Wishing you all the happiest and safest of Thanksgiving Holidays!
The header image above is a mural being painted outside Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, across from the Forest Hill station.
If you didn’t receive a separate email from me already, please check out my web page for the Children’s Council of San Francisco at https://giveto.childrenscouncil.org/fundraise?fcid=562263. You can cut and paste the link if it doesn’t connect directly.
And for the opera fans: curtain call for the Meistersinger after a thrilling 5 1/2 hours at the SF opera:
Last night I saw “Die Meistersinger”, a pop opera that was created by Wagner to help him get some income after a number of attempted operas left him impoverished. It was a slow start of a 5 1/2 hour saga, but turned out to be one of my favorite operas. It embodied all the German characteristics I love about the culture: appreciation of art, philosophy, politics, defiance, intelligence, and history.
This was indeed one of the hairiest marathon performances I had ever attended. In the back of my mind I was reminiscing about the Chinese opera double-headers (2×3 hours=6 hours!) I used to go to with my mother in San Francisco Chinatown as a child. We used to stake out a good string of empty seats where I could sprawl out comfortably. Although the SF Opera orchestra seating was 3/4 full, there were still a few rows at the edges that tempted me to drape myself across a pair of seats for the sake of claiming territory.
Aside from a few momentary drifts I indeed did myself proud. I perked up at the beginning of the second act, just in time for the grand drama that ramped up at Scene 1 of the Third. The dramatic build-up was so effective, you could hear a pin drop. I was glad that I had studied German to savor a word here and there. In the end, I rushed home to read the entire program head to toe. Being well past Midnite, it’s an indication that I must have enjoyed the performance.
It was a huge production, with a big chorus and a beautiful stage set. There were so many performers on stage at the end that the soloists’ voices were suddenly drowned out by the absorption of clothing and bodies whenever they turned on stage and away from the audience.
Here are just a few photos of the curtain call, from my seat at the edge of the orchestra floor 1/3 of the way back:
The featured image above shows a benefit performance on Sunday by Jazz prodigy Esperanza Spaulding at the SF Jazz Center for Links SF, compliments of friend and member Farris Page.
The Silk Road: in light of recent conflicts in Europe, read this article on Russia, China, and the new Silk Road. I just finished a fascinating book, “To the Edge of the World: the story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World’s Greatest Railway” that puts perspective on our recent trip. This article provides another view on the future of collaboration between these two superpowers and the future of Central Asia, that isn’t even on the radar for the US:
Despite the recent world events and unthinkable attacks in Paris and elsewhere, life goes on. We become more understanding, yet we should allow our own good judgment and thinking to direct us to carry out our lives and living in the future.