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Posts Tagged ‘Opera in the Park’


Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

AUGUST 7,8, 14, & 15 at 3PM
BERKELEY, CA, August 2, 2010 –

Rehearsals for Open Opera’s free outdoor productions of W.A. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” are in full swing as the cast and crew prepare for four performances in Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park on August 7, 8, 14, and 15, all at 3:00 p.m.

John Hinkel Park is in northeast Berkeley at 41 Somerset Avenue. Over 2000 people enjoyed two free performances of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” in the 700-seat historic amphitheater there last July. Handicapped access is available.  Come early to get the best seats, bring a blanket and a chair for your comfort.  Wine, soda and sandwiches will be sold.

The cast of professional singers in “Don Giovanni” includes Igor Vieira as Don Giovanni, Jo Vincent Parks (Leporello), Elizabeth Baker (Zerlina), Angela Moser (Donna Anna), Aimee Puentes (Donna Elvira), and Carlos Aguilar (Il Commendatore). Open Opera’s Artistic Director, Olivia Stapp, provides stage direction, assisted by Music Director Jonathan Khuner, who leads the orchestra. Laura Ellis is the choreographer and Open Opera’s Ellen St. Thomas is the production manager.
Don Giovanni: Igor Vieira
Leporello: Jo Vincent Parks
Donna Anna: Angela Moser
Don Ottavio: Mike Desnoyers
Donna Elvira: Aimee Puentes
Zerlina: Elizabeth Baker
Masetto: Ryan Bradford
Il Commendatore: Carlos Aguilar
Stage Director: Olivia Stapp
Music Director: Jonathan Khuner
Assistant Music Director: Bruce Olstad
Chorus: Rick Bogart, Zachary Howard, Nicholas Losorelli, Brie Martin, Michelle Persoff, Elenka Proulx, Cameron Sorensen, Cristin Williams






Concert at Live Oak Park-June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

teresa_tam_100514_6959FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


BERKELEY, CA, June 11, 2010 –

Open Opera returns to Berkeley’s Live Oak Park at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 27, with a free opera concert featuring Bay Area singers performing opera favorites in the outdoors.

On October 25, 2008, Open Opera offered its very first free outdoor opera concert at Live Oak Park, which is at 1301 Shattuck Avenue (at Berryman Street) in northeast Berkeley.

Open Opera’s professional singers come from all over northern California. Stay tuned for a listing of the singers.

Open Opera will offer four free performances of W. A. Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” at Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park on August 7, 8, 14, and 15. About 3000 people enjoyed two free performances of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” there last July. Open Opera will also offer
more free outdoor concerts this summer.

Artistic Director Olivia Stapp, who lives in Berkeley, co-founded Open Opera “to bring free, professional opera to Bay Area parks and use public space to build community through the arts…We wanted to return opera to its informal origins. At beautiful venues like Live Oak Park a music lover can listen, play with the kids, or picnic during a concert.” After a long and successful international opera career as a soprano, Stapp is offering Master classes for talented northern California professional singers as well as places to sing in the great outdoors. Executive Director Ellen St. Thomas, who co-founded the nonprofit group, says Open Opera “makes opera accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience, without cost or formality. We couldn’t wait to come back to Live Oak Park again.”

“We’re bringing opera to the public for free in a time of economic uncertainty, and using public outdoor spaces to build community through the arts,” adds mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Baker, Open Opera’s third co-founder and its Creative Director. Baker performed the role of Cherubino in last summer’s Marriage of Figaro. “It is great to see the kids playing and sitting in the trees while enjoying opera music.”

AC Transit’s line 18 bus serves Live Oak Park from Albany and downtown Berkeley Carpooling, walking, or bicycling are recommended: parking is limited in the area.

Open Opera is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the City of Berkeley and by private donations. For more information on Open Opera, future performances, master classes, or to volunteer or support opera in public spaces, visit www.openopera.net or contact Executive Director Ellen St. Thomas (ellen@openopera.net; 510-547-2471).

The Marriage of Figaro Press Release

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Ellen St. Thomas, Executive Director
Open Opera

Press Release by:
Jon Spangler
Linda Hudson Writing



Berkeley, Calif., July 1, 2009 –

Open Opera will present two free outdoor performances of W. A. Mozart’s most popular opera, The Marriage of Figaro, July 25-26 in Berkeley’s John Hinkel Park at 3:00 p.m.

A cast of professional opera singers from northern California wearing period costumes will perform the free Saturday and Sunday afternoon productions of The Marriage of Figaro in Italian, with English supertitles. Olivia Stapp, Open Opera’s artistic director and one of its three co-founders, will serve as stage director for this premiere full-length opera. Music director Jonathan Khuner will guide the full orchestra. Open Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro is supported in part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, as well as by private donations. Open Opera will stage Mozart’s famous work outdoors in John Hinkel Park’s historic WPA-era amphitheater. The park is at 41 Somerset Avenue (between Southampton Avenue and San Diego Road) in Berkeley (John Hinkel Park info). Sylvan Mishima Brackett, formerly of Chez Panisse, will offer catered Japanese box lunches and snacks with organic, locally grown ingredients for $5 - $15 (www.eatpekopeko.com).

The Marriage of Figaro
(Le Nozze di Figaro) is “charming, lighthearted and endlessly enjoyable,” according to Open Opera’s web site. “Vivid characters, glowing wit, dizzying ensembles, mistaken identities, and carefully constructed intrigue make for a miraculous marriage of music and drama in this sublime comedy of manners.”
“We’re bringing opera to the public for free in a time of economic uncertainty, and using public outdoor spaces to build community through the arts,” commented Elizabeth Baker, Open Opera’s co-founder and its creative director. Baker will also sing the role of Cherubino in the show.

WHAT: 2 performances of The Marriage of Figaro, by W.A. Mozart

WHEN: Sat., July 25, and Sun., July 26, 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: John Hinkel Park, Berkeley (http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=12628)

WHO: Produced by Open Opera (www.openopera.net)


Olivia Stapp co-founded Open Opera in 2008 “to bring free, professional opera to Bay Area parks and use public space to build community through the arts. We wanted to return opera to its informal origins so a music lover can listen, walk around, or picnic during a performance.” After a long and successful international opera career, she also wanted to offer talented professionals a place to sing. Executive director Ellen St. Thomas, the nonprofit group’s third co-founder, said, “Open Opera makes opera accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience, without cost or formality.”

At Open Opera’s recent June 20 concert at Franklin Park in Alameda, mothers with infants, retired couples on bikes, picnicking families and kids sitting in trees enjoyed famous opera arias. Another free outdoor concert will be offered at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 11, at Orinda Community Park in Orinda. For more information on “The Marriage of Figaro” and Open Opera, or to volunteer or support opera in public spaces, visit or contact executive director Ellen St. Thomas (ellen@openopera.net); 510-547-2471).

Opera Concert in the Park – October 25, 2008

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


Je veux vivre Roméo et Juliette by Gounod

Jennie Litster

Tutti fior Madama Butterfly by Puccini

Katya Roemer/Lisa van der Ploeg

Till there was you The Music Man by Meredith Willson

Ellen St. Thomas

Stride la vampa! Il Trovatore by Verdi

Heather McFadden

Vissi d’arte Tosca by Puccini

Katya Roemer

Some Enchanted Evening South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein II

Leland Morine

Nessun dorma Turandot by Puccini

Fred Winthrop

Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss

Nicole Raynor Rodriquez/Kendra Dodd

Tanzlied des Pierrot Die tote Stadt by Korngold

Nicolai Janitzky

Voi, che sapete Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart

Elizabeth Baker

Non so piu cosa son, cosa faccio Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart

Kendra Dodd

Dalla sua pace Don Giovanni by Mozart

Taylor Thompson

Soave sia il vento Cosi fan tutte by Mozart

Jennie Litster, Lisa van der Ploeg, Leland Morine

O mon fils Robert le Diable by Meyerbeyer

Heather McFadden

Dearest Mama The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore

Nicole Raynor Rodriguez

My hand Belinda Dido and Aenas by Purcell

Elizabeth Baker

Caro nome Rigoletto by Verdi

Marta Johansen

Bella figlia del amore Rigoletto by Verdi

Marta Johansen, Heather McFadden, Fred Winthrop, Leland Morine

Voi lo sapete Cavalleria Rusticana by Leoncavello

Lisa van der Ploeg

Yeletsky’s aria: Ya vas lyublyu Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky

Nicolai Janitzky