Profound ignorance, profound misery, boundless faith and love: All are elements of the photography of Rosalind Solomon. A chronicler of unvarnished humanity, unabashedly in the tradition of the legendary Diane Arbus, Solomon travels the world searching, seemingly, for evidence of mankind's ignominy.
A collection of her powerful large-format black-and-white portraits of anonymous people from the American South, Asia and Central and South America is on view at Kathleen Ewing Gallery. From the image of a pathetic "Pregnant Construction Worker, Sakhu, Nepal" -- her hands and feet are disfigured by leprosy but she smiles for the camera anyway -- to the scary picture of a bloated, middle-aged "Man With Gun, Scottsboro, Alabama," these are images that cannot help but hit the viewer in the eye. The exhibit runs through Nov. 28.
This will be a week for unusual short operas, thanks to the Maryland Opera Studio and the imaginative "Opera in the Chapel" series at Mount Vernon College. In the University of Maryland's Tawes Recital Hall, the Opera Studio will perform Bohuslav Martinu's "Comedy on the Bridge" and Thomas Pasatieri's "Maria Elena," Friday night and Dec. 6 and 8. In the Hand Chapel at Mount Vernon College, Lawrence Moss's "The Brute" (based on Chekhov's "The Bear"), a staged version of Berlioz's "Les Nuits d'Ete" and Gustav Holst's "Savitri" (based on an episode from the Mahabharata) will be performed Wednesday, Saturday and next Sunday.
Other vocal music this week: American Boychoir, Friday night at Strathmore Hall; Judith Nelson, soprano, with oboist Gerard Reuter, and harpsichordist Colin Tilney, Friday night at the National Academy of Sciences; the annual "Christmas Revels," Thursday through Sunday at Lisner Auditorium; National Christian Choir, Saturday at Sherwood High School.
Alesandro Siciliani will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra this week in an all-French program that will include Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 with William Neil as organ soloist. The orchestra will also give two family concerts in its popular "Encore" series on Saturday.
Also playing this week: the American University Symphony Orchestra, Saturday night at the Kay Spiritual Center; the McLean Orchestra, Saturday night at Langley High School.
Highlights of the week's chamber music will include the 20th Century Consort, performing music of Schindler, Hindemith, Davidovsky and Ives, Saturday at the Hirshhorn Museum; the Smithson String Quartet, with violist Lisa Rautenbert, performing string quintets of Mozart, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Renwick Gallery; cellist Aurora Natola Ginastera, Friday night in the Terrace Theater; National Musical Arts performing music of Latin America, Saturday night at the National Academy of Sciences; Chamber Artists of Washington, performing music of Rorem, Beethoven and Faure, Saturday night at the French Embassy; Washington Music Ensemble, Friday night at the German Embassy.
Pianists of the week: Anton Kuerti, tonight at the National Gallery; Jeffrey Biegel, Thursday night in the Terrace Theater; Trio Lyrika, Thursday, and Angela Hewitt, Friday, at the Canadian Embassy; Joel Wizanski, piano, today at the Phillips Collection; Tzvetan Konstantinov, Tuesday at the Church of the Epiphany.
DanceBrazil, the thrilling dance-cum-Afro-Brazilian martial arts troupe led by Jelon Vieira, performs at Publick Playhouse Friday evening, in a program featuring the martial idioms known as capoeira and maculele. On Friday evening and Sunday afternoon at the All Souls Unitarian Church, the Dance Performance Group presents works by Havlik, Carmela Liebert, Arden Sweet, and longtime Erick Hawkins dancer Cathy Ward.
Stronger drugs, meaner guns and a bigger hole in the ozone plague 1997 Los Angeles, the soot-and-crime-darkened setting for the terrifying blood riot that is "Predator 2." The latest in the all-American urban rot genre, this magilla of a thriller offers more familiar fireworks from the zealous producers of "Predator," "Die Hard" and "48 Hrs." And though Schwarzeneggerless, the sequel finds a new lethal weapon in Danny Glover.
Gee, Thursday's going to be a tough choice: the Cycle Sluts From Hell are at the Bayou, and the annual "Christmas Revels" opens a six-shows-in-four-days stand at Lisner Auditorium.
Hardcore/thrash metal forefathers Agnostic Front have reunited, sort of, and they'll be at the 9:30 club on Thursday with Sick of It All.
Frank Morgan, the veteran saxophonist whose return has been as rewarding musically as it has been socially, is at the Barns Friday; young sax phenom Ralph Moore unveils his prodigious gifts at the One Step Down Friday and Saturday.
Country music darling Rosanne Cash gives us an early gift with solo performances Saturday at the Birchmere.
Louisiana moves into town when C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band do the do Saturday at the Kennedy-Warren Ballroom.