Opera San José’s, The Barber of Seville

[Reviewed by Gloria Balderas]

Last weekend, Opera San José unveiled its production of The Barber of Seville. I attended the afternoon performance on Sunday, February 13th. Conductor Bryan Nies opened with the familiar overture…that is, familiar to opera experts as a classic masterpiece and to opera apprentices as a background to classic cartoons. However familiar one may be with the piece, it was a sincere joy to hear in person.

As most of us are aware, an opera just isn’t an opera without romance, drama, and scheming and conniving characters. The Barber of Seville has all of these elements along with a whole lot of humor and silliness (e.g., hypnotism by way of a carrot or the intentionally poor mimicking of playing a musical instrument). It was all quite entertaining.

All of the performers were very engaging and memorable in their own ways. The wit and charm seemed to come natural for Adam Meza as Figaro, the local barber and jack of all trades who offers to help bring Count Almaviva (Chester Pidduck) to his beloved Rosina (the vocally impressive Cathleen Candia). Scene-stealers included Kindra Scharich as Berta and Paul Murray as the quirky Basilio.

Overall, I had a delightful experience watching the The Barber of Seville and I would encourage others to catch one of the remaining performances, which continues this weekend until Sunday, February 27, 2011. Click here to learn more about Opera San José, or here to purchase tickets for an upcoming show.

Gloria Balderas is an editor with Synchronized Chaos Magazine and may be reached at globalderas@gmail.com for questions or comments.

Synch Chaos February: Corporeal Existence

The February issue draws upon the rawness, sensitivity, and complexity of corporeal existence. The mind and body are as often artistically explored as they are scientifically explored, from their organic and simple qualities to their abstruse elements.

Writing contributions: Contributions this month focus on flesh, blood, and intense emotions. We hope you enjoy reading the poems and shorts stories by some of our past and new contributors like Bruce Roberts, Sam Burks, Harmony Riedman, and Michael E. Swain. Emotional and physical consequences of love and heartbreak are explored in the writings by Michael Priv, Iris Grace, and J’Rie Elliott. The body connects with spirit and embraces physical surroundings in Laura Robert’s poems.

Art installations by Seiko Tachibana, Owen Schuh, and Dana Hemenway focus on the fundamental elements of the physical and natural world. Their work is very eye-catching and detailed as are the elaborate paper cuttings from Béatrice Coron.

Images are juxtaposed with dissimilar subjects in the unaltered photography of Jack Androvich and multi-dementional paintings by Robert Minervini and Frost Newton.

Paintings by Kristen van Diggelen and JJ Miyaoka Pakola are rich and intense. The artists experiment with linking concurrent ideas and paths. Michelle Waters’ paintings are also very visually rich and colorful, but also in a humorous and satirical manner.

Winthrop Prince and RUBYSPAM use abstract methods to express real-life occurrences in their artwork. Cathy Lu’s work signifies the equally ambivalent ways in which we go about our daily lives, from our physical experiences and interactions to our internal beliefs.

Paintings by Leila Cartier and Geoffrey Kington are not as superficial as one might suggest at first glance, but are rather sensitive and emotional.

Inspired by collected images with unknown history, Adele Crawford alters past photographs to create new stories.

Eco-friendly: Check out the environmentally-driven artwork by Tree Rivera and Christopher Reiger. If natural accessories are your thing, see the artistry behind Shanna Leino’s books and accessories, and check out Project TransAction.

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue!

Gloria Balderas
Creative Facilitator/Editor-In-Chief

Paper Cutting by Béatrice Coron

Béatrice Coron is a worldwide traveler and artist who began her career in New York, NY. Coron’s work has been featured in major collections and as public art, including the NY subway system.  She describes paper cutting as “…hidden secrets behind the surface. The technique of papercutting creates dimensional drawings where the drawing is also a structure.”

Click here for upcoming exhibition information.

Artwork by Michelle Waters

“My art fuses my love for animals, concern about the welfare of the planet and twisted sense of humor. I call my work ‘environmental surrealism.’ Influences include kitschy portrayals of animals from mass-marketed popular culture, the nightmarish imagery of Hieronymus Bosch, Beatrix Potter, Maurice Sendak, the writings of Edward Abbey, and my work as a wildlife rehabilitator.”

To see more of the artist’s work, visit her website at http://www.michellewatersart.com/index.html

OR contact the artist by email at michelle@michellewatersart.com

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Illustrations by Winthrop Prince


“I’m from a family of artists and have drawn since I was a child. I’ve made a living as an illustrator and a syndicated newspaper cartoonist while showing my art at galleries and cafes. I try to maintain an edge between the real and abstract in my work where I am able to maintain the creative mystery that leads to discovery.”

-Winthrop Prince

Berkeley, CA


Poetry by Laura Roberts

The Cathedral

We have created these vaulted spaces,

vibrating with the immaculate and

tacit, the phi reflected in man. Musk

and incense, conduits of memories

embedded in bark and marble, hover

like cleansing steam in a Turkish bathhouse,

suffocating and blurring to inspire

pristine aspirations to the golden

unknown. The aurelian chiming, sapphire

light, all is gold, all is perfect, all is

curling in the smoky quartz of beaded

chanting, and Dorian moans entreaty

prisms from glass tableaus to bless the flesh

charred by transgression. The petrified bones

of those more perfect, their immaculate

clavicles and lunar ulnae, we place

them in the hearts of our altars, to pump

our salted blood, to offer up our souls,

to graze the infinite with flinching clay

Laura Roberts is a poetess that is dedicated to unfettered creativity.  To contact her about her poetry, send an email to lauraellaroberts@gmail.com.

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Watercolor paintings by JJ Miyaoka Pakola


“I remember being in Tokyo taking the last train home from work. Due to the train’s congestion, the nine closest passengers were all pressing against me. If there were a way to lift my feet, the throng of commuters would have surely supported my weight. While floating without any control within this vessel, I remembered a passage from Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s novel The Melancholy of Resistance depicting the physical decay of a body. Over a number of pages, Krasznahorkai obsessively describes decomposition. Layer after layer of the body deteriorates letting fluids and cells loose until they meet another resisting force. Being still and yet in no control of my body, I remained enclosed in a train moving along its trajectory without remorse.

Drawing from moments like this, I charge the scenery of my large-scale watercolor landscapes with what fills the gap between specific experiences and their concurrent thoughts. What interests me in these events is the dislocation that occurs from the sensation of occupying multiple locations simultaneously. The grammar of space is fractured, and the route through this terrain is disorienting and full of obstacles. Each position must fight, debate, and negotiate to form interconnecting paths. I have to adjust and move around the surface to paint new passageways around barriers linking the space and the event as a whole. This attempt to understand what joins cognition to an environment often proves to be futile. Rather than looking for truth with this exploration, I am painting to be surprised by the failure to understand my orientation to setting and place.”

-JJ Miyaoka Pakola


Art by Shanna Leino

Shanna Leino lives and works in New Hampshire. Materials such as linen and handmade paper are often used, which results in the natural quality of the work.  Leino describes her work as incorporating “…historical techniques and materials while bringing in my own love of tinkering and finding different ways to expand on the book as an object.”

Be sure to check out www.shannaleino.com and www.strikemetals.com.

Contact: info@shannaleino.com

Poetry by Bruce Roberts

Night School

“I can’t stay
for class tonight;
my eleven year old son has
been arrested for murder,”
matter-of-factly she murmurs,
pleasant of voice, expression,
as my eyes widen, widen
headache and hot-air balloon size
at just-another-distant-horror-story
that this time
has intersected my life,
breaking and entering
those insulating layers
of facelessness, namelessness,
and distance
that shelter my sanity
from the macabre dance
of the daily news.

The story is absurdly quick
and random: Night concert–
a father waits for his family.
Kids hit his car.
He gets out; they stab once.
He dies; they run,
while inside his daughter
coaxes her trumpet
to a joyous concert crescendo–
oblivious to her father,

Bruce Roberts is a poet, retired teacher, and past Synchronized Chaos contributor. He may be reached at brobe60491@sbcglobal.net.

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Abstract Digital Photography by Jack Androvich

Jack Androvich has been a photographer since the age of 13. Androvich is influenced by other photographers such as Minor White, Eugene Atget, Man Ray, Jerry Uelsmann, and Bill Owens. Over time, he developed an intense fascination with photo montage, mannequins, reflections, and the manner by which they often blur what we tend to perceive as reality.

Each of the images you see are entirely unaltered to best express the notion of simultaneous occurrences in the universe, alternative realities, shadow worlds and the like.

E-mail jack.androvich@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Art by Owen Schuh

Owen Schuh graduated from Haverford College in 2004 with honors in fine arts and a minor in philosophy. He went on to receive his Masters of Fine Art from Tyler School of Art in 2007. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. He artwork is represented by Cain Schulte Contemporary Art, in San Francisco and Berlin.

Artist Statement:

“My work seeks to illuminate the entwining relations between embodied mind, mathematics, and the physical world.  My artwork is structured by mathematical functions, which though relatively simple in nature yield outcomes of surprising organic complexity.”

– Owen Schuh

Contact: owen@owenschuh.com

Click here to see the artist in action!

Short Stories by Michael Priv


Their lips met in a titillating kiss, hearts throbbing, hands exploring. “Darling,” she whispered—the tender embrace ushering the eternity, her sweet breath on his, their lips locked, “My darling . . . ”

Just a minute. Apart from the obvious gawkiness of the piece, she just couldn’t talk while kissing, could she? No, that won’t do. Too bad. The Writer only had to wrap it up now, just the ending, just the riding into the sunset part. But the well was dry. Up to that point everything was going so well with this romance novel number ten. Nine love stories done, published and gobbled up by the tenderly disposed ladies. Number ten was assembled pakati-pakati-pak. A well-oiled machine. Two lonely people find each other in this cold and overwhelming world. He, Lance, a handsome brute, a bit over muscled yet exquisitely sensitive and irresistibly vulnerable after his four tours of duty in Afghanistan with the Green Berets, a loner and a hero favoring comfy armchairs, books by Washington Irving and Ralph Waldo Emerson, chamomile tea, earth tones, soft loafers and wool cardigans. She, Jane, a free spirited 5’10” beauty with wavy auburn hair, 130 pounds, size G bra and sparks of mischief in her large green eyes—the only heir to the Lockshman’s Kosher Dill Pickles fame—erudite and witty and longing deeply for the love she never knew.

A chance encounter. A stroke of fate. His attempted suicide fortuitously interrupted by her timely yet inadvertent appearance. Their first desperate love making scene (he was, of course, ALMOST too big for her), the passion, the upturned furniture and twenty eight earth-shuttering, spectacular and breathtaking orgasms later she is his forever. Then their getting to know each other stage, more out of this world lovemaking and lots and lots of intimacy, understanding and ultimate in tenderness and endearment—the true love. Then the tragic misapprehension—somebody said something to a wrong somebody, ill-intentioned or perhaps not, which came across the wrong way to and bam! The tragedy. Lovers driven apart, the love slashed and seared as if by a sharp knife (or, rather, by a dagger—a more interesting word—or a scalpel?), the sensitive souls anguished way beyond the tolerance threshold of mere mortals. Oh, the sweet agony of heartbreak suffering!


“My name is Michael Priv. I was born in the Soviet Ukraine, escaped to the USA in 1979. A Civil Engineer by education and a Construction Business Consultant by trade, I am and have been since 1987 an avid student of Eastern philosophies, especially Tao, Buddhism, and Scientology–their modern reincarnation–especially as they apply to everyday problems and could actually be used to help people.” -Michael Priv

To read more short stories by Michael Priv, or to learn about his two novels, Friends of Fred and Forever Dead, visit his website at www.thetawire.com

To contact the author, send him an email at Michael@thetawire.com.


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