Venue Details

3033 Star Starred
Cal Performances' Zellerbach Hall
Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue Berkeley, CA 94720
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Reviews & Ratings

Castleton Festival Opera
72 ratings
3.7 average rating
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263 events
247 reviews
355 stars
attended Mar 25 2011

Not much of an opera person to begin with but this type of chamber composition rather than being aria-driven really didn't thrill me nor my guest. I can appreciate the excellent voices and beautiful music but as a whole this type of opera wasn't...continued

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825 events
422 reviews
453 stars
attended Mar 27 2011

This really did not thrill me. I thought it was boring and cheesy. The music was beautiful though. However, the singing was repetitive and one note. I wish I just could have went and heard only the orchestra play. It was also very long.

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34 events
17 reviews
72 stars
attended Mar 24 2011

This requires an appreciation (or expectation of same) of Benjamin Britten's / modern classical music and opera. If you like both, this is a superb treat! The music is wonderful, the artistry of the performers excellent and - of course - Maazel's...continued

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More Information


With a conducting career spanning more than 50 years, Lorin Maazel’s name is synonymous with musical excellence the world over. He was looking to the future when he created the Castleton Festival in 1997. Here, Maazel works intimately with a hand-picked group of singers, conductors, and directors. Among them are the best young singers he has heard in his travels throughout the international opera world. The artists live together on a beautiful 550-acre farm in Castleton, Virginia, collaborating on musical performances of nuance and depth.

In the past, anyone interested in experiencing these productions had no option other than to travel to Virginia. But now, Maazel and his colleagues are heading west, giving Bay Area music lovers—as well as those who appreciate unique artistic collaborations—a chance to enjoy this extraordinary group of artists at work.

*_The Rape of Lucretia_

Thursday and Friday, March 24 and 25, 8:00 pm*

The Rape of Lucretia (1946), written a year after Peter Grimes, was Britten’s first chamber opera and includes some of his most ravishingly beautiful music. In this moving tragedy, corruption threatens virtue as Ancient Rome has descended into depravity and the only honorable woman remaining is Lucretia. The opera conveys with intense passion the struggle between evil and redemption, as the King’s son seethes with jealousy, determined to test Lucretia’s chastity.

Vocal cast to feature: Vale Rideout, Ekaterina Metlova, Arianna Zukerman, Michael Rice, Michael Weyandt, Matthew Worth, Alison Tupay, and Marnie Breckenridge

*_Albert Herring_

Saturday, March 26, 8:00 pm; and Sunday, March 27, 3:00 pm *

Albert Herring was written just one year after Lucretia, but the contrast could not be greater. Here is a true comic opera with a lightness of touch rarely found in Britten’s work. The score sparkles with some of the composer’s wittiest music and his gifts for parody and caricature are on full display. Castleton’s charming production features a Bay Area favorite, soprano Nancy Gustafson, as Lady Billows.

Vocal cast to feature: Nancy Gustafson, Kristin Patterson, Ashleigh Semkiw, Alexander Tall, Tyler Nelson, Benjamin Bloomfield, Adrian Kramer, Brian Z. Porter, Tammy Coll, and Rachel Calloway

<em>In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music</em> <em>Irving Berlin's White Christmas</em> Disney's <em>The Lion King</em> <em>Beach Blanket Babylon</em> Sarah Silverman <em>A Christmas Carol</em> WinterFest at California's Great America San Francisco Ballet's <em>Nutcracker</em> <em>The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes</em> <em>A Christmas Carol</em> <em>Fun Home</em>