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