Toi Toi Toi ‘La Traviata’
This weekend, Vashon Opera opens its 11th season with the Verdi masterpiece, “La Traviata.” The opera tells the story of a courtesan Violetta Valéry, who insists on living and loving outside the bounds of conventional society. Megan Renae Park, an acclaimed lyric coloratura soprano, will play the role. Other principal singers include John Marzano, Anton Belov, Shelly Traverse, Soon Cho, Andrew Etherington and Vashon’s own Hugh Davis, among others. The opera bows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Vashon Center for the Arts. Tickets range from $28 to $48; season tickets — which include admission to the Opera’s spring production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” — are priced at $50 to $90 and are available at vashonopera.org.
Bid now, ‘Masquerade’ next week
Silent auction items are already garnering bids at Vashon Center for the Arts in advance of the organization’s major fundraiser, “Masquerade,” slated for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at, VCA. This year’s auction will be a one-night affair — a change from VCA’s tradition of holding the auction over the course of two nights. But the new format also gives islanders a window until Sept. 21 to bid on any silent auction item or “buy it now” for a set price. Bidders need not even be present at the auction to win artworks donated by 70 island artists to the silent auction. VCA has explained the changes as an effort to benefit island artists, auction-goers and VCA staff alike. “Masquerade” will include performances by island dancers as well as a dinner option. VCA also hopes to match last year’s take of almost $100,000 on the “Raise the Paddle” portion of the evening, with proceeds going to the organization’s scholarship coffers. Also up for bid on Sept. 21 in a live auction will be works by Britt Freda, Ted Kutscher, Stefan Moody and other selected artists, as well as 12 experiences including vacation packages. To buy tickets and find out more, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Keep on writing with island authors
Jeanie Okimoto and Karen Cushman will lead a wide-ranging conversation, followed by questions from the audience, about “Writing After 70,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, as part of the Vashon Havurah’s Speaker’s Program. Both Okimoto and Cushman are celebrated island authors. Okimoto has published over 20 books for both children and adults and had six plays produced. Her short stories have appeared in “Visions: Short Stories by Outstanding Writers for Young Adults.” Her awards include the American Library Association Best Book For Young Adults, the Green Earth Book Award, and Smithsonian Notable Book. Cushman has published 10 books for middle-grade readers, including the forthcoming “War and Millie McGonigle.” “Catherine, Called Birdy” was named the Newbury Honor Book and will soon be made into a feature film by Lena Dunham; “The Midwife’s Apprentice” was named the Newbury Gold Medal, and “The Ballad of Lucy Whipple” was named the winner of The Golden Kite Award and made into a movie starring Glenn Close. Havurat Ee Shalom is located at 15401 Westside Hwy. All are welcome, as are free-will donations.
Sneak peek at ‘The Boys Who Said No!’
A preview screening of “The Boys Who Said No! Draft Resistance and the Vietnam War,” will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at Havurat Ee Shalom, 15401 Westside Hwy. SW. The film is directed by Judith Ehrlich, who was Oscar-nominated for “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” about whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. “The Boy Who Said No” documents another tale from the same era, that of the largest refusal of military service in American history, a time when 570,000 men risked arrest and prison to defy draft laws. San Francisco-based producer Bill Prince will attend the screening and answer questions. Admission is free, but donations are requested to help put the final touches on the film. For more details, visit boyswhosaidno.com.
Ann Leda Shapiro wins award, has show
Local artist Ann Leda Shapiro was recently the recipient of a prestigious Pollack-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant. The foundation was established by Lee Krasner, a famed abstract expressionist painter and the widow of fellow painter Jackson Pollack. Leda’s artwork, shown at many notable venues over the years, merges activist and personal content. For more than 30 years, she has also practiced Chinese medicine. Her current work, interweaving autobiography with environmental, science and medical issues, is on view through Sept. 26 at Gallery 4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Pl. S. , in Seattle.