its high-caliber programming. The series reached a new level in February 2005 with the presentation of accordion player/ composer Guy Klucevsek, who rarely performs on the West Coast and can usually be seen playing large concert halls worldwide. He has now appeared in two installments. With funding from several arts grants, the presenters have been able to bring more artists from outside of the Bay Area, such as New York-based percussionist Cyro Baptista, who has played with the likes of Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg.
At two installments last summer, Nanos Operetta presented US premiers of works by two contemporary composers based in Europe (Boris Kovac and Arnold Drey- blatt). The pieces were performed by the Chepikov String Quartet, a chamber ensemble that was created for the series.
Since establishing 3 Drops of Blood, Nanos Operetta has become a recognizable name in the Bay Area arts community. Last year the director of the San Francisco International Arts Festival invited the group to perform in the festival. Artists who have participated in 3 Drops of Blood have asked the ensemble to collaborate outside of the series—one such collab-oration led to a Bay Area dance award for music they composed and performed to accompany a butoh dance piece.
Iranian director Bahman Kiarostami was also impressed by Nanos Operetta's music when he saw them at a series installment. He commissioned them to score the music to one of his films, a documentary called
Persian Garden. This spring, the group will go on a two-week tour with the film, performing the music live as it is screened in museums across the country.
And as for the future of 3 Drops of Blood? The series has been booked through its tenth installment. After that, Tabatabai says he hopes that the series will become an annual event that spans a few days. "The idea originally was to get exposure to Nanos... But I just think it's great, and there's nothing like that out there. And people love it. For me, a person who has a very short attention span, it's perfect, because you can go there and see 15 minutes of something and then boom—it's something different... It's the whole thing of making people want more... because if they walk away feeling like they wanted that segment to be longer, you've done your job—it was great."
More information about the series, including past and future performers, can be found at www.nanosoperetta.com. The site also features a two-minute trailer with scenes from the first two installments.
Opposite: Jennifer Wright Cook