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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: Magos Herrera, 'Romeo and Juliet,' pompoms and more

Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider are pictured in black and white.
Shervin Lainez
Magos Herrera and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider are shown in an undated photo.

Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider: 'Dreamers'

Music, Latin jazz

Mexican-born jazz singer and songwriter Magos Herrera will perform at La Jolla Music Society with her frequent collaborator, the world-renowned string quartet Brooklyn Rider. The concert is called "Dreamers," a nod to the role of poets, musicians and songwriters in finding beauty and hope amidst the oppression of Latin American countries through history.


Herrera's voice is incredibly distinct and expressive, and Brooklyn Rider's precise, energetic and emotive musicianship shares the stage in a way that neither fades in the background nor overshadows Herrera's singing. Their program for Saturday's performance includes pieces from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Brazil.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6. La Jolla Music Society, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. $32-$65.

City Ballet: 'Romeo and Juliet'


Dance, Ballet

Elizabeth Wistrich, co-founder and resident choreographer of City Ballet of San Diego, choreographed this rendition of "Romeo and Juliet" in 2012. Using the traditional Prokofiev score, performed live by the City Ballet Orchestra, the ballet is a lush, classical setting for Shakespeare's tragic love story of two teenagers who fall in love despite their feuding families.

Details: Two performances. 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $30-$103.

Courtesy of The Royal Photographic Society / MOPA
Julia Margaret Cameron's "I Wait," is an 1872 albumen print from the collection at the V&A Museum.

'Arresting Beauty: Julia Margaret Cameron'

Visual art, Photography

Julia Margaret Cameron was a 19th century photographer who lived on the United Kingdom's Isle of Wight, and didn't take up photography until she was older, in her late 40s, after her children were grown. She'd become one of the pioneers of the soft-blurred close-up portrait, and is also well known for her influential use of costumes and staging in her fantastical, themed portraits.

The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) just opened a new exhibition of her photography and other objects, like letters and manuscripts, from the collection of the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London — in fact, MOPA is the first stop for this international touring exhibition.

Details: On view through Sept. 3, 2023. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. MOPA, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free/pay what you can.

Bert Frings and Bas Louter: 'Chiffonier / Ragpicker'

Visual art 

Oolong Gallery will open a new exhibit of two Dutch artists who have worked together for decades, Bert Frings and Bas Louter. This exhibition is part of an ongoing conversation between the artists, and the title, "Chiffonier / Ragpicker" is inspired by a painting by Manet, "The Ragpicker." A chiffonier, pictured in Manet's painting, reuses and sells other people's refuse (including, of course, rags), and Louter and Frings both tend to reuse visual elements and objects in their work.

Philipp Scholz Rittermann
Bert Frings' "Mountain Dew" is a 2023 work of tempera paint on plywood panel, shown in an undated photo.

Details: Opens with a reception from 2-8 p.m. on May 6. On view through Jun. 18. Oolong Gallery, 349 N. Hwy 101, Solana Beach. Free.

Bach Collegium San Diego: 'BCSD Scorchers!'

Music, Classical

Bach Collegium, a music ensemble committed to historically accurate instrumentation and performance of early classical, Baroque and Renaissance music, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend with a collection of its biggest hits, or "scorchers," from the past two decades — including namesake Bach's "Mass in B minor" and "Easter Oratorio" and many more. They'll perform the concert in two different venues: Point Loma and Cardiff.

Details: Two concerts. 7 p.m. Friday, May 5 at All Souls' Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd., Point Loma; and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 3459 Manchester Ave., Cardiff. $15-$60.

Oceanside Museum of Art's Free First Sunday

Visual art, Artmaking

This is Oceanside Museum of Art's "Free First Sunday" — and museum admission is free all day. But from noon to 2 you can also do a little artmaking with their "Art for All" program. Artist Katie Ruiz will lead visitors in contributing yarn pompoms to a colorful pride flag made out of hundreds of little handcrafted fluff-balls. Ruiz has previously made a similar installation for OMA — an oversized, suspended pompom rainbow — and as with all her pompom projects, she enlists the public to help with the creation.

This flag will hang at the museum throughout June for Pride Month. So not only can you visit the museum for free and do something crafty, but you also get to contribute to a big, meaningful art installation.

Here's a video from the 2020 version:

While you're there, check out the current exhibitions on view at OMA. One is the 2023 Congressional Art Awards, a juried exhibition of work by high school student artists who live in California's 49th Congressional District. The first place winner will eventually end up at the United States Capitol in Washington DC.

Melissa Meier / Courtesy of OMA
Melissa Meier's "Eggshells" is a 2019 wearable sculpture made from eggshells, shown modeled in an undated photo. The sculpture and the photography are on view at Oceanside Museum of Art.

Melissa Meier has an exhibition of wearable sculptures made from organic materials like pine cones, preserved moss or even naturally shedded quills — displayed both on dress forms as sculptures and as photography of the pieces being worn.

Robert Xavier Burden's fantastical giant action figure and toy paintings are still on view, and "Memory is a Verb," a group show of 11 female photographers and artists, is closing next weekend.

Details: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. The "Art for All" pompom activity is from noon to 2 p.m. OMA, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Free.

More weekend arts events we're covering:

Moxie Theatre's next play, "The Chronicles of Kalki" opens with preview performances on Sunday. Check out my interview here with actor Farah Dinga, who plays Kalki (and therefore also plays the final avatar of the god Vishnu) and Moxie's new executive artistic director Desireé Clarke.

For arts events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar here. And be sure to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter here

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