July 03, 2012

truth stranger than fiction -- San Francisco


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photo by Donald Kinney

City gardeners will probably have a fit, but I borrowed Sycamore foliage from in front of City Hall, and moved it a half-block northwest to the MacAllister statue.



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photo by Donald Kinney

Strung-up and hung-up with wires... Poked and prodded by giant orange and puffy fingers... Nature, it definitely isn't.



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photo by Donald Kinney

As you might be able to detect, San Francisco is not always what it seems. This is two images combined, one reversed, of the War Memorial Opera House.



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photo by Donald Kinney

You see, truth is often stranger than fiction. And yes, I DID attend a rousing performance of "Nixon in China" on Saturday. My first opera ever, and this one was definitely odd and very visually stimulating.

Oh, but it is the same old story--pompous-twit of the West meets pompous-twit of the East. Throw in a pre-supposed dalliance by Nixon and whip the harlot within an inch of her life. This opera, with dramatic music by John Adams, has it all.

So there you go folks, you've got yourself a $71 seat in the War Memorial Opera House balcony--third row from the last, nose-bleed under control, all squished in with the other Sardines, some richer than others, enjoying the profound moment. It was swell... Oh, let's call it unique...

Best part for me was looking for my buddy Michael Strickland who has parts in the opera as a supernumerary. He is part of the Chinese Army--moving precisely with geometric spookiness, and Michael also appears as a waiter in a zany exchange of food and plates. I suspect it is all choreographed like a dance, down to the last step. Photographers with 2 left feet need not apply.


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2 comments:

sfmike said...

Dear Donald: "Nixon in China" was your first opera? That's sort of like taking a graduate philosophy course while a freshman in college. Glad you enjoyed it, and you really did see something rare and remarkable. Glad you enjoyed watching me running around that stage. Yes, it was choreographed, but it was different every performance because a lot of the staging was based on musical cues, and some people are better at that than others.

We had our last show tonight and it's just sinking in that the two-month adventure is over.

AphotoAday said...

Yes, Mike, it definitely was my first. I thought if I was ever going to upgrade my quality of culture, this would be a way to do it. Fun seeing you move about on stage. I spotted you easily. I've got a couple suggestions for the opera that I'll discuss with you later. So strange that there were English subtitles--it was all pretty much understandable. And Nixon when he emerges from the plane should not only give his trademark double twin-finger salute to the troops and dignitaries, but I think he should have made a quick quarter turn and flashed the audience--who is already in the middle of their first chuckle of the evening. Anyway, I had a great time... Most difficult was trying to stay awake-- was WAY beyond my bedtime.

 
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