Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Missing In Action At Pamela Rosenberg's San Francisco Opera: "Animating American Opera" (TM)

"And then there were the tasks left half-finished to enumerate and weigh -- children's opera, her Animating Opera series, more commissions, better communication among departments, more effective marketing.

[Pamela] Rosenberg, who can sound tongue-tied in front of a crowd, was eloquent on the art form that has engaged her for most of her professional life. "I don't consider opera to be some expensive icing on the cake. I find it nourishing and necessary. Art, especially live performing art, is one of the essential ways we have to keep tapping into ourselves and the human spirit and keep moving forward."

Steven Winn "Pamela Rosenberg's time at the Opera was as full of drama as any production. What are people saying about her now?" San Francisco Chronicle December 7, 2005. Via

With best wishes to Ms Rosenberg on her new appointment in Berlin.

SAN FRANCISCO'S OLD CHINATOWN: Photographs by Arnold Genthe

"Wealthy Chinese merchants lived in the backwater Mexican village of Yerba Buena, well before the Gold Rush and railroads transformed it first into an American frontier town, and later the seaport metropolis of San Francisco. As West Coast development picked up in the mid-1800s, a sea of laborers from Taishan, Siyi, Xinhui, and Yanping also arrived, employed as miners and railroad workers. Chinatown was born as a home base for these Chinese dispersed throughout the area; but as racist hostility mounted, it emerged by the 1890s as an ethnic haven where Chinese huddled together for safety.

It is with this backdrop that the highly educated and sophisticated Arnold Genthe arrived in San Francisco in 1895. Having recently received his doctorate in philosophy in Germany, Genthe came to tutor a Baron’s son. Immediately enamored with the city, he was drawn to Chinatown-- a place known by outsiders as exotic, mysterious, and dangerous. Tantalized by the mysterious, Genthe visited this Chinese community at first chance, and fell into a culture in total contrast from his own. Without good post cards to convey the foreign images, or subjects willing to wait long enough for him to sketch, Genthe dove into the then-novel art of photography; and his 200 prints of Chinatown would be the starting point for a long and distinguished career as a photographic artist."

Source: Chinese Culture Center 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108 ex/2000/old-ct.html

Photo credit: (c) Arnold Genthe and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts).


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