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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Strange Love: the berserk engagement of Richard Strauss

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Some men plan a midnight stroll by the beach. Others a calm picnic under stars… Richard Strauss‘ engagement to temperamental soprano Pauline de Ahna involved: 1. being shrieked at by a soprano, having a musical score thrown at his head, and ducking flying objects Elizabeth Lundy, in her book, Secret Lives of Great Composers, reports that after being conducted by Strauss in an opera rehearsal, Miss Diva Pauline went ballistic over a difference of opinion over tempo. “Pauline threw her score at Strauss’s head…the entire orchestra tiptoed.. so they could listen to the screaming, shrieking, and occasional thuds as objects flew around the room… The musicians announced that in respect for their conductor and in protest of Pauline’s outrageous behavior, they would refuse to participate in any further production in which Fraulein de Ahna had a role. “That distresses me,” said Strauss,

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Mozart and the Barber Shop Chase

“Why Can’t you Sit Still? “Because I’m Mozart” In his delightful tome, The Book of Musical Anecdotes, Norman Lebrecht reveals that the perpetually inspired Mozart led his Barber on a hair-cutting chase: “Every moment an idea would occur to him…he would run to the clavier, the barber after him, hair-ribbon in hand.” Luckily for Mozart, the barber had a steady hand.

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Hans Von Bülow and leafy greens

Keep your rotten plants away from me! According to eminent music critic, Harold C. Schonberg in his book, The Great Conductors (Simon & Schuster 1967) German maestro Hans von Bülow cringed at the idea of being crowned, Apollo-style, with plants. When a committee attempted to present him with a laurel wreath, he rejected their tribute, saying, “I’m not a vegetarian.”

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Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions: Western Region

All Photography and Text © 2011 Leticia Marie Sanchez All Rights Reserved. Passionate singers, heavenly arias, storm clouds, and an adorable Jack Russell Terrier! It was a dark and stormy night. Or day, rather. (Yes, there will be a canine featured in this operatic tale. No, it’s neither Snoopy nor the Red Baron). The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions! Where contestants sing their hearts out for a chance to sing on the Met stage in New York.. Zipper Concert Hall, Colburn School of Music, Downtown Los Angeles: Ten talented singers wait in the wings for their chance to shine… Audience-favorite,  Narine Ojakhyan’s voice was heavenly as she sang “Regnava nel Silenzio” from Lucia Di Lammermoor, for which she received thunderous applause. Winners: Joseph Lim – 1st place and going to New York Marina Boudart Harris – 2nd place Narine Ojakhyan – 3rd

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Baroque Conversations 3: LA Chamber Orchestra- February 17th

Thursday February 17- 7pm “Baroque Conversations 3” Jory Vinikour, conductor & harpsichord MUFFAT Concerto Grosso No. 12, “Propitia Sydera” (“Lucky Stars”) HANDEL Chaconne from Terpsichore WF BACH Harpsichord Concerto in D major ROYER Suite in C minor for Solo Harpsichord RAMEAU Suite of Dances from Hippolyte et Aricie Zipper Concert Hall. 200 South Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 For more information on tickets, please call 213 622 7001 x 215. Or visit: http://www.laco.org/

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Music Review- The Pasadena Symphony & the Kramer Effect

The Pasadena Symphony: Old Friends Immortalized- the Kramer Effect By Leticia Marie Sanchez On Saturday evening, in its incarnation at the Ambassador Auditorium, the Pasadena Symphony came alive. 27-year old guest conductor Tito Muñoz led the symphony on an exploration of Benjamin Britten’s “Soirees Musicales”, Dvorák’s “Cello Concerto in B minor, and Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” In contrast to its previous location near bustling Paseo Colorado, the symphony’s new venue, nestled between pools and the Egret Fountain designed by British sculptor David Wynne, embodies an atmosphere of tranquil civility. The venue, once hailed by Ella Fitzgerald for its fine acoustics, allowed the nuances of individual instrumentation to flourish, rivaling the sound of Downtown LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. An important facet of art is its ability to capture the essences of loved ones, to paint affectionate portraits, and bequeath them

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A Star is Born! Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Auditions

A STAR (OF THE OPERA) IS BORN! Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Auditions Finals to take place Saturday, October 23, 2010  – 1 p.m. Zipper Concert Hall at The Colburn School. The roster of renowned singers whose early careers involved competing in the Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Audition Finals includes Leona Mitchell, Sondra Radvanovsky and Deborah Voigt. Those wishing to hear the upcoming generation of opera stars are invited to attend the 2010-2011 Western Regional Audition Finals on Saturday, October 23. “The purpose of the auditions is to discover exceptionally talented opera singers and assist them in their development,” explains Molly Siefert, Western Regional Director. Judges who will hear the singers participating in the auditions on October 23 are- Christopher Hahn, General Director – Pittsburgh Opera Gianni Rolandi, Director - Young Artists Program, Lyric Opera of Chicago Christopher Macatsoris, Music Director –

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Ring Festival June Highlights

Two-day Conference: “Wagner in LA: The Opera of the 21st Century?” June 1–2, 2010, 10 am–6 pm Hammer Museum 1pm Spectral Gesamtkunstwerk Juliet Koss, Chair, Department of Art History, Scripps College 2:30pm Re-Inventing Bayreuth for the 21st Century: The 2007 Meistersinger as a Self Reflection of Performance History Clemens Risi, Professor of Theater, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, Berlin 4pm The Ring in Pieces: Götterdämmerung (Stuttgart Opera, Peter Konwitschny, 2002-2003) David Levin, Professor of German and Theater and Performance, University of Chicago 5:30pm Wagner as a Christian Jew: The Alternate Endings of The Twilight of the Gods Slavoj Zizek, Senior Researcher, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia 7pm Public Reception Info: www.hammer.ucla.edu or (310) 443-7000. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024 “Wagner and Myth,” June 5, 2010, 10 am–4 pm; LACMA A day-long seminar featuring LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director James Conlon, LACMA curator

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Ring Festival LA: May Highlights

Robert v. Fullerton Art Museum California State University, San Bernardino “Timeless Enchantment: Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung in Performance, from Bayreuth in 1876 to LA in 2010,” May 12, 2010, 5 pm Info: museum.csusb.edu or (909) 537-5000. 5500 University Pkwy. San Bernardino, CA 92407 LA Opera Library Project: Free Speakers Bureau talks Beverly Hills Public Library. “The Men of the Ring of the Niebelung,” May 18, 2010, 7 pm. 444 N. Rexford Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 288-2220, www.bhpl.org University of Southern California: Brain and Creativity Institute Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater. “Myth, Wagner and the Human Brain,” May 30, 2010, 3–5 pm A colloquium, featuring acclaimed theater and opera director Peter Sellars, world-renowned visual artist Bill Viola, and Antonio Damasio, internationally-renowned  neurologist . Tickets: $10, www.redcat.org, (213) 237-2800. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA

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Largest LA Cultural festival since the 1984 Olympics!

April 15 – June 30, 2010 The first ever presentation in Los Angeles of  the  four-opera drama The Ring of the Nibelung. For a full listing of events, please visit: http://www.ringfestivalla.com/ for the multiplicity of events from not only LA Opera, but also from cultural institutions as diverse as UCLA, Descanso Gardens, and American Jewish University. Photography © LA Opera

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