.Best of East Bay 2023 – Arts & Culture

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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


Readers’ Picks

Best Dance Company

AXIS Dance Company

Best Latin Music Club

La Peña Cultural Center

Best Art Gallery

SHOH Gallery

Best Large Music Venue

The Fox Theater

Best Performing Arts Center

Zellerbach Hall – Cal Performances

Best Dance Studio

Hipline Dance & Fitness Studio

Best Cover Band

Tammy’s Camaro

Best Small Music Venue

Freight and Salvage

Best Symphony

Oakland Symphony

Best Record/CD Store

Amoeba

Best Media Personality: TV, Radio, Print

Dallas Braden

Best LGBTQ Event

Oakland Pride Parade

Best Music Festival

Mosswood Meltdown

Best Festival

Black Joy Parade

Best Karaoke

Mel-O-Dee Cocktails

Best Ballet Company

Oakland Ballet

Best Dance Club

Ashkenaz

Best LGBTQ Dance Club

Que Rico Nightclub

Best Dance Instructor – Classic

Suzie Hardt, Hidden City Ballroom

Best Comedy Night

Comedy Oakland

Best Museum

Oakland Museum of CA

Best Theater Company

Berkeley Repertory Theater

Best Outdoor Music Venue

Greek Theatre

Best Jazz/Blues Club

Yoshi’s

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