A Program of Five New Operas by West Coast Composers

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Composer and librettist Brian Rosen at a rehearsal for his new opera 'Playboy.' (Photo: Cy Musiker/KQED)

Opera is the greatest art form, or so its advocates will tell you, encompassing theater, song, music and stagecraft. But the big companies are often risk-averse when it comes to new works, locked as they are into producing grand, expensive productions of aging classics.

So here's your chance to support five brand new operas, or excerpts from them, by West Coast composers. The nimble, risk-loving West Edge Opera, and Earplay, a chamber ensemble, is featuring the works in a series called Snapshot.

Snapshot is a program of excerpts from five new operas by West Coast composers
Snapshot is a program of excerpts from five new operas by West Coast composers (Photo: Courtesy of West Edge Opera)

The program includes Brian Rosen’s Playboy, about a former Playboy playmate tasked with eulogizing Hugh Hefner, who she’s come to hate; The Last Tycoon by Cyril Deaconoff, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel; and Katherine Saxon’s 452 Jamestown Place, about a woman with multiple personalities.

"We’re just constantly thinking about where the art form is going," says West Edge Director Mark Streshinsky, "and where the art form is going includes new pieces. And for us, the art form is going out of the opera house into alternative spaces." Catch five opera snapshots at the Odd Fellows Hall in Berkeley on Feb. 24, and at the Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco on Feb. 25. Details here.