Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here are your educational opera-tunities for May:

ARIA Festival: Youth Voices for Change – Join the SF Opera Education Dept. for a *FREE* Community Open House event at the new Wilsey Center for Opera. Enjoy original student works created by K–12 classes, performances and workshops by community partners plus crafts, performing arts activities for all ages, and special guest Michael Fabiano joins for a talkback and master class.
Sun May 6, events throughout the day from 10am – 5pm
Wilsey Center for Opera 4th Floor, Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave. SF

Drinks & Drama: Everything But The Ring – Raise a glass! The SFO Education Dept. hosts an afternoon of Wagnerian operas paired with specialty cocktails. Learn about Lohengrin, tangle with Tannhäuser and float through The Flying Dutchman, all while sipping libations concocted by Sea Star mixologists. Photographs and video clips from the SFO Archives and live musical performances by guest artists complete this fun and tasty overview. Drink samples and light snacks will be provided. $45/person; Ages 21+ only.
Sat May 19 at 2:30pm The Sea Star 2289 3rd St., SF

OLLI – SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY!view/event/date/20180509/event_id/61057
An Introduction to Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Part II – Join Ringleader Phyllis Neumann for this course focusing on the last two Ring operas: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. This course is designed for those who have always wanted to enjoy and understand Wagner’s masterpiece, or who have felt too intimidated by its length and complexity to give it a try. It is also for those already familiar with The Ring who want to delve more deeply into the story, the music, the leitmotifs and the characters. $60 fee.
Wed May 9 from 10am – 12:30pm; Wed May 16 and 23 from 10am – 12noon
Guadalupe Hall Room 151 Santa Clara Univ. 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara

With OSJ General Director Larry Hancock as the instructor, this popular 6-week course covers 400 years of opera development. Course content includes the development and changes in the choice of opera subjects, the use of poetry and dialogue in the libretto, styles of musical composition, evolution of the opera orchestra, and changes in performance practice period by period. Each quick-paced session will be enhanced with visuals from other art forms, including fashion, architecture, painting, and sculpture, bringing a more complete knowledge of the society that influenced its composers.
$60 fee; call the box office at (408) 437-4450.
Tues nights May 15 – July 19 from 7 – 9pm Opera San Jose HQ, 2149 Paragon Dr., SJ

Prepping for Wagner’s Ring – SFO Dramaturg Kip Cranna takes us on a whirlwind introductory journey into this famous operatic tour de force, using audio and video examples to illustrate its musical and dramatic highlights. *FREE*
Wed May 16 from 1 – 2pm JCC of SF 3200 California St., SF

Francesca Zambello and the Haunting Themes of The Ring – Reknowned opera and stage director Francesca Zambello will lead us through production video and music that reflect how The Ring, in her words, “is always contemporary. We are presenting a world in some ways familiar to our audience but also one that will feel very mythic as we look to our country’s rich imagery. The great themes of the Ring—nature, power and corruption—resound through America’s past and haunt our present.” Free for members; $20 for nonmembers; $7 for students.  Mon May 21; 11:30am check-in; 12noon program
Commonwealth Club Taub Family Auditorium 110 The Embarcadero, SF

Review of stories of the Ring Cycle, along with video clips of arias/passages from the operas. Contact: Neva Turer at 707-538-1220 or Sally Heath at 707-542-4459.$10 for members, $15 for guests.
Wed May 23 at 2pm Scottish Rite Center, 600 Acacia Ln., Santa Rosa

Lecture series run by Larry Oppenheim, former President and current co-principal oboe and solo English horn for the Kensington Symphony Orchestra (East Bay). Larry’s goal is to make opera more enjoyable and accessible to “all the people”; attend the lecture and then go see the opera with your newfound knowledge!
Das Rheingold (Wagner) – Video excerpts are from the landmark 1976 Bayreuth production directed by Patrice Chéreau. The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of the mythic origins of Wagner’s characters. Tues May 29 from 6:30 – 8:30pm SFPL West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way, SF

As part of the next phase of development for OP’s first-ever main stage commission, Today It Rains, Artistic Director Nicole Paiement and composer Laura Kaminsky will join National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis and Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture UCSC Jennifer Gonzalez to discuss the struggle of women artists, writers, and poets to find voice in a world that has been, until very recently, so completely dominated and controlled by (white) male power and money. Moderated by Professor of Feminist Studies UCSC Bettina Aptheker. Free and open to the public.
Tues May 29 from 6:30 – 8:30pm Kuumbwa Jazz Center 320 Cedar St. #2, Santa Cruz