Archive for the ‘Completely Different’ Category

A Streetcar Named Desire – Opera Style!

Opera San José resident artist Matthew Hanscom as “Stanley” and guest artists Ariana Strahl as “Blanche” and Stacey Tappan as “Stella”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

Opera San José resident artist Matthew Hanscom as “Stanley” and guest artists Ariana Strahl as “Blanche” and Stacey Tappan as “Stella”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

Opera San Jose has really been outdoing itself this year, as it does every year.  February’s Carmen was outstanding, and now they have taken a dip in the theatre-pond, bringing us Mr. Tennessee Williams. Did you know A Streetcar Named Desire was also an opera by André Previn? Well there was no way I was going to miss this. I was so excited to see this show, in a completely different way than I usually am.

As soon as you step into the California Theatre you can see this opera is going to be different. The curtain was already up and there were actors already on stage sitting on chairs! And not a velvet gown in sight. These were manly men, shirtless and dirty, drinking from bottles as they lounged in the chairs waiting for us to sit. Also, the orchestra was behind the stage. All of this was so different from anything I’d seen at the opera before, I was bouncing in my chair waiting for it to begin.

Opera San José resident artists Matthew Hanscom as “Stanley” and Kirk Dougherty at “Mitch”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

Opera San José resident artists Matthew Hanscom as “Stanley” and Kirk Dougherty at “Mitch”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

Now I’ll be honest. It had to grow on me. When Ariana Strahl as Blanche DuBois strolls onstage and starts singing my mind had a terribly difficult time connecting what I was seeing to what I was hearing.  My heart fell just a tiny bit as I realized I might not enjoy it as much as I had anticipated. But the music was outstanding, it has the feel of a 1950s film score.  And of course the story of Blanche, and Stanley, and STELLAAAAAAAAA is fantastic no matter what, so I sat and tried to enjoy the show as much as I could.

Fear not, it was already growing on me before the first intermission (there are two).  And it wasn’t long before I realized Streetcar is actually your typical opera story: the male is somewhat of a… trying to come up with a family friendly adjective here… jerk.  Yeah, let’s call him that.  So your main male character is a big, fat, jerk, and the main female that the story revolves around is basically a whore.  Sigh.  And because Streetcar is no Comedy, we know what’s going to happen to the “whore” in the end.

If you’ve never seen or read Streetcar in any version before, note that this is not a show for young children. There is talk of homosexuality, suicide, “loose women”, domestic violence and a choreographed rape.  The setting is a tough time in a tough neighborhood where men earn the money and the women do what they’re told. But it is also an amazing, touching story, and the entire production is done extremely well.

Stacey Tappan is a luscious Stella, Matthew Hanscom is as manly a Stanley as you can get, and I adored Kirk Dougherty as Mitch. But another standout for me was Cabiria Jacobsen as Eunice. She has a smaller role, but it was a great one.

Opera San José resident artist Kirk Dougherty as “Mitch” and guest artist Ariana Strahl as “Blanche”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

Opera San José resident artist Kirk Dougherty as “Mitch” and guest artist Ariana Strahl as “Blanche”. Photo credit Pat Kirk.

The finale of the show at opening night got the standing ovation that it deserved.  From the catchy, more “modern” music, to the 1950s era costumes, to our amazing resident opera singers, and even the sparse, perfect staging, this is an outstanding production. It did grow on me, and then it bloomed, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see the show. I think the show might be a very good introduction to opera newbies, but the music and voices are the usual perfection to please long-time opera fans as well. Perhaps even some English majors can get their noses out of their books and get out for a night to see a story really brought to life.

I’m so glad the show is going to be playing all the way through May 1. It is a great show to end the season with, while we look forward to next year which will include:

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
Rossini’s The Barber of Seville
Puts & Campbell’s Silent Night
Puccini’s La bohème

Don’t miss this amazing modern opera at the California Theatre.

A Streetcar Named Desire
Opera San Jose
playing through May 1
Tickets

 

REBOOT:Music Live at The Tech

REBOOTElectronic music fans are going to flock to the Tech next weekend for live performances from world class musicians staged amid the largest exhibition of interactive, collaborative digital music installations ever created.

Unleash your inner musician and immerse yourself in a new world of musical performances led by revolutionaries who are redefining the intersection of humans and machines.

Panel Discussion with the Artists moderated by ANI 

Interact and make your own music with:

  • 14 installations by renowned artists that allow you to collaborate and explore the boundaries of music making.
  • Red Hot and Sympathetic Resonance, two large-scale, electro-acoustic experiences bring a technological twist to familiar acoustic instruments.
  • The multi-player ConnecTable invites spontaneous jam sessions with friends and strangers alike – no rehearsal necessary!
  • The Space Palette puts futuristic soundscapes at participants’ fingertips – literally.
  • Stepping Tones’ immersive projection mapped environment lets participants create and visualize beats by hand.
  • The Laser Harp Alembic surrounds visitors with an orchestra of sounds, each just a pluck of the air away.

$15 Limited Presale Tickets HERE

RSVP to the Facebook Event HERE

Saturday, May 10th
7pm-1am
at The Tech Museum of Innovation
201 South Market St, San Jose

 

The Tech Museum of Innovation

Visit: thetech.org

Like: facebook.com/TheTechMuseum

Follow: twitter.com/TheTechMuseum

BLM Mustang Auction and Tack Sale May 3

Sorrel Mustang

“The Bureau of Land Management protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to ensure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands. The BLM manages these living symbols of the Western spirit as part of its multiple-use mission under the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act .”

One of the BLM’s key responsibilities under the 1971 law is to determine the “appropriate management level” (AML) of wild horses and burros on the public rangelands. These animals have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, about 31,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed lands in 10 Western states, a population that exceeds by about 3,500 the number that can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.

To help restore the balance, the BLM gathers some wild horses and burros and offers them for adoption or sale to those individuals and groups willing and able to provide humane, long-term care.

On May 3rd, 2014 you can see some of these wild horses up for adoption, and maybe even take one home from the Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association. 20350 McKean Road, San Jose, Ca. 95120. The SCCHA Juniors will be holding a flea market sale on the same day, in case you need some new tack for that adopted horse!

If you can’t make it to the adoption at the SCCHA, you can see a list of adoption events here, or visit  the Litchfield or Ridgecrest Corrals Monday through Friday during business hours.   It’s a good idea to download and fill out your adoption application prior to arrival.  You can also fill out the adoption form at the SCCHA adoption event.

IMPORTANT NOTE:   Adoptions are open from 8 am to 5 pm on the day of the adoption.   For all adoptions, after the silent bidding has concluded, any remaining animals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

San Jose Pillow Fight!

Pillow Fight San Francisco 2008
Photo Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Need something fluffy and silly do to on Sunday? Looks like you’re in luck. Just saw a tweet earlier today about it and thought I’d help spread the word.

Some information, taken from Pillow Fight San Jose:
Date and Time: Sunday February 13th, NOON sharp.
Location: Right now – exact location is to be announced.
Rules:
“The sacred commandments of Feathers of Fury are as follows …
1. Tell everyone about the Pillow Fight.

2. Wait until the whistle/airhorn signal to begin.

3. Smile.
4. Soft pillows only!
 No buckwheat or special surprises hidden in your pillow.
5. NEVER swing at people without pillows or with cameras.
”

More of the sacred commandments can be found on the Pillow Fight San Jose site.

I’ve seen photos from the pillow fight in SF and always thought it would have been fun to go – I really hope enough people get jazzed up about this one. The photos could be great! Which means, if you see me there – please obey rule #5 and don’t smack me in the face!

Anyone thinking of going? The location will be announced the day before.
Keep up to date:

Twitter: @PillowFightSJ
Facebook: Feathers of Fury

Karaoke Tuesdays

DON

Every Tuesday night something completely different happens at The California Billiard Club.

Players and non players alike can choose a song title out of the book and then give the Karaoke a try.

Two players, Don and Dan, put down their cues long enough to entertain the room.

DAN

The California Billiard Club
881 E. El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA
Telephone: (650) 965-3100

Karaoke Tuesdays – 9 PM Start

+

Coors Light Draft – $2.50 (4 PM till 12 AM)

College Students 1/2 off Pool Time (6 PM till 2 AM)

All on Tuesdays !

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