Among the diverse projects that I undertake as Arts & Humanities producer, the type that excites me most is the opportunity to chronicle the creation of a new work. It allows me to shed some light on that ever-elusive “creative process” while interacting closely with a group of smart, talented, disciplined people who are pursuing […]
Among the diverse projects that I undertake as Arts & Humanities producer, the type that excites me most is the opportunity to chronicle the creation of a new work. It allows me to shed some light on that ever-elusive “creative process” while interacting closely with a group of smart, talented, disciplined people who are pursuing a common goal. I can’t think of a more pleasurable way to spend my time professionally.
Such was the case with Lilith, the new chamber opera with libretto by Allan Havis and music by Anthony Davis, based on Havis’ play of the same name. Lilith places Adam’s legendary first wife at the center of a devious parable about marriage and sexual politics. The story takes place in parallel in both Biblical and modern times and concerns both ancient figures (Adam, Lilith, Eve) and their contemporary counterparts (Arnold, Claire, Eppy), though the distinctions between the two settings and groups of characters are deliberately ambiguous.
I had collaborated with both artists previously, documenting the creation of Anthony’s opera about Patty Hearst inConcerning Tania (2001) and recording interviews and a performance of Allan’s play about the civil rights movement, The Haunting of Jim Crow (2005), and I’m a confirmed admirer of their work. Allan tackles provocative subjects in a manner that has echoes of both Brecht and Pinter, but in a distinctive voice that is his alone. Anthony is one of a handful of composers who are forging a new idiom for opera, blending the traditional with elements of jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms and rap into a style that is eclectic but never disjointed. (One could say he’s dragging opera kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but I’ll refrain.) Needless to say, when they approached me about documenting Lilith, I leapt at the chance.
My colleagues and I spent an intensive three weeks recording various rehearsals and interviews with key participants, culminating in the world premiere performances on December 2 and 4 at the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall on the UCSD Campus. The result is two programs: Lilith: The Opera, a recording of the December 4 concert, and Making Lilith, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the project’s genesis and evolution (and a bit of background about the mythical Lilith, as well). Both programs are available for viewing via UCSD-TV’s Video On Demand library, along with Talking Lilith, a Web-exclusive extended interview with Anthony Davis and Allan Havis.
If you’re a fan of intelligent, provocative, innovative entertainment, introduce yourself to Lilith.
Tune in June 24 at 8pm for the season premiere of Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD), the interview series hosted by renowned diabetes expert Dr. Steven Edelman. This season marks the beginning of UCSD-TV’s new production partnership with the TCOYD team, which means a totally revamped format–including special exercise and nutrition segments.
The premiere episode, Diabetes Prevention, features experts Dr. Matthias von Herrath and Dr. Robert Henry sharing information about the prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
We’ll premiere a new program each month and add fresh web content throughout the year at our TCOYD blog, so keep checking back!
Dive Into Ocean Science This Summer
Beginning in June, we’re featuring the best of our long-running Perspectives on Ocean Science series every Wednesday night. This summer-long festival celebrates the outstanding research conducted at the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography and its commitment to sharing knowledge with the public through their monthly Birch Aquarium speaker series (a UCSD-TV staple since 2001).
Last year we premiered a new series about Vitamin D deficiency from UCSD School of Medicine and GrassrootsHealth and, based upon the tremendous audience response, this is one hot topic! We’re happy to present a new batch of programs that further explore this hotly debated topic. More information and archives of last season are available at the Vitamin D series page.
Policy Wonk or Stand-up Comedian? Van Jones, the green-jobs guy who worked briefly in the White House on environmental issues, used late-night humor throughout his rousing speech on what’s ahead if we don’t embrace alternative energies soon. Hint – higher gas prices will be the least of our problems. With the Gulf coastline covered in […]
Policy Wonk or Stand-up Comedian?
Van Jones, the green-jobs guy who worked briefly in the White House on environmental issues, used late-night humor throughout his rousing speech on what’s ahead if we don’t embrace alternative energies soon. Hint – higher gas prices will be the least of our problems. With the Gulf coastline covered in muck, this talk is especially timely. Be sure to watch Van Jones: The Green Collar Economy.
For those of us committed to saving the Golden State, there’s some great information on how California got into the recurring budget crisis and what could be done to detangle the legislative mess in Sacramento. Four professors from UC San Diego lay it out on California in Crisis: Can It Be Fixed?
A giant of 20th-century cinema, Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) holds a unique place among the world’s most distinguished filmmakers as the only non-Westerner whose work is revered by American and European audiences and directors alike. Join us Saturdays in May for our annual month-long homage to this visionary celluloid artist. Kurosawa is recognized as […]
A giant of 20th-century cinema, Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) holds a unique place among the world’s most distinguished filmmakers as the only non-Westerner whose work is revered by American and European audiences and directors alike.
Kurosawa is recognized as one of the great cinema auteurs both for his technical mastery and the universal humanist themes that pervade his work: a compassion for individual suffering, a quest for justice through personal rebellion against corrupt social structures, and a concern for the existential crises of humanity in the face of death, social pressure, and the apparent meaningless of life’s struggles.
His work has exerted enormous influence on post-WWII film: George Lucas used Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress as a model for Star Wars, Sergio Leone adapted his samurai tales to create the “spaghetti western,” and John Sturges transformed Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai into The Magnificent Seven (to cite but a few examples).
Here are just a few of Kurosawa’s acclaimed films we’ll be broadcasting throughout the month:
The Seven Samurai
An epic retelling of the most famous Japanese story, The Seven Samurai is a true classic. The film has proved inspirational to many other films including George Lucas’ Star Wars, and The Magnificent Seven, a direct adaption for the old west.
Another classic from arguably the greatest filmmaker of all time. The story revolves around a petty gangster who contracts TB, and the doctor who attempts to treat him despite the gangster’s foolish pride.
In ancient Japan, a woman is raped and her husband killed. The film gives us four viewpoints of the incident – one for each defendant.
Don’t miss out!