Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Guest Announcement: San Diego Opera Listening Tour Series

San Diego Opera Announces Listening Tour Series
Tour will see San Diego Opera’s General Director, David Bennett, engaging the community to explore how the Company can best serve San Diegans
San Diego, CA – San Diego Opera is proud to announce a listening tour series that will bring the Company’s General Director, David Bennett, out into the community to explore how the Company can best serve its citizens as it looks towards its next 50 years. These interactive conversations will take place in four different regions of San Diego County – Central (at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park), North County (at the Museum of Making Music), La Jolla (at The Scripps Institute Research Center) and South Bay (at the Chula Vista Masonic Temple). Using smartphone technology, these multi-media conversations will allow participants to respond to questions in real time and drive the conversation about the future of San Diego Opera.
“What is opera? What do you like about opera? What might you want to see different? Is opera too long? Too expensive?  If you were General Director of San Diego Opera, what would you do to ensure the Company was thriving fifty year from now? These are just some of the questions I will engage the community in during this listening tour,” shares David Bennett. “What made San Diego so attractive to me is that the community had taken an active role in the opera’s future, having saved it in 2014. The diversity of San Diego is what makes this city so wonderful, and it is my goal to make San Diego Opera an organization that serves the community. To do this, we are going to do something the Company has never done before: listen to you.”
The listening tours are free and open to the public but registration is required and can be made at: http://www.sdopera.org/engage/listen. Refreshments and wine will be served. Participants can also win opera tickets and other prizes. Participants should attend the listening tour with a fully charged smartphone, tablet, or laptop capable of internet access through a cellular network to interact with the questions and real time polls that will be part of the program. In order to better evaluate aggregated responses, participants will be sent a short, confidential questionnaire from our market research partner Q2 Insights to be completed before attending the event.
Dates and locations for the San Diego Opera Listening Tour are:
Central: Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 6 PM – The Nat (in the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater). 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101.
La Jolla: Thursday, April 28 at 6 PM – The Auditorium at The Scripps Research Institute.  10620 John J Hopkins Dr., San Diego, CA 92121.
North County: Thursday, May 19 at 6 PM - The Museum of Making Music. 5790 Armada Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
South Bay: Thursday, June 16, at 6 PM – The Chula Vista Masonic Lodge. 732 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910
The San Diego Opera Listening Tour is made possible with support from Q2 Insights. For more information visit us online at: http://www.sdopera.org/engage/listen.
The 2015-2016 International Season
René Barbera in Recital                                                                    September 19, 2015
Patricia Racette “Diva on Detour”                                                   November 14, 2015
Tosca                                                   Giacomo Puccini                  February 13, 16, 19 and 21 (mat), 2016
Ferruccio Furlanetto in Concert                                                       March 5, 2016
Madama Butterfly                                Giacomo Puccini                  April 16, 19, 22 and 24 (mat), 2016
Great Scott                                          Jake Heggie                          May 7, 10, 15 and 15 (mat), 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year (a bit late)

I'm afraid this past holiday season was rather hellish for yours truly, and really isn't something to talk about. I finally made it back home on Tuesday, though, and spent a lot of time since reacquainting myself with my own bed while trying to excise a nasty strand of virus and a whole lot of tracheal lining... and sort of scaring my roommate to death with the associated noises.

Anyhow, I think it's safe to say now that I'll probably live, since I've been able to spend more than an hour upright today and even found me a rather nice surprise on Youtube that I think fellow lovers of classical music and the fiddling ability of one Lisa Batiashvili would enjoy. Here it is!

Happy New Year, one and all. Look ahead and brave new world!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Je voudrais des frites francaise, s'il vous plait...

Sometimes I wish I'm French...

France had the moral backbone to say no when we (the USA) tried to bully her into joining us to invade Iraq for the WMD that Iraq didn't have (tho, to be honest, it wasn't really about the WMD, was it? It was W's misguided notion of revenge... and still aimed at the wrong party). We know, of course, how that invasion ended and what ill was released from that SNAFU's pandora's box. And even after France got hit by ISIS last week, she still resolves to not blame the easy-to-pick-on innocents for the action of others, but to keep doing the right thing and accepting refugees from war-torn Syria. And even those French who lost loved ones during that attack responded like this:

“I won’t give you the gift of hating you” – Antoine Leiris’ powerful tribute to his wife, who died in the Bataclan during the #ParisAttacks bbc.in/1NbYE0q
Posted by BBC News on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It takes strong moral fiber to stay true to one's values even when the going gets rough.

In the meanwhile, here in America, irrational xenophobia is the prevailing rage to which I say, give me French fries over 'freedom fries' any day. Vive liberté, fraternité, et egalité. 

I'm afraid hinged people tend to be less loud than unhinged ones... though please know that many Americans stand with you and don't share the view of those selfish bigots... And we will vote at the next election!

Friday, November 13, 2015


A week ago, after five hours on the bike I found myself near the top of Mt Rubidoux in Riverside, CA, contemplating the view from the World Peace Bridge. The barren granite hill by the river was purchased in 1906 by Frank A Miller and Henry Huntington, who developed it into a place to celebrate nature, peace and humanity.

Those who spend their lives building and nurturing community and peace are the ones we will remember, not those who intentionally set out to destroy innocent lives to satisfy their own political agenda.

Viva la France.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Rolando Passages

When San Diegans hear about 'hidden' or 'secret' staircases, we think 'Mt Nebo, La Mesa'... Having ridden by all the staircases that lead from La Mesa Village up to the top of Nebo Hill, a few of the staircases there are indeed well hidden (though most are prominently marked with neon green pedestrians crossing signs), though they are rather far from secret. Heck, the City of La Mesa even has a hiking map denoting all of them on their webpage and a weekly organized walk around La Mesa that passes through many of the stairs. It's happily the worst kept secret in town!

At the same time, just a couple of miles to the west the decidedly understated neighborhood of Rolando is quietly housing its own set of secret passages and staircases. I had the chance to scout them all out a while back in what turns out to be a rather cool neighborhood walking route.

Many of the entrances to the passages are quite tricky to spot. It sure doesn't help that there is no curb cut where most of them enter the street, and some of them prove to be prime curbside parking spots! Be sure to wear a sturdy pair of footwear if you decide to try this hike out, though. Most of the passages involve at least a few steps, some are fairly steep, even.