International Chorale open rehearsal, Auditions for expat theater, Salsa lessons, ‘Selma’ screens at La Guarida, University orchestra begins season

Jan 21, 2019

If you plan your time around what’s happening in Cuenca’s creative community, then this column is for you. Published every Monday, “What’s Happening Under the Domes”highlights the exhibits, concerts, workshops and other not-to-be-missed artistic events scheduled for the coming week. We cannot guarantee a complete listing, but we’ll try our best to keep you informed.

This week:

Quite a busy week . . .  Great happenings!

Monday, January 21
Cuenca International Chorale Open Rehearsal

The Cuenca International Chorale have an open rehearsal on January 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the International Christian Community (ICC) church located at Nicanor Aguilar y Solano Avenue, one block north of Monte Sinai Hospital.

Previous choral experience is appreciated but not required. Rehearsals will accommodate both English and Spanish speakers, and we warmly welcome both old and new friends to come and enjoy some rousing community singing.

Cuenca International Chorale

For more information, email:

“Writing and Illustrating Comics Art Course” for teens starting this week

In this youth (ages 13 to 18) art course at idiomART, Artist/Writer Daniel Williams will teach students the wonders behind comics and graphic novels.

Each Monday, over the course of 7 weeks, starting January 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., students will develop an arsenal of illustration skills and techniques. The series will focus on character design, composition, the elements of storytelling, the drafting process, and more. These skills will then be applied to the comic making process.

By the end of the seven-week course, students will have written and illustrated their own 3-4 page comics. There will be an exhibition in the first week of March, in which students can proudly display their work.

For more information, email at

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Open auditions for Azuay Community Theater

A.C.T. will be auditioning for “Sylvia”, a comedy by A.R. Gurney, directed by Tony Harding. Staged/Memorized.

Monday, January 21 from 10 a.m. – noon
Tuesday, January 22 from 2 – 4 p.m.
Open auditions, nothing to prepare.
Performances weekends of March 30, 31 and April 6, 7.
Contact Tony with questions at

Synopsis:  Greg & Kate have moved to the city after twenty-two years of child rearing in the suburbs. Greg’s career as a financial trader is winding down, while Kate’s career, as public school English teacher is beginning to offer her more opportunities. Greg brings home a dog he found in the park – or that found him – bearing only the name “Sylvia” on her nametag. A street-smart Labra-doodle, Sylvia becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife.

Cast needed:

Sylvia — female  A labra-doodle. Must be fit and agile, the part is physical, getting up and down off the floor, up and down stairs, moving through the theatre. Note: the actor walks as a person but acts like a dog; you won’t be crawling around on all fours, but you will be “sitting”, “begging” and “rolling over”.

Greg — male; A man coming to the natural conclusion of his career and struggling to cope with the changes in his world and in himself.

Kate — female; Greg’s wife, a woman coming into her own in her career and in herself; the last child gone to college, career recognition and opportunities opening up for her.

One person, 3 roles, either gender 1) a “dog person” animal lover that Greg befriends in the park 2) an Upper East Side socialite and old school friend of Kate’s   3) a marriage counselor/psychotherapist

Azuay Community Theater is located on Av. Ordonez Lasso next to Hotel Oro Verde.

tattleTALES: Critique Group for Writers of Memoir and Personal Essay

This free critique group is for anyone who wants to tell a life story — to write about lived adventure, adversity, trauma, and/or redemption. No writing experience is needed.

Sessions will be held at idiomARTat President Córdova 1-77 y Manuel Vega on the first and third Mondays of each month, 10 a.m. until noon.

Coffee, tea, and chocolate croissants will be served. Facilitated by Carolyn V. Hamilton and Kathryn M. McCullough, for more information, email:

“Selma”, a film by Ava DuVernay in observance of Martin Luther King Day

English with Spanish Subtitles
7 p.m.
Free at La Guarida

About: If you’re looking for an absorbing, informative historical drama. The film shows the backroom dealing and planning that went into one of the most significant events of the era, but it does so without mythologizing or oversimplifying. And while the film is filled with stirring recreations of epic moments — particularly the events of “Bloody Sunday,” when police cracked down on marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge — it’s in many ways a cinematic love letter to political organizers.

Please remember that La Guarida serves food and drinks. The first 10 guests will get free popcorn.

La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta(a few blocks away from Common Grounds).

Tuesday, January 22
Concert, Symphonic Orchestra and Coro de la Amistad Cuenca

8 p.m. Free
This is the premier performance of the choir “Coro de la amistad Cuenca”:

The Cuenca Friendship Choir is made up of students around 10 years old between the German Stiehle School and the French School Joseph de Jussieu.

For the first time, the choir will present songs accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of Cuenca (directed by invited director Maestro Dr. Markus Detterbeck). During the last months, the choir was prepared by the German choral conductor, Dr. Markus Detterbeck (

After the choir songs, the Symphony Orchestra of Cuenca under the direction of Maestro Emmanuel Siffert (Switzerland), invited director, presents “Variations on a theme by Haydn”, op. 56 by Johannes Brahms, the “Concerto for Bassoon in F Major”, op.75 by Carl Maria von Weber and the “Symphony No. 1”, op. 2. that Camile Saint-Saëns composed when only 16 years old.

Location: Carlos Cueva Tamariz Theater, Universityof CuencaonAv 12 de Abril.

“Smoking Mirror” Exhibit at Museo de los Metales

Quito artist Eduardo Villacis’ “Smoking Mirror” exhibit at the Museo de los Metales is an amazing show. The exhibit includes painting, illustration, a video, and sculpture, with a big dose of humor. It graphically illustrates how history is written by the victors.

Museo de los Metalesislocated at Av. Solano 11-83.

Directorio de Bienes y Servicios Creativos y la Cuenta Satélite

6:30 p.m.
A launch of new publications on creative services in Cuenca in the courtyard of the Court of Justice of Azuay, located on the corner of Benigno Malo and Mariscal Sucre.

The publications respond to the commitment to recognize culture as the fourth axis of sustainable development in Cuenca. The publications are free and available at the launch.

The first edition of the Directory of Creative Goods and Services seeks to similar to a U.S. yellow pages that lists local producers, artists, technicians and managers associated with the performing arts, musical, visual, audiovisual, plastic, literary, as well as design, illustration, tattoo, muralism, research and management of private and public cultural spaces.

The Satellite Account of the Culture of Cuenca offers an overviewon cultural products, executes a picture of public and private expenditure on culture and its financing, and makes visible a matrix of employment and non-monetary indicators for the welfare of consumers, producers and prosumers of culture. It also shows the relative economic weight of the various sectors that make up the culture in relation to the Provincial Gross Domestic Product and raises a research product that contributes to the activities of the cultural field.

Wednesday, January 23
Salsa lessons at Santa Canela every Wednesday

Do you want to learn Latin dances?
Every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Salsa, Merengue, Tango. $7 per person.
Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill and Lounge is located on Calle Larga 3-82 Y Vargas Machuca, pass Todos Santos.

Ecuadorian bowl workshop – a few spots left

In this 2-day workshop, Wednesday and Thursday, at idiomART, you will transform a locally hand-carved wooden bowl into a finished piece of art which reflects the culture and history of Ecuador.

Bowls can be used in your home for a variety of purposes (perhaps holding keys and change on your hall table?), or can simply be displayed as a work of art.

Instructor: Patricia (Trish) Lee

Day 1:
Participants begin the day at idiomART to prepare their bowls, first sanding and then painting the base color. After the sanding and painting is completed, the group will have a brief outdoor lunch on the way to Pumapungo Museum. At the museum the students will be able to view and sketch designs from local art/culture/history, which they will incorporate into their bowls the following day.

Day 2:
Participants begin by making a design-plan on paper for decorating their bowl, then using Sharpies (36 colors available!), they will draw the design onto the interior and exterior of the bowl. When finished, the bowls need nothing else — the Sharpies are permanent, and your bowl is ready to take home and enjoy.

Cost of this 2-day course is $30, plus a $10 materials fee which includes the wooden bowl, sandpaper, base paint for the bowls, spray varnish, and use of Sharpies. Total: $40

For more information and to register, email:

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella.

Scott Cushing’s “Streets of Tokyo” exhibition at idiomART

Exhibition continues through January 30, Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To see some of Scott’s work, you can go to this link:

idiomART is located at President Córdova 1-77 y Manuel Vega

and in the same part of el Centro is:

An exhibition by Garry C Kaulitz, at Cuenca Visual Arts Gallery

“One Exhibition Three Parts” deals with three observations all requiring a different media approach for each one.

The gallery will be open on Wednesdays, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m.

CVA Gallery is located next to the Santa Canela Bar on Calle Larga y Vargas Machuca.

Thursday, January 24
Primer Concierto Temporada 2019

8 p.m.
Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad first concert of the 2019 season.

The program includes Seventh Symphony by L. van Beethoven and the Concerto for violin and orchestra N 3 by W. A. ​​Mozart and more surprises from the hand of our fabulous guests.

Concert at the Old Cathedral of Cuenca, which was the main place of Spanish worship during the time of Spanish colonization in Cuenca. It functions today as the Museum for Religious Art and is located at the Parque Calderon, opposite the New Cathedral.

Do you have a love story to tell? Or any story?

The Spoken Word is a free performance of readings by local writers of their work, presented by The Cuenca Writers Collective. presented on the fourth Thursday of every month. If you’ve never heard of the Spoken Word, please come this Thursday, January 23, at the Sunrise Cafe, 9-40 Calle Larga, near Benigno Malo (doors open at five, readings begin promptly at 6:15-come early for a good seat).

Authors reading:
Ron Wooten-Green, Georgina Nunez, Duane Connell, Carolyn Hamilton, Jean McCord, Tom Larsen, and Frances A. Hogg.

You don’t have to be a member of any particular writing group or any group in order to participate, and all types of writing is welcome. There are three special programs in 2019: Love Stories on February 28, Funny Stories on May 23, and Animal Stories on September 23.

If you would like to be included in a Spoken Word program, or if you have question, contact Franny at 0939 297 017, or at

Vino and Van Gogh – You can Toucan!

Vino and Van Gogh at Cafe San Sebas offers a fun and unique way to uncork your creativity. Enjoy your favorite glass of wine while re-creating a featured painting of the night.

All supplies and your first glass of wine are provided as your hostess, Artist Amelia Earl guides you through creating a featured painting and help you unleash your inner Van Gogh.

Perfect for beginners and aficionados alike, our classes offer a fun, easy, stress-free chance to create a painting you can be proud of!

Food and Drinks will be available for purchase throughout the evening
Sign up now for an unforgettable time of painting, sipping and socializing!
Cost: $29
Time: 5 to 9 p.m.
Make your reservation by going to this link:

Event Location: Cafe San Sebas, Plaza San Sebastián

Friday, January 25
Ron Wooten-Green’s book launch of his groundbreaking “Bitter Harvest: Pesticides and Cancer — Avoidable Human Suffering”!

4 to 6 p.m.

Hospice Chaplain and Political Scientist, Ron Wooten-Green humanizes the cancer death-toll caused by the rampant use of pesticides on crops, lawns, gardens, and golf courses across the globe. This book takes the reader from the U.S. Midwest to the Southeast to the West to Canada to India, Malaysia, Ecuador and elsewhere with personal accounts of women’s lives, hopes and dreams prematurely destroyed by government and corporate collusion.

The author brings into the open the voices of Rachel Carson and many modern-day prophets and whistle-blowers positioning themselves between the power of profiteering and sustainable living.

The book launch will be at idiomART, PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Art History Salon

10:30 a.m. to Noon (Doors open at 10 a.m.)
Cost $10.  No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.

This week, Art Historian Berenice Cárdenas will be covering colonial art in Cuenca, the syncretism of Aboriginal and European religious art, at idiomART.  An optional field trip is planned for the afternoon.

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Cuencaes Ópera

In collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra of Cuenca, an Opera Gala has been prepared where prominent Ecuadorian soloists like Vanesa Regalado, Xavier Rivadeneira, Vanessa Freire and Alex Rodríguez will perform.

8 p.m. Free

Located at the Carlos Crespi Theater

Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27
Windshield Cowboys at the Castle

Original Americana rock this Saturday, January 26. The show will be from 7 to 9 p.m.
$5 cover charge.

If you love music like Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, Stones, Lucinda Williams, Old Crow Medicine Show, etc. then you will love this band with great songs and musicians that really know how to jam.

Get there early and have a nice meal at EAT or the Vegetable Bar. There is something for everyone and awesome drinks. Dine by the river. Reservations recommended.

The Castle is located on the Tomebamba River, with two entrances on 3 de Noviembre (200 feet downriver from the Broken Bridge) and on Bajada de Todos los Santos, (500 feet downhill from Todos Santos Church). Parking is available on Calle Larga, just above The Castle. You can take the stairs down from Calle Larga right to our Todos Santos entrance!

Magic in La Guarida with Juan Estrella

8 p.m. on Saturday
Tickets: $7

Come and enjoy a fun night with magician Juan Estrella who visits La Guarida for a second time. Food and drinks served. Will sell out fast so don’t forget to make your reservations now.

Reservations: 099.806.8071

Volleyball on Sunday

Have you played regulation international 6-on-6 volleyball in the past and are looking for a fun way to exercise? Good news! Play will be from Noon to 2 p.m.

Location is tournament style outdoor net on the grass just west of the soccer field at the west end of Parque El Paraiso (not too far from Banos and refreshments!).

For more information, email Gary at

Coming soon!
Pablo Neruda’s Love Poems at CVA on Valentine’s Day

Cuenca Visual Arts is putting together an informal reading of poems by the beloved Latin poet, Pablo Neruda, on Valentine’s Day. It would be early, so people can still enjoy a special Valentine’s dinner.

If you are interested in reading one of Neruda’s love poems, in Spanish or English, please contact Janda Grove to be added to the list.

It would be nice to have each poem read in English and Spanish, but not necessary. Find a love poem and volunteer.

Also, to honor the passing of contemporary American poet, Mary Oliver, there could be a reading of one or more of her poems. She touched many of us with her words.

The reading would be held at the Cuenca Visual Arts Gallery on Calle Larga, in the Santa Canela Building. Add it to your calendar now!

Contact Janda by email if you are interested in participating at

Guitarra VIVA. Mario Arévalo y Bolívar Avila. en Concierto

Friday, February 8 at 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Mario Arévalo, from Colombia, and Bolívar Ávila, from Ecuado,r come together to give us a recital with their new works. It will be a recital where, in addition, their individual performances will give us duo pieces of the Colombian and Ecuadorian musical tradition.

Mario Arévalo is a prominent Colombian concert player and one of the most internationally known names in the Latin American guitar.

Bolívar Ávila is an important classical guitarist in the national scene. He has participated in international festivals such as the “Guitarijeando International Guitar Fest”, in Bolivia, in 2018. He isthe director of the Cultural Center and Guitar Studio “SONO”.

Location: Teatro Casa De La Cultura, Sala Alfonso Carrasco

What’s Happening Under the Domes is a weekly column by Sara Coppler. Sara has lived in Ecuador for over 5 years. She is an architect by training, who has worked for more than two decades in the field of international development and poverty housing. She is a co-founder of idiomART, a creative community center in Cuenca. Having admired the creative process throughout her life,she describes herself as a “Head Cheerleader for the Arts.” It’sthis enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at

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