Nothing better than seeing young artists begin to tap their potential. FREMONT — In trying to engage younger audiences and expose his theater students to a range of writers, Michael Navarra has started a performance series he hopes will become a tradition.The Ohlone College Playwrights Festival’s bill No. 1 runs Thursday and Friday and will feature students producing and acting in 10 plays, each about 10 minutes long, by authors from around the nation.“We tried to get plays that connect more to a younger audience, and will get the students excited about doing theater,” said Navarra, assistant professor in Ohlone’s Theatre and Dance Department.
Salonen isn’t Bernstein, either — he’s a bit icy, and even I wanted to mime drinking champagne from an imaginary glass, pinky extended, when I heard him describe himself as the conductor of the “Phil-har-MOANNN-ia” during a promotional video, But in The Orchestra all of that superficial stuff matters not at all, His commentary comes tied to the music and the visuals, Sometimes it’s not even necessary for the conductor-composer, insightful as he is, to say much, (“There’s a ballet shoes and tap shoes lot happening in this score,” Salonen offers at one point, during some extravagantly virtuoso playing of the Stravinsky, Well, yes!)..
Mohr Gallery. Revealing the Unseen — Paintings & Drawings by Andy Gouveia & Drew McSherry. Through Jan. 26. Mohr Gallery, Community School of Music and Arts, Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Free. www.arts4all.org or 650-917-6800, ext. 305. Women’s Caucus for Art- Peninsula Chapter. “New Beginnings,” art exhibit in celebration of David J. Canepa’s induction as Mayor of Daly City. Reception 5:30-7:30 p.m Jan. 16. Through March 31. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Free. Third floor Atrium Gallery, Daly City City Hall, 333 90th St., Daly City. http://peninsulawca.blogspot.com.
Some of Abdrazakov’s other bad-guy portrayals have been wicked English King Henry VIII in Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena,” as well as the doomed-to-be-damned title role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and the ferocious conqueror in Verdi’s “Attila.” On the concert stage, he’s sung the sepulchral declamations of the devilish tsar in Prokofiev’s cantata, “Ivan the Terrible.” In spite of his admission that he would someday like to sing the role of yet one more bass bad guy, Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov,” he assured me that there were indeed some rather merry good guy basses who get the girl (or at least enjoy romantic interludes with her) on operatic ballet shoes and tap shoes stages, Among these are Massenet’s “Don Quichotte,” a role he would one day like to sing, and of course, Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” a role he has often sung..
The opening movement is powerfully polyphonic, with varying textures that Cleve deftly delineated: now robust and dense, now delicate and transparent. Another marvelous alternation flowed through the Andante, with its descending sighs — Cleve, with minimal gestures, seemed to be dipping an oar into a clear lake — and its unexpected harmonic turns, richly dark. The orchestra sounded great: exquisite winds, plummy horns and forthright cellos in the Menuetto, all those sounds enhanced by the Mission’s natural reverb. The Allegro assai, the finale, came through with an ominous beauty, like dark weather. Within the orchestra’s unity there was that sense of natural forces barely contained.