Photo by San Diego Opera
Peabody Southwell as Carmen
SEX & VIOLENCE
Locals have always had a casual relationship with the San Diego Opera. While we love the idea that it’s there and often take it for granted, the reality is that far too many people still consider opera to be too inaccessible and stuffy to really give it a fair shake.
This could change with The Tragedy of Carmen, the latest production in the S.D. Opera’s inaugural Shiley dētour Series. The opera’s website says the series “combines the expressive nature of opera with the potency of intimate theatre.” In the case of The Tragedy of Carmen, “intimate” might be the key word. Based on Peter Brook’s adaptation of Georges Bizet’s iconic 1875 opera about a gypsy woman who plays a naïve soldier, the San Diego production is the first performance to come with a “for mature audiences” advisory. For stage director Alexander Gedeon, Brook’s adaptation seems perfect for audiences who may want something more edgy and contemporary.
“Peter Burke basically erased a lot of the details that happened in a specific time or place,” says Gedeon. “So it just became kind of a statement on the psychological dynamics of jealousy, dominance, insecurity and psychosis.”
This statement includes sex, violence and plenty of adult situations, most of which revolve around the opera’s main characters Carmen (played by Peabody Southwell) and her jealous lover Don José (played by Adrian Kramer). And while traditional opera audiences might find the untraditional detour a little shocking, Gedeon says that the experimentation will ultimately help the city’s reputation as an opera city.
“There is definitely nervousness, but I feel like it’s tinged with excitement,” says Gedeon. “It feels like the San Diego Opera wants to take risks and see it as part of nurturing opera culture.”
The Tragedy of Carmen opens Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday, March 12 at the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave.) Tickets start at $25 at sdopera.org.
Photo courtesy of International Mariachi Festival
International Mariachi Festival
While some readers might be tempted to drop $1,000 on Coachella tickets, there’s really nothing that indie or cultural about a festival like that. The fifth annual International Mariachi Festival serves a real alternative to the typical music festival and is a fantastic way to immerse oneself in music that everyone finds agreeable and festive. In addition to world-renowned mariachi performances from Javier Rodriguez & Los Aventureros, Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlan and more, there will also be Aztec dance, ballet folklórico, tequila tastings, art exhibits, a beer garden and family friendly activities. The festival will be held on Sunday, March 12 at the waterfront Pepper Park (3299 Tidelands Ave.) from 11 a.m. to 7p.m. And don’t worry about dropping a bunch of cash. Admission is free. mariachifest.com
Photo by tEder Photo
Best Coast Beer Fest
TOAST THE COAST
Another day, another beer festival here in San Diego. However, the Best Coast Beer Fest does have the distinction of being Will Ferrell’s beer festival of choice. What’s more, a portion of the proceeds will go toward Cancer for College, a nonprofit that offers scholarships for cancer survivors. And there’s quite the selection with over 300 different beers to taste from local breweries, as well as 15 restaurants and food trucks. Between brews, attendees can also check out local cover band Saved by the ‘90s. It goes down Saturday, March 11 at the Embarcadero Marina Park Bay (200 Marina Park Way) from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $105 for the VIP “Classiest of Class” tickets, which come with a souvenir pint glass and access to “private executive restrooms,” whatever that means. bestcoastbeerfest.com