“Wonderful. I was sorry to see it end. How they could get such a high quality group of performers in such a small venue is amazing.”
BCO audience member
Dear Friends of Berkeley Chamber Opera,
We are pleased to announce that Berkeley Chamber Opera has been accepted as a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non profit arts service organization. This sponsorship will help support our upcoming performances. Contributions for the charitable purpose of Berkeley Chamber Opera must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by the law.
We are so grateful to you for your donation in any amount! Donations support affordable ticket prices, props, sets, costumes, venue rental and fees for soloists, instrumentalists, conductor, and directors.
It is with great pleasure that we bring these important works to life and we hope that you can help us with your donation.
You may either give directly online at Fractured Atlas or send a check to Eliza O’Malley made out to “Fractured Atlas” with “Berkeley Chamber Opera” in the subject line to 2501 Carquinez Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530.
Karen and Gary Crangle
Mary Garasa and Emmet Corman
Sharon and Philip Gardner
Elizabeth Hoover and Stephen Beal
Gillian Kuehner and Norman Bookstein
Becky and Mike O’Malley
John and Birgit Urmson
“When Eliza asked if I would be willing to sing in BCO productions, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. I had incredible experiences being in I Capuleti ei Montecchi and Manon Lescaut and I will never forget the people I met“
An important part of the mission of Berkeley Chamber Opera is to envision a future for opera which reflects the diversity of the residents of the East Bay. Your financial support ensures that we can continue cultivating young artists such as the students pictured above from Richmond’s East Bay Center for Performing Arts and Berkeley High School.
Johnnie Connor: A graduate of EBCPA, Johnnie joined BCO for Joan of Arc and returned in 2019 for Manon Lescaut . He is now attending UC San Diego.
Elena Avila: A graduate of EBCPA, Elena Joined BCO for Luisa Miller and returned for Joan of Arc and Manon Lescaut. She is now attending Columbia College Chicago for acting. She recently performed as a super with the Chicago Lyric Opera.
Arden Agos: A graduate of Berkeley High, Arden joined BCO for I Capuleti ei Montecchi and returned for Luisa Miller and Manon Lescaut. She is now attending Cal State Northridge.
Jessica Lopez: A current student of EBCPA, Jessica joined BCO for Manon Lescaut. This was her first opera. She is now attending UC Berkeley.
Kiana Hu: A graduate of EBCPA, Kiana joined BCO for I Capuleti ei Montecchi and has worked on several operas since then and performed in Manon Lescaut. She is now attending Stanford University.
Heaven Robinson: A graduate of EBCPA, Heaven joined BCO as Stage Manager for The Consul and returned for Joan of Arc and with added duties as Assistant Production Manager for Manon Lescaut. She graduated from Cal State L.A. in 2022 and is Production Manager and HR specialist for Maddalena and Mavra
Allyson Flores: A graduate of EBCPA, Allyson joined BCO as Stage Manager for The Consul and returned to sing in Luisa Miller. She is now attending UC Santa Cruz.
“I met my best friends doing BCO. Working with a professional opera company was the best thing I ever did for my training as an actress and singer. I Capuleti ei Montecchi, Luisa Miller and Manon Lescaut were amazing opportunities that I will value forever.”
Salvatore Atti and Geoffrey Di Giorgio
Berkeley Chamber Opera audiences have enjoyed outstanding performances by leading tenor Salvatore Atti and leading baritone Geoffrey Di Giorgio this past season in Verdi’s Luisa Miller and Joan of Arc. Atti, a graduate of Boston College Conservatory, has noted that it was his rendition of an aria from Luisa Miller that won him a spot in the prestigious Cincinnati Opera young artist program. And after famed Helden Tenor Claude Heater saw Di Giorgio’s performances with BCO, he engaged him to sing in a critically acclaimed reading of Tristan und Isolde at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater with Maestro Jonathan Khuner at the helm. Both young men, already advanced in their crafts, came to BCO with limited stage experience and BCO is grateful for the opportunity to help advance their budding careers in opera.
In an update: Salvatore was awarded a principle tenor role in a workshop of Jake Heggie’s new opera If I Were You at the SF Opera House. He was also given a spot with the prestigious Merola program at the SF Opera.
Di Giorgio offered this praise for BCO:
“I would like to thank BCO for being the most genuine, and fun-loving company in the Bay Area. I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today if it were not for this gem of an opera company. I cannot thank them enough for giving me a chance to perform the glorious music of Giuseppe Verdi! It’s been truly humbling and I am forever grateful.”
Your contribution to BCO will help us to continue to pay artists who are working hard to sustain this beautiful and compelling art form.
Chorus member spotlight: Johnnie Conner Performing in Joan of Arc
Hi! My name is Johnnie Conner, and I’m a sophomore at Diablo Valley College. I was first introduced to opera by Ms. O’Malley this past summer, and was absolutely delighted to try something new. Being able to work with her, and her company, has been an excellent experience for me, and I look forward to my next chance on stage!
A graduate of Berkeley’s St. Mary’s College High School and an accomplished pianist, Johnnie is among a select group of students recruited from Richmond’s East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. We have been pleased to be able to offer stipends to these young students for the last three shows so that they can participate as singers and in other aspects of the productions. Your donation helps us continue our goal of reaching out and building a diverse community of opera professionals for the future.
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Ellen St. Thomas
This 11/16 Berkeley Chamber Opera audiences got their first opportunity to hear the beautiful impassioned singing of Capuleti ei Montecchi and Luisa Miller director Ellen St. Thomas. Ellen has put in countless hours behind the scenes directing, creating supertitles and being an overall incredible opera professional. What a treat that our audiences got to experience her glorious voice!
Ellen St. Thomas has performed in concerts and shows and directed and produced operas though out the Bay Area. Ellen performed with West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Mission Opera and The Marin Summer Festival performing The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Mimì in La bohème, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. She performed Ines in Il Trovatore and Giovanna in Rigoletto for Island City Opera. Stage directing credits include I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Luisa Miller for Berkeley Chamber Opera, La bohème, Il Trovatore and Il Tabarro for Island City Opera and Rachmaninoff’s, Aleko for the Russian Center in San Francisco. She enjoys collaborating with Bay Area composers premiering new works. Upcoming events include performing the role of Cecilia March in Little Women by Mark Adamo for Island City Opera and the premiere of the song cycle Inside the Smile, words by Berkeley poet Nellie Hill and music by Berkeley pianist/composer Bruce Nalezny for the Grass Valley Music Festival. She is co-founder of Island City Opera and Open Opera. Ellen is also a versatile producer/director withe credits in TV/Film and live performances.