Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 5.10.07


Eugene is full of divas, but rarely do we get the pleasure of having the queen diva herself grace us with her presence. In a coup for the Eugene Symphony, world-renowned diva Renée Fleming, in her only Oregon performance, appears with the symphony at 8 pm Monday, May 14.

And when we say “diva,” we mean for real, a diva in the famous female operatic performer sense of the word, not the Paris Hilton sense. Fleming, one of the world’s leading lyric sopranos, often performs at the Metropolitan Opera and in many other opera houses across the world. She won a Grammy in 2003 for best classical vocal performance and is featured on more than 20 albums. (Yes, that does include The Lord of the Rings soundtrack.)

If you can get your hands on one of the golden tickets (going like extremely spendy hotcakes as we go to press), make sure to wave it in the faces of your friends because they will likely be at home watching reruns. Or maybe they can spend their money in a more up-close-and-personal time with Fleming: Following the performance, Opus6ix hosts a meet and greet with the diva. Proceeds for the $65-a-head event benefit the symphony’s Next Generation Artist Initiative. Wine, hors d’ouevres and a few seconds with one of the most famous performers in the world in a gallery filled with lovely art? Awesome.

But let’s say your price range is more in the “free” arena. Hey, the symphony thought about you, too! At 11 am on Tuesday, May 15, KWAX 91.1’s Caitriona Bolster moderates a live interview and Q&A with Fleming and symphony Artistic Director Giancarlo Guerrero. That’s in the Hult Center lobby. Following the interview, Fleming will sign copies of CDs and her book, The Inner Voice: The Making of a Singer.

For ticket information (if there are any left), contact the Hult at 682-5000. To reserve a spot on the meet and greet guest list, call 687-9487, ext. 110. — Deanna Uutela



Alfre Woodard
Felicity Huffman

We arts people spend some of our time watching YouTube (and pledging to bring our readers the best clips out there, of course). Some clips are funny, some brilliantly political. In the latter category and just in time for Mother’s Day, we found a clip that gives us all an opportunity to celebrate what organizers call “the true meaning of Mother’s Day.”

The original Mother’s Day Proclamation, written by activist Julia Ward Howe in 1870, says un-Hallmarkian, anti-flag-waving things like, “We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

In other words, Howe wanted peace on earth, and she wanted other women thinking about and working toward that goal.

At www.mothersdayforpeace.coma short video shows how war is harming sons and daughters of women across the world. The clip was made by Robert Greenwald, who directed the movies Outfoxed, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices and Iraq for Sale. At the website, you can watch the clip — with Felicity Huffman, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Gloria Steinem and Christine Lahti, among others — and contribute to No More Victims, a fund that will help (among others) Salee, a girl who lost her family and her legs in the Iraqi conflict. Peace: What could be a better present to your mom and the world? As Lahti says, “I think Mother’s Day is a day to bring violence against our children to an end.” — Suzi Steffen



CORRECTION In last week’s “Keeping the Ballet Torch Burning,” Ballet Fantastique was called “the first nonprofit professional dance training school in Eugene.” The Conservatory of Classical Dance, which became a nonprofit in 1995, claims that honor.


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