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Saturday: Ride bike 100 miles from Bonita to Oceanside and back. Sunday: Discuss the sets that contemporary artist David Hockney made for the opera production of “Turandot” with Kathryn Kanjo, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Monday: Sit down with Maestro Jahja Ling of the San Diego Symphony to talk Chinese music and the folk tunes woven into “Turandot,” the opera that Giacomo Puccini composed in the 1920s.

This was an eventful weekend for “Dr. Nic” Reveles, San Diego Opera’s education and outreach director. But the plain-speaking Reveles isn’t one to stay steeped in opera 24/7: “I am not, for instance, the kind of person who will go home and listen to a recording of opera because I love it so much I want to surround myself with it,” the self-proclaimed liberal talk radio junkie told us.

This is the Arts Report, your weekly roundup of the characters and issues driving the San Diego arts community, as told over the past week at VOSD’s arts section, Behind the Scene, and elsewhere.

Made in San Diego (or by San Diegans):

• San Diego artist Michael Carini lives with Tourette’s syndrome and is learning to allow chaotic elements (“the beautiful accident”) to enter his otherwise tightly controlled painting process. He’s found real camaraderie at a strip club because, as he tells Kinsee Morlan in this compelling feature story, “I feel like I do the same thing for a living, just kind of being up on stage completely naked as an artist.” (CityBeat)

• A co-founder of San Diego Repertory Theatre and longtime artistic director, D.W. Jacobs, wrote and directed a play at Boston’s American Repertory Theater based on the life of “inventor and untrained architect” R. Buckminster Fuller. (Boston Globe)


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• A sculpture honoring a precious San Diego commodity — water — was made by local distinguished sculptor Donal Hord in 1935. Hord’s “Woman of Tehuantepec” sculpture lives in the courtyard next to The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park (U-T).

• A local percussionist first felt her rhythm playing a drum set over Led Zeppelin and AC/DC records but soon found zeal for hand-drumming. Now she runs a drumming school in Africa. (CityBeat)

• It’s common for artists to claim they transcend genre boundaries. But composer Katharina Rosenberger, on faculty at the University of California, San Diego, seems to earn the right to claim it, judging by the works of sound art, video opera and solo pieces, included by the U-T’s James Chute in his latest profile of in a series about local composers. “And then there are the works that defy categorization, such as ‘le 11 passioni dell’anima’ for brass quintet, 11 sculptures and a mime (inspired by St. Thomas of Aquinas and his studies of the soul).” (U-T)

• Last night’s awards honoring local theater sent La Jolla Playhouse home with armfuls of awards, mostly for its production of Ruined, which opened late last year and is now in Boston for performances at the Huntington Theatre Company. Among the other winners, selected by a committee of local theater critics: Cygnet Theatre, Seema Sueko of Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, Ion Theatre and The Old Globe. The event honored some local theater luminaries who’ve died in the past year, including Craig Noel, the founding director of The Old Globe, and local actor Sandra Ellis-Troy.

Local actor Steve Gunderson was busy last year, performing in “Sweeney Todd” at Cygnet, “Hairspray” at San Diego Rep, “Into the Woods” at New Village Arts and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at The Old Globe. The critics circle gave Gunderson a special award for “Actor of the Year.” Rundowns of the event from local critics will likely be trickling in later today, but in the meantime, KPBS’s Angela Carone has a full list of the winners here.

Spaces for Art:

• No longer “schlepping things back and forth” from Kearny Mesa, a once-roving local theater company, Mo’olelo Performing Arts, has settled into new digs at the 10th Avenue Theatre. Our partners from NBC 7/39 and I toured the building with Mo’olelo’s Seema Sueko and landlord Jeff Cotta for our Behind the Scene TV segment this week.

• CityBeat collects feedback from proponents and critics of the NTC Promenade arts and culture district envisioned (and already begun) for the historic Naval Training Center grounds in Point Loma.

Art in Process:

• As Councilman Todd Gloria announced on Twitter, the parking garage in North Park is newly adorned with the art of San Diego-based illustrator Blair Thornley. (The Linkery blog)

• It’s taking a village at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad to raise the company’s biggest sets in its 10-year history for its new play, “Waving Goodbye.” Behind the effort, the Union-Tribune’s James Hebert reports, are the company’s resident set designer, Tim Wallace (a set artist at San Diego Opera for 20 years), artist Bryan Snyder, and the Carlsbad-based author and illustrator who wrote Stellaluna, Janell Cannon. (U-T)

• Have you ever wondered how curators decide to put a one painting beside another, how high to hang them, and what color to make the walls? Our Guide from the Inside blogger, Dani Dodge, takes us inside the hanging of a new exhibit of British painters at the San Diego Museum of Art. Follow her “A Hanging at the Museum” posts as the museum prepares to open the show at the end of the month.

Balancing Acts:

• Even if all of its upcoming performances of “Turandot” completely sold out, the San Diego Opera would still lose $1.2 million on putting the show on, because “the cost of mounting the production is higher than the amount raised through ticket sales,” according to the North County Times. The rest is made up through donations and grants. (NCT)

• Local dance maven Jean Isaacs and pianist and composer Steve Baker have been joined-at-the-hip artistic collaborators over six years. Next weekend marks the pair’s annual Cabaret Dances. One of these days, they tell local writer Janice Steinberg, they’ll get married. Says Isaacs: “We just haven’t had time!” (U-T)

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said a play written and directed by San Diego Rep co-founder D.W. Jacobs, opening in Boston this weekend, was new. The play actually premiered in San Diego in 2000. We regret the error.

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Please contact Kelly Bennett directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531 and follow her on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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