Arts Seen - week of May 2, 2013

Calgary Opera is putting up-and-coming artists onstage for a double-bill of dark and light at the Arrata Opera Centre ( The emerging artist ensemble will perform in Susanna’s Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, which is given a dark twist in this production, followed by Maurice Ravel’s The Spanish Hour, which is a light-hearted comedy of errors. Susanna’s Secret is about a newlywed who is unhappy with her husband and decides to do something about it. The Spanish Hour is about another wife, but this one passes the time with affairs while her husband watches the clock. This is the first time Calgary Opera has presented these works, which run from May 3 to 9 and feature sopranos Jessica Strong and Lida Szkwarek, mezzo-sopranos Maureen Ferguson and Heather Molloy, tenor Michael Marino, and baritones Clarence Frazer and Tyler Fitzgerald, directed by Rob Herriot and conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia.

Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna isn’t the only circus in town. Kit and Kaboodle Circus takes over Festival Hall from Wednesday, May 8 to Saturday, May 11 with magicians, acrobats, hoopers and musicians. This family-friendly event is community-based, with a roster of local talent. James Jordan and Ryan Pilling, hosts of the monthly vaudeville Garden Variety Show at Loose Moose Theatre, will bring the magic — the duo has been performing together since 2010. Breathe Parkour will bring urban acrobatics, Carisa Hendrix will play with fire, Len Harvey will clown around, Trevor Campbell (Obscene but Not Heard) will bring the laughs, and Anthony Appleby, Chantal Vitalis and others will bring the music. And that’s just a small sample of what’s in store. Kit and Kaboodle may not have its own tent and merchandise, but it’s all local and tickets are cheap (

“People will tell you that you really had to be there — and, as with most experiential activities, they’ll be right,” says Caitlind r.c. Brown, one of the curators of Wreck City, in an April 24 blog post on the project website ( If you weren’t one of the thousands who walked, climbed, crawled and slid your way through the houses, garages, greenhouse and yards in Sunnyside, you missed out on a truly unique experience. The final weekend of the project, which turned a block of houses slated for demolition into temporary arts, installation and performance spaces, was crawling with people of all ages — there were even lineups to get into some of the homes. But if you weren’t one of them (or, like me, you ran out of time before you could see everything), you can get a taste of it by browsing through the numerous photos on the Wreck City website.

The best way to console yourself if you miss one exhibition is to take in another — and there are plenty to choose from. Trépanier Baer Gallery is showing Chris Cran: Candidates and Citizens, featuring new works by the respected local painter and instructor at Alberta College of Art and Design. Truck Gallery is showing Multifarious, an exploration of identity featuring works by Lucie Chan of Vancouver and Marigold Santos of Montreal. At Stride Gallery, Binocular View by Kris Lindskoog takes a closer look at a looker. And there is always art on view in the corridors and Plus-15s of the Epcor Centre. Starting on May 2, Epcor Centre and the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society are showing a selection of short films and video created by Carlo Ghioni, Kari McQueen and the Bum Family. These will be shown until July 29 on three video monitors in the centre — one on the main floor and one on the second floor at the west end of the Jack Singer Concert Hall, and one on the main floor near Baraka Café.


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