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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Cultural Cocktail Hour in Paris: Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera, Part II

Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera Part Two by Leticia Marie Sanchez All Photography and text © 2012 Leticia Marie Sanchez Charles Garnier declared, “I have two shows in my opera; one on the stage and one in the theater.” The most prestigious box, that of the emperor, was monitored by bodyguards. Nobles and industrialists had private boxes equipped with a curtain that came in handy for playing cards, ordering food, and engaging in amorous intrigue. On the ground floors stood working professionals, writers, and composers. Ladies were not allowed on the ground floor due to the tight conditions and bumping which resulted in occasional fisticuffs. Only prostitutes stood here as very few ladies in the nineteenth century worked as writers or composers. The very high chicken box nosebleed seats were called Paradise: one was close to heaven but could see nothing.  

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Cultural Cocktail Hour reports from Paris: Garnier and the Paris Opera

A brief history of Le Palais Garnier: Persona Non Grata and the Opera Bombs By Leticia Marie Sanchez All Paris Photography and Text © 2012 Leticia Marie Sanchez Persona Non Grata On the exuberant opening night at Le Palais Garnier, the Paris opera, one person was not on the guest list: Charles Garnier, the opera’s architect. In order to attend the inauguration ceremony with his wife, the landmark’s architect had to pay one hundred and twenty francs out of his own pocket. Persona Non Grata. Persona Non Gratis. Garnier’s status had changed from revered architect to social pariah due to the shift in Paris’s political landscape. Garnier had been selected during a competition in 1861 under the reign of Napoleon III. The opening ceremony took place fourteen years later, under a vastly different regime. The government of the Third Republic had an

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Rock on, Gottlieb– the many nicknames of Mozart

First published by Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011 Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark by Leticia Marie Sanchez A lecture by Professor Robert Greenberg, from San Francisco Performances, revealed hidden gems about Mozart’s name. Enjoy! Baptized Name: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart The divinely-inspired composer adored word games. He called himself: Di Mozartini, Mozartus, and Mozarti  He also enjoyed playing with the letters of his name and called himself:  Romatz, Trazom, Volfgangus (Latin Version) Gangflow (backwards)  His middle name, Theophilus, had the most permutations  His father called him GOTTLIEB because Gottlieb is the German version of Theophilus- “love of God”) What was Mozart’s personal favorite?  Amédée, the French version, which he picked up when he lived in Paris.  He actually never referred to himself as Amadeus!  (Unless it was a joke, then he would call him self Woolfgangus Amadeus) Out of

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Bach and the Nanny-Goat Bassoonist

Some celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  on March 21st, some on March 31st (due to the differences in the Gregorian and the Julian calendar). We here at Cultural Cocktail Hour celebrate BACH’s BIRTHDAY  all month long! In honor of his birthday, here is an anecdote about the musical legend: Bach…the Brawler? Did J.S Bach, the eminent composer of such celestial works as the Goldberg Variations, the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Brandenberg concertos, and the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor have an alter ego? It appears that the clever Kapellmeister, director of heavenly choirs, and the composer of music divine, may have had a mischievous streak. As choir director in Arnsadt, the 20-year old Bach got into fisticuffs with a student named Johann Geyersbach. The brawl originated thusly: walking softly and carrying a big stick, Geyersbach approached Bach as he crossed the marketplace

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Is an opera singer allowed to smile?

  This article originally appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011 by Leticia Marie Sanchez In 2011 critics blasted Anna Nebtreko, star of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for daring to smile on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera. The audience wildly cheered Ms. Netrebko after a particularly grueling and moving rendition of the aria Al dolce guidami. Netrebko, who had been gazing upward, briefly smiled, causing the audience to erupt in more cheers. The critics lambasted her for this gesture, which they claim caused her to break character. Their negative reaction begs the question: for whom are singers performing: naysaying critics or their beloved audience? What about the bond between a singer and the audience? Opera celebrates the wide gamut of human emotions. Why should should natural feelings and spontaneous impulses be constrained? When a singer is not allowed to acknowledge the connection

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Mozart’s Mug Shot?

Holy Cadenza! Do you recognize this guy? This photo represents a facial composite of  that 21 year old wunderkind Mozart, created in the around 1990s by the Bundeskriminalamt Wiesbaden—the Federal Criminal Police Office of Wiesbaden, Germany—from four portraits painted during the composer’s lifetime, according to the website Dangerous Minds. Via: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/mozarts_mug_shot What do you think? Would you trust this guy with a Sonata? Incidentally, Mozart found forgiveness for one of the few “illegal” activities in which he found himself embroiled. As a 14 year old, he created the first illegal copy of “Misere,” a piece heavily protected by the Vatican. Even copying the piece from memory (as Mozart did) was punishable by excommunication. However, when the Pope met the young prodigy, instead of scolding him, he lavished the youngster with high praise. But, of course!

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Met Opera Auditions- Western Region Finals- Zipper Hall

This past Sunday was yet another afternoon filled with wonderful talent. Opera Singers from across the Western Region vied for a chance to sing on the Met Stage at auditions held at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall. Soprano Julia Metzler garnered the coveted first place! Congratulations! Other standouts included the poised, charming, and vocally impressive Katherine Beck who garnered audience acclaim for her rendition of Rossini’s “Una Voce Poco Fa” from the Barber of Seville. Tenor Brian Michael Moore was another audience favorite at the ripe old age of 25. These young singers give hope to the future of opera. Bravi!

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For a Halloween Treat- Karl Richter performs J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

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Classical Music for healing

Hopeful music during these dark days of violence and tragedy. Thank you to Brian Lauritzen – KUSC for sharing this inspiring piece of music on his program. The St. Olaf Choir, Anton Armstrong, Conductor, performs “Even When He Is Silent” by Kim André Arnesen.

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Cultural Cocktail Hour Contest- Win 2 tickets to season opening of Pittance Chamber Music

Southern California Residents, please email culturalcocktail@gmail.com a message about you think is missing in the LA Arts and culture scene. What do you think would MOST improve the performing arts in LA? SUBJECT LINE: CCH Contest The winning entry will receive a pair of tickets to the season opening performance of the Pittance Chamber Music! Deadline for sending your contest entry is Thursday September 7th. The concert is Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at ​Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall. The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 The season opening program program of Mozart, Berg, Brahms and Bernstein, featuring Principal players from the LA Opera Orchestra, along with Domingo Colburn Stein Young Artist, soprano Elizabeth Zharoff.  The full program is listed below: Soprano:        Elizabeth Zharoff  Horn:              Steven Becknell 

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