Past Shows

Phantom of the Ballopera

On the first weekend of April, Cinballera put on its seventh production, Phantom of the Ballopera. This show was a brand-new take on the classic Gaston Leroux novel, which was six years in the making. 

First, we told the story through an original chamber opera, consisting of art songs and opera excerpts, sung by the four principal characters. Then, we presented a different take on the same story, this time focusing on the ballet dancers who performed at the Paris Opera House in the 1890s alongside the opera singers who usually are the main players in this drama. 

Instead of an original chamber ballet with a half-hour runtime to one piece of music, like Cinballera usually presents, this consisted of excerpts from a full-length ballet Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan wrote six years ago. Phantom of the Opera: The Ballet, the Brannan sisters' first completely formulated ballet, is 4 acts and 2 hours long in its entirety, but the excerpts will be under an hour. This performance was the first time anything but the opening dance was performed.

The Brannan sisters traded out on the roles of Carlotta, the tyrannical diva, and Christine, the sensitive young artist. John Nettles played Erique/The Phantom in both the opera and the ballet! 

Giulio Cesare

In 1724, George Frideric Handel brought the timeless love story of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra to life in music through his exquisite opera Giulio Cesare. In honor of this dramatic work's 300th anniversary, Cinballera Entertainment and the Southern California Early Music Society collaborated to present Giulio Cesare - A Baroque Chamber Opera. 

This Baroque masterpiece by the composer of The Messiah debuted in London on February 20, 1724. In its entirety, this three-act opera is over four hours long. However, our performance was only an hour and a half long. Our take on Giulio Cesare is like a baroque chamber opera, with an intimate cast and orchestra. It just focuses on the love story, so the only characters are Caesar and Cleopatra, plus two dancers as Egyptian attendants. Through Caesar's Commentaries, the great Roman general recounted how his heart was captured by the beautiful Egyptian queen. 

The singers were accompanied by a five-piece Baroque chamber orchestra from the Southern California Early Music Society, tuned to the historically accurate A=415 instead of A=440. It was performed with costumes and staging at the historic First Baptist Church of Glendale.

We hope to perform this work again soon!

Bastien und Bastienne

A faithless shepherd, a lovelorn shepherdess, and a charlatan magician meet in a pastoral tale of jealousy, romance, and magic. On January 27 and 28, at San Diego’s historic Liberty Station, Cinballera Entertainment presented Bastien und Bastienne, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s first opera, paired with an original ballet of the same story. 

On January 27, it would have been Mozart’s 268th birthday! In honor of this occasion, we put on the rarely performed Bastien und Bastienne, which he wrote at age twelve. This charming, one-act chamber opera features only three characters and displays the young composer’s early genius in its beautiful melodies. It was sung in German with live piano accompaniment, but the extensive dialogue was spoken in historically-inspired English, to better present the story. The second half featured the world premiere of a brand-new ballet based on Bastien und Bastienne, written and choreographed by Rebekah and Tiffany Brannan to Gabriel Faure’s pastoral orchestral suite Masques et bergamasques.

A Cinballera Christmas

We were one of the featured performers at December Nights in Balboa Park! We performed on the first of the events two nights, December 1st, at 9 PM in the quadrangle courtyard in front of the Museum of Us.

Our presentation was the first performance of our company's holiday special, "A Cinballera Christmas." It's a half-hour show about a ballerina's journey to find the true meaning of Christmas amid the hectic Nutcracker season. We tell the story through ballet, opera, and classical Tinseltown tunes. It was a joyous holiday celebration for the whole family. 

Two Sisters from San Diego

Two Sisters from San Diego was our third show and first concert. Cinballera and the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation co-hosted this intimate parlor concert in downtown San Diego’s oldest building, the Davis-Horton House. The title was inspired by the 1946 MGM musical Two Sisters from Boston. Just like the sisters in the movie, played by Kathryn Grayson and June Allyson, the Brannan sisters invited guests to this beautiful house for a musical journey into San Diego’s history. They were joined by five gentlemen who are fellow opera singers and ballet dancers for duets and pas de deux.

The first half of the program included songs from operas, operettas, song cycles, and classic movies, in the style of a Victorian parlor concert. Then, guests headed to the downstairs gallery for three original ballet dances. There were three performances of this show, one on November 18 at 7 PM and two on November 19 at 1 PM and 5 PM. 

Lady of the Ring

On September 22, Hobbit Day, we performed our second show, Lady of the Ring, a chamber ballopera based on J.R.R. Tolkien's timeless saga The Lord of the Rings at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon. 

The opera was composed of diverse songs, including a rare song cycle commissioned by Tolkien himself, with words in English and the Elvish language from the books. The ballet included original choreography to a piano concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich. Both were arranged, staged, and directed by Cinballera's co-founders, sisters Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan. A fellowship of nine performers, five in the opera and four in the ballet, brought the story to life. 

Stolen Love

Our first show, performed on July 29, 2023, at the Grand-Ritz Theater in Escondido! 

Six performers, two couples, one story. Ballet and opera meet in Cinballera Entertainment’s inaugural performance, Stolen Love: A Chamber Ballopera! Cinballera's founders, sisters Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan, bring to life the music of 20th century composer Gian Carlo Menotti in his 1939 comic opera, The Old Maid and the Thief, and a ballet prequel of their own creation, Stella and Starbuck, which sets original choreography to his first and only piano concerto. 

Full videos of all our shows will be available soon!