ARTS & CULTURE BEAT
[NORWAY] PERSIAN POP SINGER TAKES SONG TO
Known as the Persian Prince of Norway, Tooji won the Norwegian national selection, Melodi Grand Prix with his song “Stay”. The selection earns him the honor of representing his country at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.
According to Wikipedia, Tooji was born in Shiraz, Iran then moved to Norway. At the age of 16 he started modeling. After the model work, he started working on MTV Norway where he presented “Super Saturday” and “Tooji’s Top 10”. His first single was called “Swan Song” and it was released in 2008.
Toojisaid that his performance at the Eurovision finals in Baku will be “fiery to say the least”, seeking inspiration from his Persian roots. The Eurovision finals will be held in Azerbaijan’s Baku on May 22, 24, and 26.
Parts of this piece were taken from an article by ShoshanaLiessmann
At Munich Biennale, an avant-garde opera written by Jews and directed by an Iranian
The international festival for contemporary music theater opened with L’absence,” an experimental opera about the Holocaust, written by Jewish-Egyptian-French writer Edmond Jabès. The opera is performed by a mixed team of German and Israeli performers, and
JasminSolfaghari, a German-Iranian director, was invited to direct the premiere.
Solfaghari grew up with a Muslim background in Tehran, and as a child moved to Germany with her family. Composer Sarah Nemtsovincludes conceptual references to synagogue melodies and Eastern-European Klezmer music.
A NIGHT OF STORY & SONG IN LOS ANGELES
ZIBA SHIRAZI is back with new stories. Iranian Jazz/ Pop musician Shirazi whose songs focus on women’s emotion, bold expressions of love and feminism, performs in Los Angeles May 20 with accordionist PEYMON GAZI on stage for a sing a long of memorable Iranian songs.
ZibaShirazi, A Night of Story and Song, Morgan Wixson Theater, 2627 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica (310) 445-1558, $25.00 advance or $35 door
MUSEUM LAUNCHES FILM SERIES FOCUSED ON PERSIAN CINEMA
TheHonolulu Museum showcases Persian cinema with a series of three new films that explore the importance of love in Persian culture. The series arose from collaboration between the Honolulu Museum of Art and the series’ four sponsors-The Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, Asia Pacific Films, NETPAC/USA, and Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
The series features three stunningly poetic, fascinating films that have enjoyed international acclaim over the past year.Filmgoers will also have a chance to hear several experts on Persian cinema. Anne Démy-Geroe, Persian film scholar and film programmer from Brisbane, Australia; ShahinParhami, Montreal-based director of the feature film Amin; and Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, president of Asia Pacific Films will introduce the films over the three-day series.
Persian Nights: Representations of Love in Contemporary Persian Cinema schedule, May 15-18, $8-$10, 808-532-8700, honolulumuseum.org.
[SAN LUIS OBISPO]
The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble will perform traditional and contemporary music and dance from the Eastern Mediterranean and larger Middle East region in the Spanos Theatre June 1.
The ensemble and special guest artists include Egyptian songs by Karim Mahmoud and Mohamed AbdelWahab and Lebanese songs by Nancy Ajram, and the team of Fairouz and the Rahbani Brothers. Guest artist Bahram Osqueezadeh will conduct Iranian music and play the santur.
The 30-member Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble is under the direction of Music Department faculty member Kenneth S. Habib, a composer and performer with a doctorate in ethnomusicology with specializations in Middle Eastern and American popular music.
The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble, $8-$10, order by phone, call SLO-ARTS (805-756-2787).
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL
A collection of Bay Area actors with no set and no director take on a 14-part play to be read out loud. The play is by Nassim Soleimanpour, an Iranian playwright who declined to serve in his country’s armed forces and, as a result, was denied a passport to perform at the ninth annual San Francisco International Arts Festival. “White Rabbit, Red Rabbit” is an allegory about life in Iran today.
The genre-hopping festival showcases 16 troupes from ten countries in venues throughout San Francisco. Music, dance and theater will be performed.
San Francisco International Arts Festival. May 20. $12-$50. 415-771-6900. www.sfiaf.org.