Jan. 25 2012 01:02 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Lise Lindstrom plays the title role and Greer Grimsley is John the Baptist in Salome.
Photo by Cory Weaver / San Francisco Opera
There will be blood 

The 2012 season of the San Diego Opera will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, with the operatic interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s risqué play Salome.

If your idea of the opera is a fat woman in a Viking helmet belting out glass-breaking notes, Salome will blow your mind. It’s the biblical story of a woman so obsessed with John the Baptist that she wants his head on a silver platter. The production is more of a high-culture version of a Gwar concert—in other words, bloody.

San Diego Opera spokesperson Edward Wilensky says the “white-knuckle trip through the tortured mind of a woman” will leave quart upon quart of fake blood on the stage by the time the curtain drops.

“We use three different recipes for blood—two edible and one non-edible that ends up covering the head of John the Baptist,” Wilensky says. “It’s a very dark opera, nothing but drama, drama, drama.”

Along with the gore, Wilensky says the eroticism of the opera might make some people in the audience clutch their pearls. Salome (Lise Lindstrom) performs a wicked striptease that leaves her close to naked—Wilensky wouldn’t specify how naked. And when presented with John the Baptist’s decapitated dome, well, let’s just say Salome gets very excited.

Wilensky believes the production will surprise people and show them a different side of what opera can be. If you miss this titillating event, the season continues with productions of Moby-Dick (opens Feb. 18), Don Pascuale (March 10), The Barber of Seville (April 21) and a night with soprano Renée Fleming (March 24).

Additional Salome performances are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31; 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Tickets range from $50 to $220. sdopera.com

Shaping history

If you follow our arts coverage, you’re familiar with Pacific Standard Time, a southern California-wide series of exhibitions to commemorate a period (1945 to 1980) of regional art awesomeness. The newest PST-related exhibition kicks off with a reception from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Loft 9 Gallery at Space 4 Art, 325 15th St. in East Village. Called Hydrodynamica: Remember the Future, it looks at the surfboard designs of Bob Simmons, whose innovative work happened amid California’s post-WWII moderndesign boom, when functionality, aesthetics and experimentation with shape were given equal importance. See Simmons’ gorgeous boards and other creations, as well as boards from guys inspired by Simmons, like Carl Ekstrom (who has two pieces in Mingei’s Craft Revolution exhibition) and Bear Mirandon. Hydrodynamica will remain on display through March 9.

Information can be fun

CityBeat columnist D.A. Kolodenko has written many a story on San Diego’s jazz scene, covering both the legends and the more underground, emerging stars. Don’t act surprised—San Diego does have its share of jazz music; you just have to know where to look. Kolodenko will be one of six plugged-in people talking about our city’s cooler, artsy side at voiceofsandiego.org’s A Meeting of the Minds event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at Luce Loft (1037 J St. in East Village). In a series of speedy, slideshow-driven talks, artist Mario Chacon, educator / artist Lynn Susholtz, writer K. Lorraine Graham, actor / director Vanessa Dinning and others will fill you in on topics ranging from the Chicano Park murals to poetry and outdoor sculptures. Admission is free, but bring cash for cocktails.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.