Homeless West Edge Opera Fights On

Janos Gereben on December 31, 2013
Soprano Emma McNairy: she be Her Majesty Elizabeth
Soprano Emma McNairy: she be Her Majesty Elizabeth
Photo by Till Krueger

Formerly the Berkeley Opera, and now without its El Cerrito home, the West Edge Opera not only persists, it thrives in adversity. No space for a real production or an orchestra? Music Director Jonathan Khuner will be at the piano to accompany a few well-chosen singers in a series of concert performances of little-known works.

The venue is Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley, and the schedule calls for a civilized Sunday 3 p.m. curtain (even without a physical curtain) for all performances.

With a cutesy but promising title of "Opera Medium Rare (but well done)," the series starts on Jan. 19, with Rossini’s Elizabeth, Queen of England, Emma McNairy in the title role. Donizetti’s Caterina Cornaro follows on March 30, and Verdi’s Aroldo concludes the series on May 4.

All three operas will be sung in Italian with English Supertitles. This series of concert performances is in addition to West Edge Opera’s mainstage season, which will be announced soon.