.Best of East Bay 2023 – Arts & Culture

Opera From the Edge

West Edge Opera is an East Bay treasure

Scandal! Fairy tales! Mariachi! 

Not often can an opera season be touted that way—unless it’s one by groundbreaking West Edge Opera (WEO), truly an East Bay “Best Of.” Back this year at Oakland’s glorious Scottish Rites Temple, WEO will present four mainstage productions, in addition to a special presentation of excerpts from one of its first commissions.

The Coronation of Poppea (July 22 and 30, Aug. 3, in Italian with English surtitles) follows the plots of the mistress of Emperor Nero to get rid of his inconvenient current wife. According to director NJ Agwuna, “Poppea is full of characters that we love to hate… no one is immune to scandal.” 

In Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/Mariachi Opera 2010 (July 23 and 28, Aug. 5, in Spanish and English with English surtitles), a dying man dreaming of life left behind in Mexico is gifted with a reunion. “Joyous, funny, touching and tragic,” WEO promises.

The double bill of The Nightingale (in Russian with English surtitles) and Erwartung (in German with English surtitles) gives audiences a look at Hans Christian Anderson’s prescient fairy tale, paired with an “ultra-expressionistic” early 20th-century one-woman piece. (July 29, Aug. 4 and 6).

On Aug. 13, in San Francisco, WEO presents the next phase in the development of Dolores, which explores a pivotal week in the life of American icon Dolores Huerta (in English with English subtitles). 

For more information about West Edge Opera, and to book tickets, visit westedgeopera.org. — Janis Hashe

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Best Small Music Venue

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Best Symphony

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Best Record/CD Store


Best Media Personality: TV, Radio, Print

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Best LGBTQ Event

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Best Music Festival

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Best Festival

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Best Ballet Company

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Best Dance Instructor – Classic

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Best Comedy Night

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Best Museum

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Best Theater Company

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Best Outdoor Music Venue

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