Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


L'Orchestre Afrisa International

Dance floor open! $30 adv / $34 door. 644-2020.

7pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, United States

Berkeley Chamber Opera will open its 2017 season with"The Consul"

Berkeley Chamber Opera will open its 2017 season with"The Consul",by Gian Carlo Menotti at Berkeley's Hillside Club on Friday, July 14 and Sunday, July 16.

Berkeley Chamber Opera is dedicated to presenting operas which showcase the work of the Bay Area's wealth of resident professional talent at a price which is affordable for a wide range of opera fans.

Under the musical direction of Maestro Alexander Katsman, "The Consul" will be presented in English accompanied by the Berkeley Chamber Opera orchestra. A tragic and thought-provoking work, it debuted on Broadway in 1950 and ran for eight months. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Music and New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Musical.

Brazilian director Igor Vieira, who has appeared as a leading baritone for more than 15 years, will make his Berkeley Chamber Opera directorial debut with the opening season.

Eliza O'Malley, founder and lead soprano was moved to produce this opera in response to the current climate of immigrant intolerance. She says: "The tragedy of the story lies squarely on the leading role of Magda Sorel, a woman drowning within the bureaucracy of governmental red-tape. Her husband on the run from a totalitarian regime; her child and her mother-in-law both sick, starving, and nearing death; and all the while, Magda is engulfed in a never-ending whirlpool of paperwork in a futile chance to save the crumbling world she once knew. Ultimately resigned to her fate, the opera eventually takes its most tragic turn, but it is the power of the other artists that will make the story believable and heartfelt."

"The Consul" addresses the universal plight of stateless refugees from a repressive regime in an unidentified totalitarian country, sometime in the mid-20th century. Two incidents during World War II helped to fuel Menotti's desire to dramatize the refugee issue. In one case, a group of Austrians seeking refuge in nearby Hungary were trapped for a week on a bridge between the two nations, because they lacked the documents to emigrate. In another episode, a Polish woman fled with her daughter to the U.S. but was denied entry because her former husband, an American resident, agreed to take in their child but refused to sponsor her. After surrendering her daughter, she committed suicide at Ellis Island.

Matinee at 2 pm on July 16

Tickets: $30 general, $20 Students/Seniors, Children under 12 fre

7pm to 8pm, Berkeley's Hillside Club 2286 Cedar Street

Aimee Mann

Acclaimed artist Aimee Mann confirms additional East Coast tour dates this June with stops in Brooklyn, Providence, Port Washington, Portsmouth and more. Tickets can be purchased
Mann's new album, Mental Illness, out now via SuperEgo Records, has been released to critical praise:

"Mental Illness can be punishingly sad, but also breathtakingly pretty." -NPR Music

"Mental Illness wallows in its troubles, and it's an exquisite wallow." -The New York Times

"Every doomed syllable is sacred and every tragic rhyme fits, as though each song were a puzzle to which only Mann knows the solution." -Los Angeles Times

"Mental Illness is Aimee Mann's quintessential statement, tempering the discord of life with elegant chamber folk. Mann fills her songs with ordinary people struggling against operatic levels of pain." -Pitchfork

"...Mann crafts a melancholic atmosphere that is worth repeated listens, whether as a means for catharsis or as a well-crafted cloud to ease the punishing brightness of a too-sunny day." -The Boston Globe

"Aimee Mann's quietly intense songs have always painted empathetic portraits of tormented characters- who leave an impression on her, as well as listeners." -ELLE

"The patron saint of gloomy folk pop." -The Washington Post

"The singer-songwriter plays into her melancholic reputation with grace and conviction." -Consequence of Sound

Phone: 510-356-4000

8pm to 10pm, UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall 2036 University Avenue