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Review: Simon Boccanegra at LA Opera- a MUST-SEE Production

          Review: LA Opera’s Simon Boccanegra A Night of Dignity and Glory by Leticia Marie Sanchez ©2012 Director Elijah Moshinsky’s Simon Boccanegra, now on stage at LA Opera, was originally created in 1991 for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and exudes majesty and dignity. The plebians, the ninety-nine percent movement in fourteenth-century Genoa, want to occupy the Doge’s palace and remove the patricians from power through the corsair hero of the masses, Simon Boccanegra. Moshinsky’s glorious production does not use any gimmicks or flash. Instead, through his elegant reverence for history and a beautifully refined set, the music and characters come to the forefront of the opera, riveting the audience as does Plácido Domingo in the title role. Even before Simon Boccanegra begins, a blue impressionist screen sets the stage, alluding to the oceans conquered

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Cultural Events LA: Feb 10, 11, 12

Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra starring  Plácido Domingo Opening Night Sat Feb 11th 7:30 p.m. LA Opera. 135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-8001 http://www.laopera.com/ ARIA Night at the Opera Sat. Feb. 11 On opening night, members will attend the Company Premiere of Simon Boccanegra and immediately following the performance, gather for cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres at downtown LA’s historic Engine Co. No. 28 For information, please visit: http://www.losangelesopera.com/community/youngpro.aspx  New Faces from Egypt: Roman Panel Paintings Sat. Feb. 11 2:00 p.m Getty Villa, Auditorium. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA. (310) 440-7300 Admission: Free; a ticket is required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the “Get Tickets” button on the website below. Parking fee: $15 http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/lectures/roman_panel_paintings.html

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In the news: Lost work by Brahms discovered in Princeton Library

  Conductor and Musicologist Christopher Hogwood discovered a two-minute piano piece by Johannes Brahms in a Princeton library. Brahms had composed the piece when he was only 20 years old. The piece received its world premiere this year by pianist Andras Schiff on BBC Radio 3.  For the full story, read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/13/brahms-piano-piece-premiere To listen to the gem of a piece, please visit:

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Cultural Events LA Feb 3, 4, 5, & 7

A Conversation with Gary Oldman at LACMA Followed by a screening of The Contender Fri. Feb 3. 7:30 p.m 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036. (323) 857-6000 For further information, please view: http://www.lacma.org/event/oldman-conversation-contender Chinese New Year Festival 2012 at the Huntington Sat Feb. 4 & Sun Feb 5 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Musical performances, dragon dancing, calligraphy, & more. 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108. 626.405.2100 For the full program schedule, please view: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary_02.aspx?id=5818 Joshua Bell at Walt Disney Concert Hall Tues. Feb 7th Mendelssohn: Violin Sonata in F Major; Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108; Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano; Ysaÿe: Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 27, No. 3, “Ballade;” Gershwin: Three Preludes. 111 South Grand Ave. LA, CA 90012 323.850.2000 http://www.laphil.com

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Cultural Events LA- Jan 27, 28, 29

Da Camera Society Fri. Jan. 27.  8 pm Augustin Hadelich, violin & Joyce Yang, piano Pompeian Room,  Doheny Mansion. 8 Chester Place, LA, CA, 90007. 213-477-2929 http://dacamera.org/ Memling’s “Portrait of a Man” on loan from The Frick Collection Opens Fri. Jan. 27 Norton Simon 411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/   Mahler: Symphony No. 6 Sat, Jan 28, 8:00pm Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gustavo Dudamel, conductor. Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 South Grand Avenue. LA, CA 90012 323.850.2000 http://www.laphil.com/            

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Cultural Events LA- Jan 20, 21, 22

The recipe for this weekend’s delicious Cultural Cocktail Hour includes: One Part classical music in a museum, Two Doses of Mozart and an award-winning young violinist, and a Splash of the brightest stars in the contemporary art world. Shaken, not stirred. Enjoy! The Italian Connection: An Evening of Piano Masterworks- Norton Simon Fri. Jan. 20 7:00 p.m. Thomas Pandolfi, pianist Program includes: Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor, transcribed for solo piano by Earl Wild, four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, a nocturne by Ottorino Respighi, and Franz Liszt’s Dante Sonata Held in the 20th-century gallery. Stickers for ensured seating will be distributed starting at 6:00 p.m. 411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/ Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presents Mozart (Mostly) Sat Jan 21- 8:00 p.m Alex Theater, Glendale; Sunday Jan 22 Royce Hall, UCLA- 7:00 p.m. Andrew Shulman, conductor. Nigel Armstrong, violin. Mozart

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Plácido Domingo Awards Dinner- Feb 19th

Enjoy Dinner with Plácido Domingo During the presentations at the 14th  Plácido Domingo Awards Dinner Sunday, Feb. 19th, 2012 Eva and Marc Stern Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion After the 2:00 p.m. performance of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra For more information, please visit: http://www.hispanicsforlaopera.org/  or call (213) 792-7338

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In the news: Live Classical Music helps veterans in California hospital

Today, The Los Angeles Times reported an uplifting story related to the health benefits of music. Live classical music performances by a harpist and classical guitarist, improved the well-being of patients at a California hospital. The patients were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among other issues.Upon observing the significant changes in his patients, one doctor remarked, “It’s like an amazing miracle, and I don’t say that lightly.”  Vermeer. The Guitar Player. 1672.   For the full story, please read: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ptsd-music-20120116,0,1657849.story

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Cultural Cocktail Hour heads to San Francisco: “Masters of Venice” at the de Young Fine Arts Museum

Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power  By Leticia Marie Sanchez It was the best of times. It was the best of times. Stepping into San Francisco’s de Young Museum of Fine Arts is stepping into the Venetian Renaissance. Entering the exhibit you feel like one of the many pilgrims shown in the de Young’s reproduction of Bellini’s panoramic scene on Piazza San Marco. Gentile Bellini: Procession in the Piazza San Marco, 1496. The Masters of Venice applies to the city’s painters and power-brokers. Canvases of Venetian merchant ships made the city a maritime power. Canvases of avant-garde artists during the Quattrocento and Cinquecento like Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto pushed the creative envelope. The Venetian School revolutionized painting by shifting away from rigid wood panels, favoring canvases as a medium of choice as well as oil painting instead of

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Rodarte to design costumes for LA Phil’s May production of “Don Giovanni”

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced that fashion house Rodarte, who designed the costumes for the film “Black Swan” will be creating the sartorial operatic look for Mozart’s libidinous lothario, Don Giovanni. The fully staged opera debuts on May 18th at Walt Disney Concert hall.  Guess who will be in charge of the set design? None other than Frank Gehry, the mastermind architect behind Walt Disney Concert Hall itself. Not too shabby, LA Phil. Not too shabby, at all!         

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