Ariadne auf Naxos
Marie Plette, Buffy Baggott, Emma McNairy, Dennis Petersen, Phillip Skinner
In this modern production a speech was made to the audience before the show explaining that the production start had to be "held" due to the benefactor being still at dinner. The audience was informed that the company would rehearse while waiting. The prologue began with house lights up and many in the audience were fooled. The dialogue of the Haushoffmeister was re-written to English and she called for an interpreter who was a plant in the audience.
"Funny and touching, and graced with a combination of musical elegance and theatrical inventiveness, this production marked the latest successful step in the exciting transformation of what was once the Berkeley Opera. Under artistic director Mark Streshinsky, who also directed this production, the company has undertaken a fresh and provocative approach to the operatic repertoire, without sacrificing anything in the way of musical values or seriousness of purpose."
"The West Edge Opera audaciously squeezed a huge Strauss opera onto a modest stage this November, another win for the small but popular opera company. As accessible to modern audiences as it was authentic in approach, Ariadne auf Naxos continued a year of “Popera” under the new artistic direction of Mark Streshinsky. Rather than a sea of grey, as one might see in more staid venues, the El Cerrito theater’s younger crowd was by turns confused and delighted by the production...
...In the first act, the orchestra remained onstage, with the house lights up, and actors rushing back and forth grabbing costumes and props. Streshinsky came onstage to ask us to be patient while the orchestra “rehearsed,” and to feel free to quietly talk and text while the “Composer” was trying to combine two programs. It was droll and effective, and, while Strauss’ Overture filled the hall, many in the audience wondered when it would begin. Like Noises Off, the back-stage farce was the backbone of the opera." -- Adam Broner Repeat Performances
"Mark Streshinsky and his production cohorts succeeded brilliantly in transforming the contorted plot into a thoroughly satisfying, entertaining show." — Cheryl North, Contra Costa Times
"West Edge Opera has boldness in its name, a boldness it has earned with productions that rethink operas, from the score to the stage. Now, Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky has upped the casting level, as well, making it a comparable strength and the company’s most notable aspect. ... The company came up with trumps, offering a strong, well-rehearsed cast that confidently dispatched Strauss’ demanding score." — Michael Zweibach, San Francisco Classical Voice