+ NewGate students take the spotlight
On Friday, March 8, NewGate School presented a full-fledged production of the Japanese children’s opera, “The Burning Rice Fields,” at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center. This program, brought by Youth Opera International, gives students ages 6 to 12 years old the opportunity to take the stage alongside professional opera singers, in costumes performing choreography in a professional theater.
Teagan Allen, a fifth-grader at NewGate School, wrote a note to Sanford and Judy Jones, co-directors at Youth Opera International, that opera week is: “My favorite week of the whole year.”
+ Girls Inc. lays some rubber
American artist Chakaia Booker, known for her sculpture work with rubber, met with Girls Inc. March 14.
One girl asked Booker why she dresses in tribal wear, to which Booker responded, “I am an artist and every day when I get up, I ask myself, ‘How can I create today? How can I sculpt myself to be a creation?’”
Booker came to Sarasota in 2011 for Season of Sculpture’s exhibit and was invited back to exhibit March 14 through April 7, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune building.
Booker told the girls becoming an artist requires focus and commitment, and she asked them if they knew the meaning of those words. One girl responded, “Focus means to concentrate really hard.” The next said, “Commitment means to have a dream and never give up.”
Patron Saints: Ed Bavaria
Ask a Sarasotan what makes our city special and, chances are, the arts is on the top of his or her list. The arts thrive here, and it’s because of one group of people — the supporters. If you read Scene and Heard last week, you learned The Observer launched a weekly online video series that spotlights these patrons’ stories and the effect they have on the arts.
This week features a man the Sarasota Opera thinks highly of — Ed Bavaria. His iPod is full of nothing other than opera, an art form he’s loved since childhood when his mother used to sing arias around the house. He serves on the board of directors for Sarasota Opera, and his donations contributed to the $20 million historic renovation and restoration in 2008. Learn about Bavaria and why he thinks it doesn’t get better than Sarasota Opera, here.