, 2018 | Credit: Simon Fowler

With a nod to the exuberant arts and culture scene in Oakland, Cal Performances expands its spring roster with four new shows in a variety of venues from the art-deco glitz of the Paramount to the funky urban chic of the Oakland Metro Operahouse to the lofty inspiration of the Cathedral of Christ the Light on the shores of Lake Merritt.

First up are Nicola Benedetti and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in an all-Beethoven program at the Paramount Theatre on Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.

Lemon Bucket Orkestra | Courtesy of Lemon Bucket Orkestra

The Toronto-based Lemon Bucket Orkestra presents Counting Sheep, an immersive and audience-interactive folk opera steeped in traditional Ukrainian polyphony at the Oakland Metropolitan Operahouse on Feb. 16 at 8 p.m., Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.

“globalFEST on the Road” takes over the Fox Theater on March 9 at 8 p.m. for a celebration of the “New Golden Age of Latin Music.” The show features Las Cafeteras and Mariachi Flor de Toloache, bilingual ensembles that fuse traditional styles with contemporary sounds and concerns.

The Tallis Scholars present War and Peace, a program of choral works commemorating the fallen of World War I, featuring works by Josquin, Tavener, Guerrero, Palestrina, and Arvo Pärt. April 19 at 8 p.m.

Full details and tickets for all events are available through the ticket office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at, and at the door (pending availability.)

According to Cal Performances’ Executive and artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky,

Cal Performances is thrilled to expand our 2017–18 season in Oakland. Now in its second year, this dynamic extension of our programming builds upon decades-long relationships with many educational, artistic, and civic organizations in the city and its environs. And in doing so, we strengthen existing and deep connections with audiences.

Oakland’s creative and flourishing business community, led by Michael Ghielmetti and Signature Development Group, has nurtured and guided this new venture. Audiences can expect a bold mix of Cal Performances’ eclectic programming — distinctive and diverse offerings in music, theater, and dance — in a range of venues that allow artists to take inspiration from the performance space itself, whether a grand, Art Deco concert hall, a former 1920s movie palace, a black-box warehouse, or the vaulting spaces of a cathedral.

Michael Ghielmetti, president of Signature Development Group, whose underwriting makes Cal Performances’ presentations in Oakland possible, adds: “To be able to work with Cal Performances, sharing the larger stage of Oakland, is the realization of a long-held dream of mine. I can’t think of a finer, or more natural, example of the business and artistic community working together to both increase access to the arts and enrich Oakland’s thriving cultural environment.”

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