Opera Sampler Plate
"Scenes of Myth and Fantasy"
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1
UA Crowder Hall
UA School of Music
Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue
When you jump from a magical fairyland to a giant dragon to a little boy being attacked by math and a vengeful chorus of numbers, chances are you're high or in a deep REM cycle.
But in this case, it's opera.
Kristin Dauphinais, a professor of voice at the University of Arizona, directed the production of "Scenes of Myth and Fantasy," featuring snippets of six famous operas. The scenes mentioned above are from Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozart's Die Zuberflote and Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortilèges.
Those who say that opera is boring have obviously never experienced such of smörgåsbord of "little gems from each opera," as Dauphinais calls them.
"This is an opportunity to see different styles and genres," she says. "It is sort of like an introduction to the world of opera."
The scenes will be performed fully staged—with sets, lighting, costumes, the works—as the culmination of a class on opera scenes that Dauphinais teaches.
The undergraduate and graduate students in the class have been preparing all semester to perform in the show. Dauphinais will provide background information to the audience between scenes.
Dauphinais has put on similar "scene-sampling" programs in previous years, but she says that this is the first time the show has had a set theme: All the scenes were chosen for their whimsical, fairytale quality.
The nature of this show makes it appropriate for both the cultured opera snob and the novice; after all, most everyone can relate to the merciless abuse that is math homework.
Tickets are $5. —E.N.
Filling a Blank Canvas
Francisco Franklin exhibition
Receptions: 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27; 3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28; on display through Nov. 30
Tooley's Coffee Shop
299 S. Park Ave.
Tooley's in the Lost Barrio has a large, adjoining gallery space—a perfect blank canvas for an artist.
When Tucsonan Francisco Franklin discovered the area, he decided it would suit him and his work. This weekend, Franklin will be showing 75 pieces of his work in the space, including oil paintings, drawings and woodcarvings.
"You can stand in the room and take it all in, or walk around for a closer look," says Franklin.
Franklin has been painting and creating art since he was 15, and except for a stint in the Army—he's now 62—it's all he's ever done, he says.
"I read about painters, being home-schooled," says Franklin. "I thought it looked great, and I was wrong. It's harder than I thought."
Even though the artist lifestyle wasn't what he expected, Franklin continued with his work, and this exhibit is the largest he's ever put on. He likes to paint with oils because of the intense color depth. With oils, he mostly paints curvaceous women and angels with dark hair and brightly colored clothing. Women appear in his woodwork, too.
"I want people to judge the work themselves," he says. "There's no such thing as an art expert; no one has the same opinion."
Franklin's exhibit will hang in Tooley's gallery space until Nov. 30. Special receptions will be held this Friday and Saturday—and Tooley's kitchen will be open in case you're hungry. The event is free. —A.P.
Giving Thanks—With Violence!
"Aftermath: Giving Thanks"
6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28
Northshore Bar and Grill
6255 E. Golf Links Road
It's best to not over-think while wrestling, because the more you think, the more likely you are to get hurt. Well, that's what wrestlers say, anyway.
High Impact Wrestling, an independent Arizona wrestling group, is coming to Tucson for an appropriately titled show, "Aftermath: Giving Thanks," two days after Thanksgiving.
The show will have a storyline with costumed characters, including Chaos, Ogre and Pr13st. While the group features almost 20 characters, not everyone participates in each storyline; after all, you don't want to distract from the body-slamming and tackling with too many plotlines.
Wrestler Cris Anarchy, of Gilbert, says it's like watching WWE, but a little closer up. This is Anarchy's 10th season with HIW, and he has a few scars to show for it. He's a firm believer in not over-thinking his moves, and he says he's still around because of it.
He also has a special advantage: Anarchy is a universal champion, which means he's allowed to use a weapon during a basic 1-on-1 match. Yes, there are weapons involved. In fact, part of the show includes what's called "death-match wrestling."
"Pretty much anything goes," Anarchy explains. "You can use barbed wire (or) thumbtacks, and more often than not, there's blood spilled."
While the show is an all-ages event, the announcer warns the crowd before the death match begins.
To keep with the "giving thanks" theme (we're not sure where the blood spill fits into the theme), a prize raffle will go on throughout the night, with T-shirts, DVDs and other giveaways; it's a way for wrestlers to show their appreciation.
Tickets are $4 in advance (at the Web site) or $5 at the door. —A.P.
"Gift of the Jews: Moses, Einstein, Bernstein and Woody Allen, Too"
6:30 p.m., next Thursday, Dec. 3
Dusenberry-River Branch Library
5605 E. River Road, No. 105
The Thanksgiving dishes are barely off the table, and "Jingle Bells" is on the radio. The most wonderful time of year has arrived, but remember: Christmas time hasn't always been around.
Robert Cohen, a founder of the Tucson Jewish Community Library, is giving a lecture and hosting a discussion called "Gift of the Jews." He'll discuss how the Jewish perspective has influenced the world in innumerable ways, on everything from prophets to Freud.
He says the Jewish contribution to society over time has occurred in a number of areas. Jewish minds have helped lead to the understanding of the importance of literacy, education, freedom and progress.
The most important contribution however, he says, may be laughter.
"Fred Allen and Jack Benny, they gave us the ability to laugh at yourself and laugh at your oppressor," says Cohen.
Cohen also enjoys comedians from the 1980s.
"What, 80 percent of them were Jewish?" he explains. That's not an exact estimate, and he'll elaborate more in the discussion.
Cohen says that about 2 1/2 years ago, the Tucson Jewish Community Library opened; the majority of the books and other materials there are recycled and donated. Currently, it is the only Jewish lending library in Southern Arizona.
"All of the books are on Judaica, fiction and nonfiction," says Cohen. "Anyone can check them out."
The library is located at 3800 E. River Road; however, the lecture will take place at the Dusenberry-River Branch Library, just a bit up River Road. A question-and-answer session will follow the event.
The event is free. —A.P.