Image: Ermonela Jaho and Charles-Castronovo in La Traviata. Photographed by Catherine Ashmore.
Scheduled for Monday, April 8
Exhibition on Screen
Monday, April 8, at 2:00 and 7:15 pm
About the Film
Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time—and right up until his death in 1973 he was the most prolific of artists. Many films have dealt with these later years—the art, the affairs and the wide circle of friends. But where did this all begin? What made Picasso in the first place?
Too long ignored, it is time to look at the early years of Picasso; the upbringing and the learning that led to his extraordinary achievements. Three cities play a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris. Young Picasso visits each and explores their influence on Picasso, focusing on specific artworks from these early years.
The film thus explains how this young artist acquired his craft. Looking carefully at two key early periods—the so-called Blue Period and Rose Period—the film takes us all the way to 1907 and the creation of a critical painting in the history of art—Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It was a painting that shocked the art world but changed it irrevocably. Picasso was only 25 years old. Working closely with all three Picasso Museums in Malaga, Barcelona and Paris this film explains how he rose to great heights.
Monday, April 22
Monday, April 22, 6:45 pm
Ticket prices: General admission $12, seniors & students $11, and Downing members $10.
Tickets will be available soon.
About the Film
La Traviata features a star cast including Royal Opera favourite Plácido Domingo. The opera tells the story of the Parisian courtesan Violetta (Ermonela Jaho) and her tragic love affair with Alfredo Germont (Charles Castronovo). Their romantic idyll in the countryside ends abruptly when Alfredo’s father Giorgio (Domingo), shocked by their scandalous liaison, persuades Violetta to leave Alfredo for the good of his family—even though he knows Violetta is seriously ill. A distraught Alfredo finally learns the truth when Violetta is on her death bed. The opera contains some of Verdi’s most inspired arias including Violetta’s “Sempre libera” and “Addio del passato.” Antonello Manacorda makes his Royal Opera debut as conductor.
—Royal Opera House
Monday, April 29
Sponsored by Vet2Vet, MHA in Orange County, Steve Neuhaus, Orange County New York, and WELCOME Orange
Free admission, limited seating. A panel discussion will follow the film.
Monday, April 29 at 7 pm
About the Film
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall lives in Southern Missouri where he owns and operates the At Ease RV Park. After seven years of living with four small dogs as his only companions, he is adjusting to life with his wife, Alicia, who is newly arrived from Mexico. Anchored by his small dogs and big bikes, Stray Dog seeks to strike a balance between his commitment to his family, neighbors, biker brotherhood, and fellow veterans. As part of the legacy of fighting in the Vietnam War, he wrestles with the everlasting puzzle of conscience, remorse, and forgiveness.
With Stray Dog as our guide, we experience the restlessness of ex-warriors as he tries to make peace with what he can’t change and weathers the incomprehension of those who have never been to war. Every year, Stray Dog joins thousands of bikers on a cross-country ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC for a series of veteran rituals. He hurtles down America’s highways, staving off specters of post-traumatic stress and haunting memories while forging deep bonds along the way. From the back of his bike, Alicia tries to decipher a totally unfamiliar biker culture. Their intimacy is pushed to new limits as Alicia and Stray Dog share the pleasures and tensions of life on the road.
Back at home, Stray Dog navigates the pressures of everyday life including the economic survival of his grandchildren and the increasing poverty of his community. The arrival of Alicia’s twin sons from Mexico throws into harsh relief the current state of opportunity that newcomers seek and that America can or cannot offer. Stray Dog continues to tally the cost of war, bearing witness to the soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan: both the dead and the living. The two families become more entwined and find lyrical ways of coexisting. The questions of contemporary American life loom larger and thornier, leaving us to wonder what is next for Stray Dog and his blended, multi-ethnic family.