The Natives are on TV

Les Indes Galantes at Opera National De Bordeaux

Les Indes Galantes at Opera National De Bordeaux

In honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death, Opéra National de Bordeaux is putting on Rameau‘s 1735 opera Les Indes Galantes (which I’ve discussed before), and Medici TV has your front row, live streaming ticket today!

The opera is structured as four love stories in four “exotic” settings; last time I shared excerpts from the North American and Persian settings, so here’s one from the Peruvian story in a different production by Les Arts Florissants at the Paris Opera:

For a more modern, but still Bizarro Twins appropriate, depiction of Native Americans, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York is offering daily screenings of installments of the Stories from the Seventh Fire, a series of cartoons inspired by Anishinaabe folklore through Sunday.

The series by Canadian director Gregory Coyes can be purchased through Green Planet Films.

The animation is in parts inspired by the art of pioneering Anishinaabe Canadian artist Norval Morriseau, which is also on view at the NMAI.  Here’s an appraisal of some lovely Morriseau pieces on Antiques Roadshow, if that floats your boat like it does mine.

1968 painting by Norval Morisseau

1968 painting by Norval Morisseau

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Graphic Novels & Goldberg Machines, Tonight

Two options for talks about comics tonight in New York:

Parade (with fireworks) by Mike Cavallaro

Parade (with fireworks), copyright Mike Cavallaro

Tonight at 6:30 at the Society of Illustrators, Mike Cavallaro, vice president of the Manhattan chapter of the National Cartoonist’s Society, discusses the creative renaissance of the American graphic novel since the 1980s, including his own journey through the field and insight into his own comics process.   $10 for non-members, $7 with student ID.

Simple Fly Swatter, by Rube Goldberg

“Simple” Fly Swatter, by Rube Goldberg

Also, at 7pm at the Parsons, there’s the trusty weekly installment of the ever-reliable New York Comic and Picture-Story Symposium, this time about the work of Rube Goldberg in conjunction with a new book on the topic from Charles Kochman and Jennifer George, Goldberg’s granddaughter.

As I just learned, Rube Goldberg is an accepted word in the English language, and here’s the OED definition to prove it:

"Rube Goldberg" in the Oxford English Dictionary

“Rube Goldberg”, Oxford English Dictionary

Not a bad linguistic legacy for a guy who drew funnies…

Here’s just one application of the Rube Goldberg machine, for OK GO‘s “This Too Shall Pass” music video

Graduation in February

Two of my favorite webcomics are now set in college graduation ceremonies as principal characters have to navigate their loved ones’ rite of passage, and awkward family reunions.  For no other reason than my love of coincidences, let’s talk about them!

TJ and Amal – Graduation

TJ and Amal, Copyright E.K. Weaver

In the case of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ & Amal, the whole story, structured around a cross-country road trip,  has  been leading to this point, when Amal sees his parents for the first time since he came out and called off his planned marriage.

Over in Octopus Pie, the ceremony marks the graduation of Hanna’s boyfriend, Marek, and has snuck up on readers a bit more…

Octopus Pie – Graduation

Octopus Pie, copyright Meredith Gran

How will Amal’s family reunion go?  Does the end of his cross-country journey signify the end of the comic, and his unexpected relationship with his travel mate, TJ?  And what does Marek’s graduation signify for the rest of the admittedly kind of stagnated Octopus Pie crew?

Death, the Powers, and the Simulcast

I’ve shared online streams of live opera here before, but this Sunday a high tech opera at Dallas Opera will be broadcast to select locations in 9 cities internationally.  

Death and the Powers by MIT professor Tod Machover, premiered at Monaco in 2010, is about an inventor who downloads himself into his house, represented by interactive machines on stage that respond to the music.

This Sunday’s live simulcast incorporates footage from the machines on set for a unique experience unlike any other live stream.  Visit this page for the list of 9 locations, and if you can’t make it on Sunday, there’s also a mobile app you can download (from Google Play or iTunes).

Seasons and Months Ahead

Met Opera 2014-15 Season Teaser

Met Opera 2014-15 Season Teaser

The Metropolitan Opera announced today that they will announce their 2014-2015 season tonight, so that’s exciting, I always love looking ahead to the next season, so eager and impatient…

I don’t know what it is about the west coast, but two California opera companies already announced their 2014/2015 seasons earlier this year:  LA Opera has a Figaro theme, including the West coast premiere of Corigiliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, as well as a revival of Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas which LA Opera co-commissioned.  They’re also giving the quite new Dog Days by David T. Little as part of their “Off Grand” series, of more unusual works presented outside their main  opera house, so good for that widely praised new work.

As for new opera, San Francisco Opera is premiering a new work by Italian composer Marco Tutino, but I’m also excited by their Handel and Floyd offerings…

The new, Chicano, Ghost Rider from Marvel Art by Felipe Smith

The new Ghost Rider from Marvel
Art by Felipe Smith

Its occurred to me recently that opera companies’ season announcements are kinda like comic publishers’ release of monthly previews, both of which I look forward to immensely…  And these days, with both Marvel and DC taking on a more “season” style publication scheme, there are always lots of exciting new titles coming out.

For example, I think I found my next comic book crush in the new, Chicano, Ghost Rider coming from Marvel.  The character design concept art by Felipe Smith, at right, has me interested in Ghost Rider for like, the first time…  Even if we don’t get to look at his pretty face when he’s all Ghosted up…

Also, along with the new Pakistani-American Ms. Marvel and new titles for their top female heroes, I’m excited about this diversifying push out of Marvel…

40 Years of Funky

Today’s Saturday morning cartoon post is about a new exhibit on black cartoon characters up at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (host to the Black Comics Fest a few weeks ago).

Specifically charting the increasingly positive depictions of black characters in cartoons from the 1970s, the show is actually the first traveling exhibit of the Museum of Uncut Funk, founded by Sista ToFunky (favorite comic? Heroes for Hire) in 2009.

The show features characters like the Jackson 5ive, Harlem GlobeTrotters, and of course Fat Albert:

One noteworthy cartoon here is “Kid Power“, which I’d never heard of, but was based on Morrie Turner‘s nationally syndicated multicultural comic strip Wee Pals.  Turner died in January of this year.

If you can’t make it to New York, you can see selections from the museum’s animation collection online.

Brokeback at your own Risk

Brokeback Mountain at Teatro Real by Wuorinen

Photo by Javier del Real

Hi folks!  Sorry for my prolonged absence, have been on the job hunt…  But I just got  some exciting news I had to share…

Don’t know if you’ve been following Brokeback Mountain‘s journey from short story by Annie Proulx to Oscar-winning movie by Ang Lee to the new opera by Charles Wuorinen, but just such an opera premiered at Madrid’s Teatro Real in late January.

While Teatro Real has a streaming service on their site, you have to pay for it (an interesting model, for sure).  However, tomorrow at 2pm Eastern Time, the opera will be live-streamed from Madrid on Medici TV online.

Wuorinen and the opera have gotten mixed reviews (short on lyrical moments for a kind of love story, but with interesting orchestration), but who knows when your next chance to heat it will be!  Not to mention: hot gay cowboy makeouts, wooo!

Here’s a preview for tomorrow, hope you can make it!