Would Noah get the ark built in time for the deluge from heaven?
And, in the case of our most recent “Arts: Embedded” series, would the 250-some kids singing an opera based on his epic effort memorize their parts in time to perform it on Sunday?
We slipped into Copley Symphony Hall this past Sunday to see how the San Diego Children’s Choir would do. They sailed smoothly, our Allie Daugherty reports, despite a lackluster showing when it came time for the audience to join in and sing along. Peek inside with us as Daugherty and photographer Sam Hodgson show us the energy behind the scenes.
We’ve been popping into rehearsals and costume-making sessions all over the county to see how the production came together in the weeks leading up. Catch up on a few of our posts:
• The production was a massive undertaking for the choir, which usually just assembles for recitals on risers in simple uniforms. Kids meet in one of a handful of locations every week for practice, but they wouldn’t come together until the day before the production to see what they all sounded and moved like together.
• We asked an opera pro, Ian Campbell, what we should look for in the last rehearsals. He suggested the biggest hurdle near the end is for all of the kids to “inhabit” their roles, rather than just perform by rote their choreography and lines.
• Fans of filmmaker Wes Anderson will be interested to know the opera the kids performed features heavily in Anderson’s new “Moonrise Kingdom,” which opens in San Diego cinemas Friday. (I saw the film while I was in London last week and loved it. The Britten touches were excellent and made the soundtrack for me.)
• The opera’s lead characters, Mr. and Mrs. Noye, met for the first time days before the performance.
You’re reading the Arts Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.
• The finishing touches on the askew house at UC San Diego’s engineering school are in place and the “Fallen Star” artwork opens to the public this week. The U-T profiled the artwork and the artist, Do Ho Suh, who made the piece for the campus’s acclaimed Stuart Collection of public art. We were there late last year when engineers hoisted the house; visit our photo gallery from that day.
• Leucadia artist Mark Patterson is again looking for a new home for his “Surfing Madonna” mosaic he made and installed in secret more than a year ago. The Encinitas government said the piece had to come down because it was installed on public property without permission, and the state denied a request to install it on nearby state land because the mosaic depicts the virgin of Guadalupe, an image deemed religious even though the virgin’s riding a surfboard and Patterson is not himself Catholic. (North County Times)
• The downtown waterfront’s kissing statue has been removed (heads first) in anticipation of a new, bronzed version, which will cost about $1 million, according to the USS Midway Museum’s “Save the Kiss” website. (NBC San Diego and KPBS)
U-T editorial cartoonist Steve Breen took on the controversial statute, imagining quite a different “kiss” statue.
• Three new exhibits are on display at the San Diego airport: Portraits of children with autism, a painted photograph collection of carnivals and circuses, and pieces from the San Diego History Center’s exhibit about the region’s tuna history. (U-T)
• Downtown’s Spreckels Theatre turns 100 this year and its owner is renovating it, from the seats to the neon sign. (North County Times)
• On Thursday, nonprofit environmental group I Love a Clean San Diego will take hundreds of kids from low-income schools to Crown Point to clean up the beach and line up in a pattern to create an aerial artwork connected to the theme “Defend the Sea.”
• CityBeat surveys the city’s most promising examples of a musical genre known as “beat” music characterized as “glitch-laden, avant-garde, instrumental hip-hop and electronic.”
Writes Quan Vu: “You can find what you’re looking for — if you’re looking to party with robots, explore space, jam to classical music or indulge in darkness.”
• Fascinating local artists Iain Gunn and Bridget Rountree make puppet theater for adults under the banner “The Animal Cracker Conspiracy.” They’ve got a new production opening this week called “The Collector,” and KPBS’s Beth Accomando went behind the scenes to see all that goes into making shadow, sewn and cardboard puppets into what Gunn calls a “dystopian world where there should be some connections to our reality.”
• Singers and musicians from UC San Diego put on a rarely performed opera, “Der Kaiser von Atlantis,” last week, to a favorable review from the U-T’s classical music critic, James Chute. The opera’s composer, Viktor Ullman, wrote the piece in a concentration camp. He didn’t survive the camp, but his manuscript did. I talked a bit about the opera in a recent appearance on KPBS’s Midday Edition.
• Custom lowrider cars are on display at the Oceanside Museum of Art, a collection demonstrating a “piece of Chicano Culture seldom displayed in museums.” (U-T)
• Cardiff artist Scott Saw decamps to his garage between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. most nights to work on his paintings, which often feature natural elements like veins, skulls, birds, butterflies and motifs of trees, stars and animals. A show of his new work opens at Subtext Gallery in Little Italy this weekend. (CityBeat)
• El Cajon arts fans are fighting the city on plans to raze the central performing arts space and erect a hotel in its place. (U-T)
An Artsy Summer
• You can get half-price admission to six North County arts and culture spots in June, including a surf museum and a couple of art museums. (U-T)
• Local chamber and classical music ensembles feature pops and festival concerts throughout the warmer months, including the free kickoff concert for the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest at La Jolla Cove on July 31. (U-T)
• The Old Globe’s got Shakespeare, of course, while Lamb’s Player’s got the world premiere of a “decidedly polarizing Tom Hanks comedy.” Check James Hebert’s rundown of local theaters’ summer offerings. (U-T)
• If your kids are into dinos and fossils, they might want to check out this cool-sounding archaeology camp at the San Diego Archaeological Center later this month. (North County Times)
I would’ve eaten this up as a kid. I wonder if they’d notice if a slightly older kid slipped into camp?
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