This season’s Snapshot from West Edge Opera presents four works: a retelling of the Mayan myth of Creation; an exploration of compassion and medical ethics; the true story of an opera singer who battled cancer, and before dying, fell in love with her oncologist; and a story pulled from an oral history set in a Memphis office building. General Director Mark Streshinsky and composer Nathaniel Stookey give a preview.
There’s more information at the West Edge Opera website.
The featured works are Zheng, by Shinji Eshima with a libretto by Tony Asaro, telling the story of Zheng Cao, who Eshima knew because he played bass for the San Francisco Opera, where she sang; The Road to Xibalba by Cindy Cox and librettist John Campion, which brings baseball to the Popol Vuh, the Mayan myth of creation; Medicus Mortem, by Beth Ratay and librettist Andrew Rechnitz, in which a doctor with a terminally ill daughter has to decide if euthanasia is an ethical choice; and Ivonne, by Nathaniel Stookey and librettist Jerre Dye. “Ivonne is a very controlling and uptight head secretary, circa 1963,” Stookey explains. “And the place where she kind of pulls herself together every day is the powder room. She applies her lipstick, and she kind of gets ready to do battle in the office where she works… She is called to an emergency, a medical emergency, which, it so happens has unfolded in her sanctuary, in this bathroom. So she has to go back to this place and discover a very terrible scene in this place where she normally finds piece.” The works will be accompanied by musicians from Earplay, conducted by Mary Chun. There are two performances, tomorrow night at Odd Fellows Hall on Fulton Street in Berkeley, and Sunday afternoon at the Atrium Theatre upstairs in the Veterans Memorial Building in San Francisco.