What's going on this week is a melange of fresh opera, sporty events that support good doers, a funky costume party, a classy gala and a wine dinner.
I can be of further assistance: Click on the link below each event to reach a page with nifty, helpful intel, like nearby places curated by CultureMap editors where you can eat, drink and crash for the night — in case your outing gets a tad wild. Also, be sure to download the info to your electronic calendar.
Houston Grand Opera Studio Showcase 2013
Take the echelon of mega celebs that surface from the Houston Grand Opera Studio program. On that list are Albina Shagimuratova, Joyce DiDonato, Scott Hendricks and Ana María Martínez.
The Houston Grand Opera Studio Showcase 2013 is your opportunity to become an insider on the who's who of the next generation of divas and divos who are en route to the stages of major companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera and Opéra National de Paris.
HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers hosts a musicale of selections by Claudio Monteverdi, Carlisle Floyd, Mozart, Debussy and Johann Strauss sung by members of the 2012-13 studio class, among them Andrea Carroll, Natalya Romaniw, Lauren Snouffer, Carolyn Sproule, Scott Quinn, Kevin Ray, Mark Diamond, Peixin Chen and Nicholas Masters.
You will swoon at their artistry— I promise.
The Periwinkle Foundation's Annual Cycle for Life
It's almost March. How's your New Year's pledge to eat better, exercise regularly and be a more caring version of yourself?
If your conscience needs an overhaul, the Periwinkle Foundation's 18th Annual Cycle for Life, presented by White Oak Energy, is your ticket to killing all those birds with one stone — at the same time.
The indoor bike-a-thon encourages teams to spin in four, 30-minute intervals and raise a minimum of $250 or $1,000 per foursome. At the sporty affair, funds will also be raised through a silent auction alongside children's games and family activities. Your contribution will support this nonprofit's efforts to help kids challenged by cancer and other life threatening illnesses who are cared for at Texas Children's Hospital.
Houston Lebowski Bash 2013
I don't get it. I just don't get it. But as they say, if you can't beat them, join them. Truth be told, film buffs who have an adoration of the 1998 cult classic, The Big Lebowski, are a ridiculous bunch who are a delight to be around. Don't you think you need an injection of positive, be-who-you-are attitude?
Fans are sure to dress as their favorite character to partake in a trivia game, followed by a screening of the movie. It's recommended that guests bring a lawn chair or blanket, and cash to purchase beverages on site.
Da Camera's 25th Anniversary Season Gala "Cabaret Da Camera"
When she looks back a quarter of a century, Da Camera artistic director and founder Sarah Rothenberg is both proud and boggled by the trajectory of what began as an itty-bitty nonprofit, now a puissant force that's a critical part of defining the ethos of Houston's art scene. Da Camera's silver anniversary didn't arrive without blood, sweat and tears, so it's befitting that gala chairs Ann and Don Short want to party like a rock star.
With former Allman Brothers and Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell and friends, plus dinner by executive chef John Signorelli, "Cabaret Da Camera" will raise funds for the organization's education and community ventures, including the successful Young Artist Program. Jennifer and Josh Gravenor chair the after party, a late night carouse that promises a wicked buffet, dessert bar, cigar bar, cocktails and a silent auction.
Williams Selyem Wine Dinner at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
Sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd is a walking encyclopedia who can spew info about any potation or fermented beverage that makes her guests smile from ear to ear. It's fun to try to stump her, though more likely than not, you will be on the losing end. The savvy wine steward will host a wine reception that welcomes Bob Cabral, director of winemaking and general manager of Williams Selyem Winery of California, followed by a five-course meal with pairings.
We hear that two older wines from the collection and a rare bottling of Brut Vintage Sparkling Blanc de Noirs may be sampled that evening.
Staff writer and totally awesome guy Tyler Rudick's pick: Houston Rap photography by Peter Beste
Tyler says: "Documentary photographer Peter Beste grew up in Houston and launched his early career with a visual exploration of the city's rap community in the mid-2000s.
"For a new exhibit opening Friday at the Houston for the Museum of African America Culture, the artist sifted through thousands of photographs to present a rare look inside the hip-hop scenes of the Third and Fifth Wards as well as those in South Park."
Staff writer and savvy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Fourth Annual Texas Yoga Conference
Whitney says: "On your way through the weekend at the Fourth Annual Texas Yoga Conference, which takes over the George R. Brown Convention Center with presentations and classes from the best practitioners around. Once you've had enough downward dog, you can indulge by browsing the natural products, healthy foods and yoga duds for sale."
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop creative maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Trees by Beth Secor
Nancy says: "There's nothing quite like being in a room full of Beth Secor's trees, which is exactly what I got to do at Inman Gallery as part of Trees, running through March 20. Secor's meticulous workmanship, delicate marking making and subtle use of texture and color make me forget that Houston suffered such a devastating loss during the drought, a catastrophe that also factors into Secor's images.
"Also catch Farewell Ruins in the front room, with Julia Haft-Candell and Julia Kunin's fabulous new ceramic work. I found Haft-Candell's biomorphic sculptures combining clay and hand sewn fabric especially enchanting."
Tell us in the comments: What are you doing this weekend? What are your recommendations for what to do, where to be?