Galuszka at Gabriella….until March 7

Paintings by Frank Galuszka—from the lake district of Italy to the Davenport coast— at Gabriella Cafe, January through March 2016.

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Gorgeous Baroque Music

jephte.jpegUCSC’s notoriously ambitious Concert Choir—under the direction of Nathaniel Berman—works its way gracefully through some outstanding Baroque oratorios, works from the A-list of the 17th century—Scarlatti, Carissimi, Schütz and Charpentier—on Friday December 4th, 7:30pm at the Music Center Recital Hall.

A feast for the senses, the perfect opening act for all the holiday festivities to come.

Lohengrin Without Clichés

mice.jpgWould you travel 7000 miles to watch a stage full of pink and white mice singing the Wedding March from Lohengrin?

Well I did, and my reward—in addition to hearing sumptuous music performed in an acoustically perfect hall—was watching the reigning Lohengrin underscoring his stardom.

Gifted with a perfect stage name, Klaus Florian Vogt also has the looks and the voice to go with it. I’d been told that I was in for a treat by several of Vogt’s global devotées, but I was not prepared for the tenor’s ravishing opening notes as the mythic knight who arrives in time to save a medieval town from its political rivals.

The voice began high in the tenor register, in a long shimmering phrase and simply spun outward into the entire hall, celestial and pure. Unearthly in fact. Vogt’s voice is lieder light, and yet it has a gorgeous crystalline tone and relentless power. His voice stayed strong and clear to the very end, where in Hans Neuenfels’ brilliant production, Lohengrin rejects human society and moves on to find a better world.

Looking and sounding exactly as a Wagnerian hero should, the blonde, rockstar handsome Vogt Continue reading “Lohengrin Without Clichés”

Venetian Jewelry Trunk Show – Sun, Aug 17

necklace.jpgI own two of the sensational, one-of-a-kind necklaces made by Dale Levy. From unique glass beads made on the Murano, near Venice, this designer crafts wearable art so luscious you will probably do as I did last time she was in town. Want some. Buy some.
Stop by Levy’s showcase at 838 Walnut Avenue on Sunday, Aug. 17 between 2 and 4:30pm. You’ll love seeing the work. Bring money!

Zooburbia Booksigning – BSSC – May 13

moses_w_zooburbia.jpgTai Moses brings the backstories from her new book Zooburbia to Bookshop Santa Cruz, Tuesday May 13 @ 7pm.

Come listen, get your copy (a mere $14.95), and welcome the longtime Santa Cruz editor back to town!

The book offers lyrical and sassy tales of urban wildlife, and abounds with Moses’ uncanny eye for detail and sensitivity to the curious and powerful lives we share with other creatures. You know…deer, squirrels, raccoons, blue jays, feral felines, field mice, possums, hawks, bobcats, etc. etc.. Be there!

Lou Harrison’s “La Koro Sutra” @ UCSC – Sat. March 8

lou-harrison-by-eva-soltes.jpgLed by choir director Nathaniel Berman, UCSC’s Concert Choir and Percussion Ensemble will join forces in a rare performance of modernist master Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro. Considered Harrison’s choral masterwork, this unusual music involves an Esperanto interpretation of the Buddhist Heart Sutra set to gamelan.

Berman’s sensitivity and musical expertise should power the choral group to a memorable interpretation. Santa Cruz area residents who knew the composer will find inspiration in this hypnotic creation.

Also on the program is music by two renowned Harrison associates, John Cage and Virgil Thomson.

Tickets — act swiftly!— are available at the UCSC Ticket Office (831.459-2159). Saturday, March 8 – 7:30 – Music Center Recital Hall.

[photo: Eva Soltes]

Tom Maderos – First Friday @ Iveta – March 7

2theredcouchcropped.JPGProlific plein air painter Tom Maderos is expanding his gaze to include the figure in great Diebenkornesque gestures evoking the introspective after-hours of 21st century life. Specifically coastal California after-hours.

Some of Maderos’ explorations of the figure have been seen recently on the walls of Gabriella Cafe.

Come see an even wider swath of broad-brush figural work, at Iveta this Friday, March 7 —reception starts at 7pm.  See you there!

TOM MADEROS: FIGURE PAINTINGS    MARCH 7 – APRIL 1

IVETA ,  2125  Delaware Ave, Suite F
Santa Cruz, (831) 713-0320

Opening Reception: Friday, March 7, 7-9  PM

Bottoms Paintings @ Cafe Ivéta

tombottoms.jpgDon’t miss the show of atmospheric new oil paintings by Tom Bottoms,  at Cafe Iveta through Nov.30.

Bohemian artistry at its best!

Cafe Ivéta is located on the westside of Santa Cruz, @ 125 Delaware Ave., between Swift and Natural Bridges.

Mary Magdalene Fails to Convince

mark-adamo-gospel-of-mary-magdalene.jpgNot the enigmatic companion of first century evangelist Jesus, but the woeful new opera by Mark Adamo, commissioned in a moment of cerebral lassitude by the usually stalwart San Francisco Opera. Adamo had six years to work on this so there is absolutely no excuse for the clueless visual and musical mishmash I endured last weekend.

Having waited all season for this operatic version of one of my favorite ancient sagas, I was dumbfounded to discover that Adamo had neither narrative insight nor compositional vision to apply to this opera. A few good singers had to endure the embarrassment of singing excruciatingly clunky lyrics (written by the hapless Adamo), and a set that can only be described as a construction site.

Standing on top of the site, or milling around Continue reading “Mary Magdalene Fails to Convince”