Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wanda's Picks May 30, 2012

Today we feature artists from the Ninth Berkeley World Music Festival this Saturday, June 2, 2012:

Juliana Graffragna

True Life Trio weaves sumptuous vocal harmonies and sultry rhythms from Eastern Europe, the Americas & beyond. TLT features the powerful vocal talents of three dynamic performers whose musical collaboration was forged in Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble. Gear up for a warm and vibrant journey from Bulgaria to the Bayou. True Life Trio is Leslie Bonnett: voice, fiddle, percussion; Briget Boyle: voice, guitar, percussion; and Juliana Graffagna: voice, bass, percussion.

Fely Tchaco

Fely Tchaco's passion for music was born on Ivory Coast of West Africa. As a teen she left the comfort of her tribal home going to the capital city of Yamoussoukra. She became a lead singer in a band and began composing songs drawn from her life experiences as well as tribal folk wisdom. She gained critical success via two popular CDs which led to concert tours throughout West Africa and also television appearances.

In the late nineties Fely sought to expand her wings outside Africa by moving to San Francisco. This talented artist, currently performs with musicians from various traditions, has her own band and self-produces CDs. Her song "Goba" has just won the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards in the world beat song category. Fely creates catchy, pop-driven songs in English, French, and Gouro infused with traditional folk rhythms. Fely has performed at several festivals including Reggae On The River Festival, Monterey Reggae Festival and popular venues as Yoshi’s and La Pena Cultural Center. For Berkeley World Music Festival band members joining Fely Tchaco (lead vocals and percussion) are Jesse Sahbi (guitar, vocals and African forest instruments), John Waller (drums) and Daniel Perenti (bass).

Maria Muldaur

Six time Grammy nominee Maria Muldaur and her sensational red hot Bluesiana Band is this year’s Festival headliner representing U.S music. Maria Muldaur, is best known world-wide for her '74 mega-hit "Midnight at the Oasis” whose roots are planted in her early jug band work with the immensely popular Jim Kweskin Jug Band. On her own, this prolific superstar has recorded 39 solo albums in genres including Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Big Band including several award-winning children's albums. As of late she concentrates comfortably on the Blues.

Angola 3 Update on Albert Woodfox's Hearing with Robert King--Happy Birthday (smile)

We close with an interview with Robert King, the only free member of the Angola 3. He will give us a call between the court recess where in Baton Rouge the decision to release Albert Woodfox is being contested without favorable results for the prosecution, which needs to give it up and admit defeat (smile). Visit

Lots of music fills the spaces between the conversation, Fely Tchaco, Kim Nalley, Meklit Hadero, Howard Wiley's Angola Project, Janam, Umoja, and Novalima.

Photo taken in 2010 at in Houston at the Angola 3 Play by Parnell Herb. Michael Mabel, Albert's brother, with family and Robert King.

Photo credit: Wanda Sabir

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wanda's Picks Special with Raissa Simpson, PUSH Dance & Sheila Head, Head Designs

Special Broadcast with Raissa Simpson, Artistic Director, PUSH who speaks about her upcoming show in Union Square San Francisco, Friday-Monday, May 25-28, 2012. Bitter Melon is latest collaborations between artistic director Raissa Simpson with Ben Wood and his partner David Mark. Co-commissioned by San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Union Square Live, and San Francisco Recreations & Parks. Visit

Sheila Head of Head Design Beauty
shop in Oakland is a nominee for the Pillar Award for the Oakland Indie Awards, May 31, 2012 at the Kaiser Center, 5:30-8:30 PM.

We rebroadcast interviews with director, Robin Fryday, who speaks about Barber of Birmingham, the story of James Armstrong, a foot soldier for the Civil Rights Movement on the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. The film was nominated for an Academy Award this year.

We also rebroadcast an interview with curator for the National African American Museum in Washington D.C. on the occasion of its grounding breaking in February 2012. Music: "Free at Last, " a selection from Chinyakare,and another selection courtesy of Ebony Iman Dallas. Both are announced on the air.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Solar Eclispe Memories

Don't miss the solar eclipse this evening. Great viewing in the SF Bay are: Chabot Planetarium, Lawrence Hall of Science, Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton and others. I am at Mt. Shasta. I'll send you photos later (smile). The program at the Mt. Shasta Resort is hosted by the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.


Two days later.

I am still reflecting on the eclipse--the ring of fire. At the epicenter where viewing was best, we watched the moon's shadow chomp on the sun's surface until it was completely covered except for the outter ring. Black center with red highlights, it gave nuptials new meaning. I am not surprised that a man proposed to his beloveth Sunday evening.

I still see the bright ring with its black interior in my mind. As we drove to Mt. Shasta, the sky was cloudy and I wondered if we'd be able to see.

We missed the lectures and the free viewing glasses, but people shared and we were able to see the eclipse through multiple telescopes set up across the golf course. Some people sat across the man made lake and lay back and with glasses on looked at the sun. One young man grew impatient and without glasses stared at the sun and ended up hurting his eyes.

I thought about the film, Eat the Sun and the people who do sun gazing and literally eat the sun instead of food. I am not that brave. As the moon shadow inched closer and closer to the center of the sun we grew excited and at the moment of completion we stood in a circle and one of the leaders of another assembly, Sean, led the group in prayer.

For a while no one touched my shoulder and I wondered at the irony of isolation in the middle of clarity. There were four black people present, though I only saw one other besides Alan and me. The other person was from Brooklyn.

Didgeridoo and drums were played from time to time while people put stones and other sacred gems on the altar to be charged by the sun channeled through a large crystal. We also wrote wishes on a sheet of paper filled with angel prayers written in Hebrew or what looked like Hebrew script.

The next day we got up early and headed back to the San Francisco Bay Area. I am still not quite back yet. I looked at the night sky this evening and saw the Big Dipper and the Seven Sisters and other constellations I have seen before. Considering I am in the city, which means light pollution, the sky was easy to read.

I am looking forward to the weekend, where I can find a place to sit and reflect. . . maybe not write, but just be in the moment past, which I have not had the opportunity to just relax and enjoy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

My younger daughter TaSin and I went to Monterey this weekend. It was lovely, from Point Lobos State Reserve to Cannery Row to Carmel by the Bay's 17 Miles Drive, it was lovely (smile).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wanda's Picks May 11, 2012 Mother's Day Edition

We devote the first hour to a Shout out to the Black Mother. Guests are asked to tell us their mom's name. Question: Is she still alive? What do you love most about her? What lessons are you still living by? What is she most proud of that you have done? Mom's you can give a shout out to yourselves too (smile). Count your blessings on the air. You have only a minute or two though, depending on the response (smile).

We are then joined by Jennifer Baichwal, director, Payback, based on Margaret Atwood's visionary work, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. The film opens May 18, 2012 at Landmark's Lumiere in San Francisco and Landmark's Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. The director will be skyped in for a Q&A. Should be exciting (smile).

The film, Payback, has so much to recommend it: its cinematography, the philosophical back story and of course the story irself inspired by award-winning writer Margaret Atwood's meditation on debt in a lecture, then book; however the film, director, Jennifer Baichwal takes the conversation further in her well-made document.

Her Payback adds visage to the concepts one tosses back and forth in one's brain as she thinks about what it means to owe something to someone she can never return. What does it mean to feel remorse yet know feeling sorry is really not only ludicrous in that it is a bit too late-better late than . . . sometimes better too late. . . is nonetheless not enough?

These are the sentiments of multiple individuals profiled in Payback, the film. Characters like Paul Muhammad, a drug addict, certainly a sick man, who feels remorse for the grief he has caused one of his burglary victims when he sobers up enough to face the consequences of his action, in a way that perhaps before escaped him. Is this enough to stop its repetition? Can he undo the harm? Will the victim or has the victim forgiven him?

He cannot return the Nazi Holocaust survivor's innocence, the safety she once felt in her home, in her neighborhood; he cannot stop the unsettling vision from torturing him. Will he be able to suffer this in his sobriety or will he escape into a drugged haze once more?

Other debts are those incurred by industrial tomato farmers in Florida who exploit their labor force, chaining them, sexually abusing and beating others, not to mention the numerous safety violations overlooked as profit becomes the steam peddling this train towards profit and more profit. Payback looks at one farmer who is open to change and the farm worker organization responsible for the Senate Hearings where farmers and labor are able to have an arbitrated conversation with positive results.

Debt is looked at from economic and moral dimensions. But this is not a film about money. When we think about the British Petroleum Oil Spill begins April 20, 2010 --so close to Earth Day, and the damage sustained in the gulf region to date, the debt owed to the countless wildlife residents of the wetlands destroyed and polluted, not to mention the aquatic livelihoods interrupted for generations to come, it is unfathomable. See

BP received a mere slap on the wrist, those affected by the spill and its equally toxic clean-up cover-up just another aspect of what one of the experts interviewed in Payback, Raj Patel, means when he talks about a free market that only benefits those with money. For the poor, the free market is not affordable. The trickle down effect, a capitalist notion means, that those on the bottom feel drizzle not cleansing rain. William Rees says capitalism is defunct as a system because human enterprise has maxed natural resources. The table is even and there is nothing left of the planet to exploit. We are the only species that "fills all habitats, takes all the resources and grows indefinitely."

Though BP cannot return the life lost in the spill, it can arbitrate further damages and from the outset it has not to date. Now the corporation is in the vacation resort business in Gulf region.

BP cut every corner it could during the pivotal first seven to eight days of the crisis two years ago. Casi Callaway of Mobile Baykeeper, a non-profit environmental group based in Mobile,
Alabama speaks about this in Payback. The cap in the loaded weapon was the permission to use chemical dispersment which made the oil sink to the ocean floor where it is presently, the waves coughing up chemical toxins which are in such small pieces, shorebirds and sea creatures die from their ingestion.

The company did everything wrong then and for some reason, this government, its regulatory bodies and departments allowed BP to orchestrate the clean-up mission and is still letting it call the shots. It is still drilling in the Gulf, believe it or not. Money certainly has a way of absolving guilt and by extension debt.

Four stories overlap and intertwine like a dance as we move between Northern Albania, the United States and Canada: what is revenge? How is it tied to debt? Revenge at its root means a debt to the soul, often exhibited in obsessive psychotic behavior. The Albanian feud where one neighbor shoots another for violating a property line--a bit of overkill, yet the neighbor survives and is not interested in rule of law, only revenge.

In one scene, the shooter sits on his sofa playing a guitar as he sings of reconciliation. It would be funny were life and death not at stake here. Why did the farmer get his semiautomatic rifle to solve the trespass issue? Why are words invoked now that the wound lies festering six-seven years later? The farmer has had to move away from his home. His family is barely surviving. The property he was willing to kill another over is lost to his family as long as the feud remains. Rule of Law is an option the feuding families reject as the abused neighbor recites a New Testament catechism, "love thine enemy" and "turn the other cheek," as he and his family state they do not settle disputes in court.

Another expert in the film calls this "Cycles of Personal Revenge." What I found amazing was neither of the two stories matched, so the viewer doesn't know who to believe. The facts are, a man was shot. The other is a baby was born. The wounded man does not admit striking his pregnant neighbor as she worked on her farm. Such an admission would give the woman's husband cause to get his rifle and shoot the aggressor.

Debt is a political memory. Reparation is a way to resolve debt, but seldom is the price agreed upon since true reparation is a long term process and resources are not invested for long term projects when short term solutions are favored by guilty parties like BP, so BP gets a pass.

Debt, we learn is not a fair system, because greed often motivates those who believe they are above the law, that human rights do not matter, that they--those with money and political power, possess a different operational manual. This is the reason why the farmers in Florida thought they could re institute slavery on their plantations. This is why oil companies like BP think they can cut safety corners and destroy habitats without consequences. This is why the judicial system needs to reevaluate what guilt means in a society that does not hold the mirror of penitence up to its own face and see how debt is not absolved when there is not system in place granting full citizen rights to those reentering our society once they return after being locked away.

The ones who pay are those who cannot afford to lose. Paul Muhammad does not have collateral, yet he keeps getting bills for a debt he will never accumulate enough wealth to pay. What about Conrad Black, another man with a criminal record? Juxtaposed with Muhammad, the two men have nothing in common, not the cells they are held in, not the length of sentence, not the stigma that follows them home one the cell door is opened. Justice and Freedom are just as intertwined as the notion of payment for one's wrong doings.

Payback, the film, is not without its victories or triumphs, one the farm worker deal in Florida, Lucas Benitez and Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Jon Esformes, Pacific Tomato Growers, but just as thought provoking.

What if the emperor kept his same clothes and donated the wardrobe cost to undoing the huge ball of twine unraveling human relationships, those relationships compromised when people are valued not for their shared humanity, but for their net worth, the wealthy more valued and valuable than the poor?

This could be the program to alleviate debt once and for all, absolve guilt and even out the ground we all stand upon. Karen Armstrong, another scholar cited in the film speaks of Confucius who said to his students to discover what gives them pain and then consciously do not do this to others.

Forgiveness is a deal with a new reality, Armstrong says. It is the link between past and future. In the case of the Albanian families, they first have to realize that they have two different perspectives. In the case of BP, our government needs to force the company to continue to pay as its debt cannot be measured, thus beyond recompense.

The biggest criminals are rich and arrogant. Atwood represents the corporate mindset with what she calls, Ebenezer Scrooge Nouveau. This Scrooge doesn't care what he collects or manufactures as long as it makes money. If someone must die, he's cool as long it is a write off. When asked by the angel that fateful Christmas Eve which of his futures he'd like to visit, he visits one where the planet earth is in dire straights and will not support human life much longer.

The second visitation is to a more sustainable model of the planet, where mankind has finally learned to live in concert with the other species, treading more lightly and being a better global citizen. Scrooge is in a hemp suit and has canceled debts and set up micro-lending models for sustainable community development.

Scrooge wakes up, relieved it was all a dream, but dreams have a way of staying with us long after our eyes open. Payback is the kind of film that serves as a warning. Debt is a mental construct. Perhaps we need to count things differently. Perhaps a better attitude is to think about how much we owe the planet and the community and live a life of service as we give back the opportunities to others we have been so fortunate to experience.

The answer is to pay it forward, since nothing we have of any value belongs to us. It might be bottled and packaged and sold to us, but none of us owns anything. The notion of riches is not how much money we have in the bank, rather it is what we experience when we think about the air we breathe, the earth that holds, keeps and sustains us, and the water we drink.

Debt is what we owe the kitten who forgives us when we forget her meal or lock her out of doors. It is the kindness of others when we least expect it; this is what matters most, more than who owes whom what.

Don't miss this lovely meditation on a topic most reflect on all too often. Where else except among the human species would one find businesses that make their living negotiating and collecting debt?

Visit and

We close with a conversation with Eleanor Jacobs, "Lena Younger" in Lorraine Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun, May 12-27, 2012, directed by L. Peter Callender, Artistic Director, African American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco at the Burial Clay Theater at the African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco. Visit or call (800) 838-3006.

The title is based on the Langston Hughes (1902-19670 poem, "Harlem."

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

When one looks at this poem and thinks about Lorraine Hansberry's characters, specifically Walter Lee Younger Jr., one sees a man who has dreams he thinks his father's insurance money will be instrumental in fulfilling, yet he fails to realize that the first step to success is a one's attitude.

As dreams are born and revived, hooked to life support and strangled, all within this carefully wrought drama, Lena Younger, Big Mama, carefully balances the energy in the tiny apartment. She somehow maintains a truce between siblings, kid-sister Beneatha and Walter Lee, as she juggles options. How does one stretch a limited finite resource when its seams are already strained?

In this literally tight knit black family is also daughter-in-law Ruth and Walter and Ruth's son, Travis.

Friends come in and out of the house shaping and impacting both Beneatha and Walter Lee, negatively and positively Lena's two children, who just want a chance at what all American citizens are supposed to have by right--a decent place to live, education for their families, and work that sustains them emotionally, economically and spiritually. But in 1950s' Chicago, Illinois on the Southside, racism and discrimination is something playwright Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930-Jan. 12, 1965) knew well from personal experience as her family was targeted violently when her dad moved his family into neighborhoods previously reserved for whites only. Cross burnings and objects were thrown through the Hansberry's windows, one almost injuring the young woman, who spoke about how she would also go with his dad to visit clients who rented from him. She met families like the Youngers on these visits and we meet denizens of her world in her work, Raisin in the Sun, one of the most celebrated.

It is Lena (Mama) fostered by what her man Walter Lee Sr. sacrificed daily to put bread on her table, who looks for a home for her family where they will have room to move around and breathe, a place where they wouldn't have to share the toilet with other neighbors and her grandson could have his own room.

She has a vision, yet she is willing to give up her dream if the cost is her son's spirit. What great love! I can hardly wait to see what AASC does with this amazing work under the direction of L. Peter Callender May 12-27, 2012 at the Burial Clay theater, 762 Fulton Street, in San Francisco.

We are so lucky here in the San Francisco Bay Area where not 1 but 2 Lorraine Hansberry plays are up at the same time, Raisin in the Sun and Hansberry's To Be Young Gifted and Black at Multi-Ethnic Theatre on Gough Street in San Francisco. Nina Simone wrote a song with the same title. The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, also in San Francisco closes its season this weekend, Saturday, May 12, 2012, with Blues for an Alabama Sky, by Pearl Cleage, directed by Michele Shay. Visit Listen to the wonderful conversation with cast members last week: Tobie Windham, Joshua L. Green and Leilani Drakeford.

The music featured this show comes from Sweet Honey in the Rocks 25th Anniversary recording (1998): "Forever Love," "Greed," "Hope" and "Battered Earth."


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Michael Dailey's Faust at Opera San Jose, a Review

I hadn't realized that the composer of Faust, Charles-Francios Gounod, the most influential and celebrated French composer of the late 19th century, also composed Romeo et Julietta. Faust is the story of a man facing a midlife crisis who makes a terrible deal with the devil. Méphistophélès or the devil incarnate, promises the aged scientist youth and good looks if in turn gives Satan his soul at death.

Okay, sometimes one gets busy with career and other secular distractions and forgets what's most important in life, love, friendship, companionship, but the answer is not necessarily to sell one's soul to the devil just because one is in love with a woman too young to take one's romantic advances seriously, now is it?

Well Dr. Faust thinks so, so intrigued is he by the beauty of young Marguerite, whose brother tells her to stay away from the old man and she obeys, initially. Wooed by another youth whom she is not as attracted too, Siebel, (portrayed by a woman, which I found distracting) Marguerite can't get the handsome stranger Faust out of her mind--flowers have nothing over the jewels, Méphistophélès or the devil incarnate leaves for her in the garden.

Which will she choose: flowers or gems? The gems win and as she tries on the earrings, necklace, bracelet, tiara, one sees that Faust finally has her, all he has to do is appear, which he does.

One thing leads to another and the innocent Marguerite is overcome with passion and succumbs to Faust's desires. They make love and then ironically, Faust leaves her to bear their shame. What saves Marguerite, which is also what makes her so charming, is her self-reflection, her belief in love and her belief in the goodness of a creator who is more powerful than the evil represented by Méphistophélès, whom Margarite tells Faust "has fire in his eyes."

She is arrested for aborting her child, which I believe, Satan kills when he tries a two for one (soul) deal and Margarite's angels save her from him, once again. The battle for these human souls, first Faust's, which he gets and then Marguerite's which keeps slipping beyond his reach is a contest; the audience is never quite sure Marguerite will win, since she is keeping company with a man who has no future.

Though it all though the woman keeps up her prayers.

Does Marguerite's love or love itself offer promise to souls lost between the present and what is to come? Can love save Faust's soul? Is love, true love, a gift from God, who is more powerful than Satan?

The church scene where an intense battle ensues between Marguerite and Méphistophélès. It is a really powerful moment; there Marguerite is praying and Méphistophélès comes in and takes the congregation's thoughts away from God, distracting Marguerite who feels his presence.

I like the way she acknowledges Satan's presence, his spirit, and doesn't give up, rather prays harder. She even climbs on her chair in the pew to put her physically closer to the angels and to God, a place Méphistophélès has a hard time following. He is frustrated and angered that he just cannot interrupt this woman while she prays--

His influence is temporary, so he leaves her there, frustrated, his task incomplete. The actor who sings this role is awesome, really awesome: his vocal range and power is matched well with that of Jouvanca's character, his antagonist (smile). He will never win Marguerite over; her life is protected by her angels and because Faust's life is now linked to hers, herein lies his potential savior. This Satan knows and is trying to prevent.

The sets and lighting are fantastic, from the tavern where where Faust first sees Marguerite walk by, to the garden where all the trouble begins--hum. Sounds like another biblical story in reverse, to the final scene where the two Faust and Marguerite walk into heaven. The sets are painted on canvas. The foreground often reflected there. It's really unique as it offers one an intimate invitation to join the characters in their world which is right there in front of us.

I didn't remember the ending, so I wasn't aware that Marguerite wins, that good wins over evil, that Marguerite's angels are more powerful than Méphistophélès, that the love of a good woman can literally save a man from hell (smile).

I kept expecting Faust to lose his eternal youth, but I guess Méphistophélès's gift once given was unable to be returned or taken, at least in this story. I wish Robert Johnson, another famous man who traded something precious with the devil, had had an opportunity to live a bit longer. It's a different story with Johnson and the women in his life were too many to have a Marguerite effect on him, but it's just a thought (smile).

The cast was phenomenal, the music extraordinary, costumes impeccable as well. What a wonderful role for Michael Dailey to complete his four year tenure with the company, Opera San Jose. He played "Romeo," in the other famous Gounod opera, and concludes with the role of "Faust," another lover, older than the youthful Romeo, but just as confused (smile).

If you missed Michael and Jouvanca in Faust, you can still catch the other cast tonight May 4 and tomorrow afternoon May 6 at the California Theatre in San Jose.

On another note, the composer was born in June 1818 and after losing his father when he was four fell in love with opera after seeing Othello. Faust is actually based on the story of a real character, a "Johann Georg Faust, born in the late 15th century in Helmstadt (which might be the family name not birthplace)" (Hancock). He is described as a doctor of philosophy and physician, an chemist, an alchemist and astrologer and a magician, a role which pushed him into the realm of blasphemy. Johann Goethe wrote a story about Dr. Faust where he portrays him as a man hungering for knowledge--I remember this version in an opera called The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe performed by the San Francisco Opera. In this story, it's not love or youth Faust is after but certain immortal secrets he can't seem to reach through traditional means, so he calls on the angels, both good and evil to help him and Méphistophélès shows up.

In this version at Opera San Jose, the composer, Gounod who entered seminary as a youth and certainly influenced in this retelling of his Faust where the angels best the devil. He and his librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre choose Goethe's Faust Part 1 which focuses on Marguerite and the heroine's dilemma. The story while still called Faust, does not center on his story, it is about Marguerite's choices and temptation when presented with this dashing figure, Faust. What does she do with this irrational attraction to a man clearly above her station or out of her class? How does she handle his gifts? Who does she ask for guidance when her big brother goes to war? He brother tells her to pray which she does, and when he returns and sees the mess she has gotten into with this Faust character, he curses her as he takes his last breath.
So much for brotherly love and advice.

Marguerite is on her own; she sees something in Faust that is like what is in her own soul. True, the relationship is rough, but she believes in him. She uncannily knows that he regrets his deal with the devil, but doesn't know how to undo it or remedy it, so she teaches him how to pray.

Faust, finally is a story about agape or God's love and forgiveness. God forgives. All we have to do is ask for it, which Marguerite does for herself and for Faust, the man she loves. Faust then removes the yoke around his neck and submits. Though the sexual intimacy between the actors Michael and Jouvanca is forced, at one point, Jouvanca's Marguerite puts the doctor's hands on her body--they stand so close yet he does not touch her, their singing is not forced.

I wonder why there is this absence of passion. This is why the scene on the floor with her which concludes the second act where "Faust and Marguerite are drawn irresistibly together" rings false (Synopsis).

Jouvanca's passion for God, her fear of evil she feels lurking besides her and her belief in her angels' power to defeat this evil is felt each time the actress opens her mouth, which is plenty in the last two Acts. Her final duets with Michael's Faust are also lovely. I think Michael's Faust is more comfortable in the laboratory, but Marguerite, simple peasant girl though she is, will teach him how to love her I am sure. The next chapter is . . .

To be continued in Heaven (smile).

God trumps Satan every time, but Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste as Marguerite does a heck a lot of singing for her supper/supplication (smile).

Closing night for Michael and Jouvanca was bittersweet. One saw the actress wiping away a tear as the audience saluted Micheal Dailey whom many had come to love over the past four years. I will certainly miss him at Opera San Jose, yet hope to see him elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area in title roles.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Michael Dailey sings lead in Opera San Jose's Faust

This is an interview with Michael Dailey speaking about his performance at that time, and his closing performance with the company, Faust, which closes this weekend. Dailey performs tonight. We want to wish him continued success.

Wanda's Picks Radio Show Friday, February 17, 2012

Dr. Albert L. Brooks, MD, speaks about Physicians Medical Forum, Sat., Feb. 18, 2012, and Doctors on Board.

Marshall Curry
, speaks about his Academy Award Nominated film, If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

Michael Dailey
, tenor, speaks about his role as "Albert Germont" in the current production of at Opera San Jose. He appears: 2/12, 2/18, 2/21, 2/26. During his fourth year as a resident artist, Michael Dailey performs the roles Beppe (Pagliacci), Alfredo (La traviata) and the title role in Faust, his closing production. Last season, Mr. Dailey appeared as Konstantin Levin (Anna Karenina) and Count Almaviva (The Barber of Seville), and has also performed the roles of Des Grieux (Manon), Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Prunier (La rondine), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Nemorino (The Elixir of Love), Ferrando (Così fan tutte) and Don José (Carmen).

Visit (408) 437-4450.

Other news about Michael Dailey:

Wanda Picks Radio Show Friday, May 4, 2012

Today we speak to Ethel Long Scott, Executive Director of WEAP and Tamara Perine, Shop Stewart at UFCW about the four day public hearing, the first ever World Courts of Women on Poverty in the US, May 10-13, 2012 at Laney College in Oakland, CA. Visit

We conclude the show with a conversation with cast from the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre's 2011-12 season's production of Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky, directed by Michele Shay. It is at LHT through Saturday, May 12. We'll speak to actors Tobie Windham, Leilani Drakeford and Joshua L. Green. Visit Music: Somi's "When the Rains Come"; Liz Wright selection from Salt.

Wanda's Picks Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Today we feature a live interview with Rory O'Connor whose latest book, Friends, Followers and the Furture: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands and Killing Traditional Media, published this month by City Lights. Rory O'Connor's broadcast, film and print career has been recognized with two Emmys, a George Orwell Award, a George Polk Award, a Writer's Guild Award among other honors. His previous books include the recently released 2nd edition of Nukespeak and Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio (2008).

We open with a prerecorded and broadcast interview with Martin Luther, broadcast live February 10, 2012 and close with an interview with director Mark Wexler, How to Live Forever, recorded June 29, 2011.