Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the opera is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. The opera explores facts from Villa’s biography, examines the mythology surrounding him, and asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict.
“Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance represents the kind of aesthetic and cultural hybridity that makes Texas such a unique place, which is why we present work like this for our students and the city,” said Clyde Valentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.
The opera is sung partly in Spanish, partly in English, with accompanying projected translations along with film clips and historic photos. The ensemble features LOLA’s (Local Opera Local Artists) Liz Cass and Austin Lyric Opera’s Paul Sanchez as mezzo-soprano and tenor vocalists, as well as six instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.
Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show.
New adventures in global health: SMU and Bush Institute concurrent appointee Eric Bing will speak on conquering the challenges of global health in “Making a Cure for Cancer as Accessible as Coca-Cola” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Room 131, Dedman Life Sciences Building. His lecture will include discussion of his work as creator of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an $85 million public-private partnership to reduce cervical and breast cancer in low-resource settings. Bing received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, a master of public health and Ph.D. in epidemiology from UCLA, and an M.B.A. from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is Senior Fellow and Director of Global Health in the George W. Bush Institute and a professor of global health in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and in Dedman College’s Department of Anthropology. The lecture is free.
The Usefulness of Art: Meadows Prize winner Tania Bruguera and SMU Associate Professor of Art Noah Simblist will host a conversation on the use of art in exploring real-world issues at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the Texas Theatre, 213 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff. Bruguera, a 2013-14 Meadows Prize Winner and Meadows Visiting Artist, founded Immigrant Movement International, a think tank for immigrant issues that offers free educational, artistic and consciousness-raising activities to the immigrant community. Simblist won the 2007 Moss/Chumley Artist Award presented by the Meadows Museum and was recently a guest blogger for Art21. The conversation is presented by Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas and SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Stanton Sharp Lecture: SMU’s Clements Department of History presents “Revolution, Reform and Rejuvenation: A Century of Intellectual Service in China” Wednesday, Sept. 25 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. Timothy Cheek, professor and Louis Cha Chair in Chinese Research in the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research, will speak on China’s intellectuals from the start of Modern Turmoil in the 1890s to the declared “victory” of a Rising China at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Cheek will explore China’s intellectuals by tracking five notable Chinese from across the century who all sought to “serve the people.” Cheek has written three books and is currently editing The Cambridge Critical Introduction to Mao. The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m.; the lecture follows at 6:30 p.m.
Music at Meadows: Brothers Jose Manuel and Francisco Cuenca Morales will perform a chamber program for piano and guitar at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Bob & Jean Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum. The duo was born in Spain, have performed throughout the world and recorded five albums. Critics rave that their music is “unique in the way both instruments melt as one with grand elegance and fine touch.” The concert is free and open to the public.