While the Las Americas Music Festival continues throughout February, for those who would like a different musical experience, Opera Piccola will be presenting what’s probably its most unusual production to date: the “Star Trek” version of Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio.” Yup, you read it correctly. Conceived by Pacific Opera Project artistic director Josh Shaw and sung in English, the story is presented as an episode of the iconic TV series that turns the original 18th century characters into “Star Trek” denizens. But don’t worry, the music is still all Mozart and it is terrific. (Feb. 6-7, Charline McCombs Empire Theater) If you are a true Trekky you can wear your “Star Trek” duds if you like and compete for a costume prize. It should be fun!
Aerial Horizon performance; Photo by Destiny Mata
Another fun thing to experience this weekend is a show by Aerial Horizon, a troupe of capable aerial artists who are part dancers, part acrobats and part dare-devils (Feb. 5, Brick at Blue Star; www.aerial-horizon.com). What they do is mind-boggling. With a help of long fabric panels suspended from the top of the stage, these aerialists engage in all sorts of gravity defying moves with no safety net. They wrap themselves in the fabric, pull themselves up to different levels, swing widely while striking elegant poses in the air, or perform intricate combinations of positions and figures, supported only by the fabric. It’s all aesthetically appealing but chances are you’ll be holding your breath through it all until the performers slide back safely down to the ground. With a studio and performance space in the Blue Star complex off S. Alamo, Aerial Horizon offers classes in various aerial techniques for aspiring dancers and its performers are often asked to entertain at corporate or community events. Founder Julia Langenberg recently competed in the U.S. Aerial Championship and is currently one of the finalists.
And there are cool things happening in Boerne, too. The little-town-that-could has its own performing arts organization that sponsors a range of high-caliber entertainment shows. Its fifth season kicks off Saturday with “A Night at the Oscars,” showcasing the Hollywood Concert Orchestra playing music from – what else? – movies and TV series. Actress Cheryl Ladd of “Charlie’s Angels” fame will act as emcee/commentator; there will be red carpet entrances for special guests, and local actors disguised as various movie stars will mingle with concertgoers (Boerne Champion High School Auditorium; www.boerneperformingarts.com).
Finally, I want to give you a heads-up on a significant exhibit opening Feb. 13 at the San Antonio Museum of Art: “Corita Kent and the Language of Pop.” A former nun, Kent ran the art department at the now-defunct Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles until 1968 when she left the order to become an artist and activist for peace and justice. Her prints will be shown along with the works by the better known pop artists of the period such as Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. My curiosity is piqued. While these guys are famous, who’s ever heard of Corita? Maybe she is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Here is a quote from her: “In the 18th century, it was ladies and gentlemen, and swings in a garden; today, it may be Campbell’s soup cans and highway signs. There is no real difference. The artist still takes his everyday world and tries to make something out of it.”