Mobile Opera is ready to start 2016 with a bang of the vocal powerhouse variety. The public is invited to join in Seven Days of Opera at a variety of locales and in various formats.

Bizet’s Pinata Bash — Jan. 3, 2-4 p.m., Larkins Music Center (257 Dauphin St.), second-floor Willson Recital Hall. Mobile Opera’s Young Artist singers will be on hand for a kid-oriented event where the youngsters can dress up in costumes, have fun in a photo booth and watch opera cartoons.

Opera Afternoon Movie: “Pirates of Penzance” — Jan. 4, 2 p.m., Bernheim Hall, Ben May Main Library (701 Government St.). Admission is free. The Gilbert and Sullivan classic is noted for its comedy. Attendees are encouraged to don pirate attire and enjoy the free popcorn.

Night of Song — Jan. 5, 6:30-9 p.m., Cafe 615 (615 Dauphin St.). This is the organization’s monthly cabaret with a classic twist. Reservations are recommended; call 251-432-8434 for more info.
Opera Trivia — Jan. 6, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Catch the opera trivia craze on Facebook and Twitter and play along. New questions to query and new mysteries to muse throughout the day. Prizes awarded.

(Photo/Zimlich Photography/facebook) Mobile Opera shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. Shown is its October  production of “Pagliacci.”

(Photo/Zimlich Photography/facebook) Mobile Opera shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. Shown is its October
production of “Pagliacci.”


Opera Moments — Jan. 7, various times. Singers are due to “pop up” in various locations throughout the day to share an opera moment with you. Locations will be announced via social media.

Opera Artwalk — Jan. 8, 6-8 p.m., Larkins Music Center’s Willson Recital Hall. Mini concerts showcase local stars with a variety of 15-minute serenades on the hour and half hour, starting at 6 p.m.

Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser Scholarship Competition Finals — Jan. 9, 1-4 p.m., Larkins Music Center’s Willson Recital Hall. Named for Mobile Opera’s founder, this vocal competition attracts emerging artists from around the Southeast to compete for cash scholarships, recognition and prestige. The top 10 finalists will present their selections before a judges panel and the audience. Collective audience votes will be included in the process and winners announced on the spot. Admission is free.


New year means Artwalk info update
The new year is near, and with LoDa Artwalk scheduled for Jan. 8, don’t get caught unawares. Those interested in working during the gallery strolls will need to supply the Mobile Arts Council with an updated entry form and have a valid 2016 business license on file.

None of the rules have changed at this point. If you would like to see a fact sheet with a checklist, browse www.mobilearts.org for an online version.

The Mobile Arts Council will be closed from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. Contact the council at 251-432-9796 or email lgafford@mobilearts.org if you have questions.


Exploreum rings in Noon Year with new board
News is just flowing from the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center (65 Government St.) for the new year. While one piece of news is administrative, the other is all about fun.

A Dec. 17 meeting at the Bragg-Mtichell Mansion brought a new lineup to the Exploreum’s board of directors. Welcome new President Bobby Frost, chief executive officer of Delaney Development Inc. Vice President is Dee Gambill, formerly of Regions Bank. Secretary is Louise Bush, a founding board member. Treasurer is Tim DeLong, chief financial officer of Brabner & Hollon Inc.

Outgoing President is David Trent, site director for Airbus North American Engineering Inc. Trent was president for the last five years and will remain on the executive committee.

The board also welcomed Dan Gatewood as a new trustee. Gatewood serves as vice president, corporate and institutional banking, with PNC.

On the fun side, the Exploreum will once again feature its Noon Year family event on Dec. 31, allowing families to get in on the year-ending fun before the MoonPie mayhem begins downtown.

It features Science Squad appearances, a “Noon Year” countdown with an exploding moonpie piñata, firework painting, lessons on the science of pyrotechnics, an iHealthy demonstration with Faulkner State Chef Brandon Thrash, who will make chocolate truffles, and other live science demos.

General admission is $10 and includes entrance to “Chocolate! The Exhibition,” permanent exhibits, festivities and the IMAX Dome feature the film, “Living in the Age of Airplanes.” Admission is free for Exploreum members.

The Exploreum is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve for the Noon Year celebration and official closing time that day is at 4 p.m. It will be closed New Year’s Day.

For more info, call 251-208-6893 or go to exploreum.com.