Monday, October 25, 2010

Turning Japanese


I had a weekend full of things out of the Land of the Rising Sun, so it’s time for a theme post!

Friday evening I went to a preview of the new exhibit at the John Cleary Gallery of Takeshi Shikama’s Silent Respirations of Forests.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to the full opening like I did last time, but knowing the person running the show doesn’t hurt.  Or as Catherine put it: “Yeah, I’ve changed his diapers.  You know… when he was younger, not recently.”


Mt. Chyokai 23, 2004: platinum and palladium print


     Takeshi_Shikama_Mt_Ushigata_4     Takeshi_Shikama_Mt_Cyokai_39

      Mt. Ushigata 4, 2005: platinum and palladium print         Mt. chyokai 39, 2005: platinum and palladium print



Toyosawa Lake 1, 2009: platinum and palladium print on gampi


Sunday, my friend Jennifer and I added to the western centered weekend two fold: Sushi and the Houston Grand  Opera’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly!!!


Saucy Sushi (as opposed to Sexy Strawberry).  Saucy of course referring to the soy and not Jennifer’s “come hither" glance



… and of course I was hungry by intermission!


For those non-operaphiles amongst the group, the story of Madama Butterfly revolves around an American naval officer who is stationed in Japan and marries a geisha, who dismisses all of her culture in order to become a “true” American bride.  The officer leaves to go back to the States and eventually re-marries; meanwhile, Cio-Cio San waits faithfully for his return.  Three years pass and he does return (with his new wife), completely unaware that Cio-Cio San has a child from their marriage and, heartbroken, she kills herself so that her son can go back to America and have a better life.  So… you know, a regular Tuesday night in the opera world.  If the plot sounds somewhat familiar, the musical Miss Saigon is based on the same story. THE MORE YOU KNOW *shooting star*.  Madama Butterfly ranks as number one in Opera America’s list of 20 most performed operas in America.

Patricia Racette singing “Un bel di vedremo,” probably the most recognizable piece from the opera


Besides the fact that the opera itself is fantastic, the thing I was looking forward to most seeing was the lead soprano, Ana Maria Martinez.  I saw her first sing Liu in Turandot with Jennifer several several years ago at HGO as well as more recently as Nedda in Pagliacci at Chicago Lyric Opera.  Basically I’ve been in love with her for years and to see her sing her first Butterfly was so thrilling.

The first thing I ever saw/heard her sing.  Gotta love the high note… and Domingo conducting.

Artist: The Vapors/ Album: One Clear Day

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