Friday, Oct. 14, 2005 | 7:09 a.m.
When it comes to presenting quality opera, why bother waiting for a venue?
Opera Las Vegas isn't. In a joint venture with the Las Vegas Art Museum, the opera company will present Georges Bizet's "Carmen" at 7 p.m. Saturday in the main museum space at 9600 W. Sahara Ave. Tickets are $50.
More than 20 performers will present the French composer's masterpiece set in Seville, Spain. The performance in the main gallery will occur among the works of contemporary Los Angeles artist Michael Reafsnyder, whose show "MORE: Michael Reafsnyder" is on display through Dec. 31.
"It's a way of saying we can do this," Opera Las Vegas President Joyce La Grange said. "We can do opera. We don't have to do it in a theater.
"This is a full performance with costumes and props. We're limited some by the venue. We don't have the full lighting that we'd like. But it's about as complete as it can get. This is like, 'We're not going to give up.' "
One reason for the lack of full opera presentations in Las Vegas has been a shortage of proper venues.
Las Vegas Art Museum's gallery is a completely nontraditional site, but museum board President Gerald Facciani said the acoustics are great.
"There have been issues to overcome because we don't have a theater, but we're doing it," Facciani said. "It's a first, and you know what? It's going to be interesting.
"You sit and enjoy the opera while looking at some incredible art."
The lady is pink
Area women will be trekking to the ghost town Rhyolite to participate in the Pink Lady Paint Party happening Saturday and Sunday at the Goldwell Open Air Museum to restore "Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada."
The pink sculpture -- created by Belgian artist Hugo Heyrman, also known as Dr. Hugo, in 1992 -- is made of cinderblocks and is in need of restoration. Or as it says on the Goldwell Museum's Web site, "The sun and elements have done their job to dull her glow, so girlfriends, let's help a sister out."
The sculpture stands among Charles Albert Szukalski's ghostly "The Last Supper" and Fred Bervoets' perplexing "Tribute to Shorty."
The view is breathtaking and barbecue is promised. There is a $25 fee to attend. More information can be found at the Web site, www.goldwellmuseum.org.
Books and Las Vegas
Vegas Valley Book Festival, offering workshops, lectures, readings, book signings and film screenings, continues through Oct. 22 at various locations throughout the valley.
Keynote speakers this year include self-described "guerilla satirist" Stan Freberg; humorist and satirist Joe Queenan; and French photographer, author and journalist Francois Paolini, whose visual presentation will include distorted Las Vegas images. His hardcover coffee-table book "We All Live in Las Vegas" features more than 300 photos of the city.
This year's event is a centennial event with themes of humor and Las Vegas, including boxing and poker.
Past events have lasted one to three days. This year's event is stretched over 10 days. Aside from Freberg and Queenan, events are free.
For dates and times of workshops, children's programs and lectures, visit the Web site www.vegasvalleybookfest.org, or look for the schedule in Las Vegas Weekly. For advanced tickets to keynote speakers, call Nevada Humanities at 895-1878.
Kristen Peterson can be reached at 259-2317 or [email protected]