Bay Area Life on Stage

By Gerrye Wong September 29,  2023

Facing his own mortality, the tech icon Steve Jobs looks back at the triumphs and trials,  Steve Jobs was heralded as one of history’s greatest tech visionaries but was also a music man. The iPod (which Apple released in 2001 while Jobs was boss) and the iTunes store (launched in 2003) helped boost the fortunes of the beleaguered music industry by persuading people to pay for songs instead of stealing them. Twenty years later, some are looking to Jobs to help music again—this time, opera. The ®evolution of Steve jobs, by acclaimed San Francisco composer Mason Bates and Pulitzer-winning librettist Mark Campbell, comes home to the place where it all began. His device brought the world to our fingertips, connected us in unparalleled ways, and streamlined communication. But, as the opera showed us, for the man behind the machine, life was far from streamlined.

Under the baton of Michael Christie, Bates’ score takes us on an operatic journey through the fragmented memory of love, betrayal, obsession and death, weaving together classical lyricism and a techno soundscape informed by the audio of early computers.

The Jobs Opera performances are limited – Saturday September 30, Tuesday October 3, and Saturday October 7, so do not miss this experience of a person who came from our bay area and changed the way things were done around the world.  There are discussion groups pre and post-show to talk about the opera, and the man it was written about. Having lived in Silicon Valley from the 1960s when the high tech world was changed due to this man Steve Jobs’ vision and accomplishment, I found his story put into opera was most fascinating.  Thank you, San Francisco Opera for bringing it first to our local scene where it all began.       For info: SFOpera.com.


CHCP (Chinese Historical Cultural Project) of Silicon Valley  is proud to announce it is forming a Chinese Lion Dance and Dragon team to help engage families, the younger generation and our community to help in our mission to promote/ educate about the Chinese American community.  With its Dragon Team, CHCP anticipates it will be on stage many times during the year to bring visual excitement to many Chinese themed events in 2024 and beyond.

Many may ask, what is the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project ? I can personally tell that it is an organization founded in 1967 with the  mission  to Promote, Educate, and Preserve Chinese and Chinese American history and culture in the Santa Clara County.  As the leader of this Dragon Team formation,. Mike Mak, said, “The CHCP is based in San Jose and I’m proud to be a board member that hopes to bring young people to be interested  and informed about Chinese rituals and symbols. ”




Mak continued, “We are looking for Middle to high school kids to help with our team to help with our mission.  If you are an adult and are interested in joining please let me know. If we have enough interest in an adult team,  we will gladly train a 2nd team.  Practice will be once a week primarily on Saturday Morning at History San Jose Park from 10am-12pm.  Being a part of the team is free to all members’ families of CHCP.  Other student memberships are $25 and family memberships are $85. Both are 100% tax deductible.  Membership is open to everyone regardless of race. Training will be provided by White Crane Lion & Dragon Association which has been doing lion/ dragon dancing since 1971. White Crane also has been chosen as the closing act for San Francisco Chinese New Years Parade for 40+ years and has extensive experience in dragon performances.


If you, your child, or your family is interested in being part of this historic and fun group,  please contact Mike Mak at Mike.Mak@chcp.org or Liz Chew at liz.chew@chcp.org



Last month APA Family Support Services (APAFSS) held a grand celebration of its 36th anniversary by organizing a free community event to share joy.  The event occurred right in the center of Chinatown on Grant Ave., between Sacramento Street and Clay Streets.  Established 36 years ago at San Francisco General Hospital, APAFSS has been dedicated to serving Chinese and other Asian families, and now serves all ethnicities.

This grand celebration attracted over a thousand community residents, including many families with children who had a great time engaged in booth games, enjoying multicultural performances that included lion dancing, diverse cultural dances, and traditional Chinese and African drumming. As Executive Director Fannie Lam explained, “Since its establishment at San Francisco General Hospital, APA has expanded to seven offices, offering services in languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, Thai, Spanish and English.  It primarily serves non-English speaking and culturally diverse residents serving over 8000 families with children and youths, thus making significant contributions to underserved families over the years.”  Major staff members under Lam include Ms. Fammary Saephan, Director of Programs, Ms Ginny Wu, Director of Finance and Operations, and Barbara Chung, Community Outreach and Training Manager.



The three Family Resource Centers (FRC) operate in San Francisco and support the growth and development of family members, including children, youth and adults. Some services include providing parenting education, case management enhanced visitation, workshops, cultural competency support, summer programs, family events and field trips, family and parent and peer support groups. APAFSS count proudly one of their services  ls emotional support and timely counseling to many underprivileged families.


A very congenial dedicated leader of the organization, Fannie Lam adds, “in order to continuously serve low income families, the group seeks support and donations from the community.  Donation methods include car donation and monthly sponsorships.  Any contributions will not only help low-income families, but also include tax deductions to the donor to the extent permitted by law.”  Donation hotline is 415 616 9797. For direct donations, check QR code on APAFSS’s donation webpage.


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