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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Pittance Chamber Music

Pittance Chamber Music and the Chambers of the Heart By Leticia Marie Sanchez All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez Chamber Music comprises music that can be played in a large room or chamber, or as denoted by the French “chambre.” This week’s concert by Pittance Chamber Music suggests a second meaning: music that penetrates the chamber of the heart. The ensemble evoked a raw immediacy and poignancy through their talented performance and moving repertoire. Particularly moving were the pieces set to verse. Ralph Vaughan William’s “On Wenlock Edge” was set to “A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman while Benjamin Britten’s “Folk Songs,” included the verses of 18th century Irish Poet Thomas Moore. Tenor Arnold Livingtson Geis sublimely captured the nuanced shades of love, death, loss, and humor in the verses which were simultaneously rooted in nature and soaring in spirit.

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Review: “Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment”- a MUST SEE Exhibit at the Getty Center

Review: “Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment” at the Getty Center by Leticia Marie Sanchez  All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez This Enlightening Cultural Cocktail recipe includes: Splashes of Sculpture and Infusions of Drawing! Juxtaposition is the name of the game at the Getty’s exhibit on Edmé Bouchardon. Sculpture and Drawing. The Sacred and the Profane. Aristocracy and the Common Man. Juxtapositions work seamlessly in this vast exhibit, co-organized by the Musée du Louvre, providing a window into an artist of the Enlightenment, who was truly a Renaissance Man. The son of a provincial sculptor, Bouchardon first studied under his father and then under sculptor Guillaume Coustou. Winner of the Prix De Rome, Bouchardon lived in Italy for a decade. His Italian sojourn proved to be a formative part of his career; Bourchardon immersed himself in classical works, refining his

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Review: Bacchanalia at the Getty Villa: A Haunted House Party

Bacchanalia at the Getty Villa by Leticia Marie Sanchez Roman party god Bacchus would look down fondly at the revelry taking place this fall at the Getty Villa Theater. Wine, women, and song abound. Director Matt Walker and his engaging Troubador Theater Company have adapted the work of Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus, refreshing lines from 200 B.C. with contemporary, hilarious zingers. The age-old story involves a prodigal son, Philolaches, partying like a rock star while his unsuspecting father, Theopropiedes, travels abroad. Aptly entitled “The Haunted House Party,” the ambiance of the adaptation feels like a ninety-minute zany house party with characters rapping, breaking into dance routines, and even calling out late audience members. As Matt Walker declared to the audience, “there is no fourth wall.” The strength of this production lies in the talented cast, spontaneous ad libs, audience

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Ticket to Nirvana- Buddhist Replica Caves at the Getty Center

By Leticia Marie Sanchez Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road Exhibit Closes on September 4, 2016 Stepping into one of the Buddhist Replica Caves at the Getty Center- away from the never-ending traffic, unrelenting tragedy in the news, and ceaseless summer political diatribes- feels like a welcome taste of Nirvana.                   Ommmmmmm. Standing inside one of these exquisitely crafted jewel boxes, one can almost levitate- at least mentally- with the flights of fancy inspired by visions of colorful mountains, praying bodhisattvas, and winged spiritual beings that grace the ceiling. The Getty’s Julia Grimes provided enlightening details about the replica caves, modeled after caves on China’s Silk Road, some dating back to the 4th century. Grimes explained that at the time the caves were first designed, Buddhism was a

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“Duchamp to Pop”- A Must-See Exhibit

  by Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark This week’s Cultural Cocktail Hour involves a Pinch of Parody, a Dose of Double Entendre, and a Highball of Warhol- Bottom’s Up! “Duchamp to Pop” is a must-see exhibit in Southern California due to the wit of Marcel Duchamp and his influence on the Pop Art Movement. CCH loves any exhibit where you can unleash your inner art detective; “Duchamp to Pop” lends itself to peeling back layers of culture and indulging in wordplay and irony. Cheeky puns are the name of the game. For instance, when one usually thinks of the Mona Lisa, one imagines crowds of tourists lining up to see a dignified work encased behind glass, vigilantly guarded by museum security. Quite to the contrary, Marcel Duchamp’s mischievous Mona Lisa, La Joconde, bears an absurd mustache,

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Review: “Made in L.A” by the Los Angeles Master Chorale

Passport to the Human Soul: LA Master Chorale’s Made in LA By Leticia Marie Sanchez LA Master Chorale’s Made in LA provided audiences with a passport to the human soul. The diverse program not only allowed concertgoers to experience distinct cultures, but also transported them on a journey to understand the human condition in all its complexity: solitude, pain, love and redemption. Prior to the concert, LA Master Chorale’s Artistic Director, Grant Gershon announced that in light of the recent tragic current events, the concert was a “response to nihilism;” the evening’s program was dedicated to “victims of hate around the world.” Made in LA opened with Morten Lauridsen’s Ave Maria, an uplifting antidote to violence, a work of art that brings us closer to celestial realm. The piece invokes the Virgin Mary, a figure who symbolizes one who has transcended

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Must-See Performance: “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles” at the Getty Villa

Greek Tragedy in the city of Angels By Leticia Marie Sanchez     Intense. Riveting. Pulsing with life from beginning to end. During a time when the heartbreaking plight of fleeing refugees has garnered global headlines, the struggles of Medea and her family could not feel more timely. Playwright Luis Alfaro has successfully adapted Euripides’ Greek tragedy with “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.” Now playing at the Getty Villa, the classic work is set among Mexican immigrants in contemporary Boyle Heights. Together with Director Jessica Kubzansky, Alfaro has created a play that is unnerving and powerful. The desperation of his characters is palpable. During the scene when the family emigrates to the United States, violence and atrocities are committed against them. Watching the characters onstage, caged like animals during their journey, we squirm. We want to look away. But

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Top Pick: “Revolution of the Palette” at the Norton Simon Museum

  A Touch of the Blues By Leticia Marie Sanchez This week two complementary exhibitions opened at the Norton Simon Museum of Art: Fragonard’s Enterprise: the Artist and the Literature of Travel and the Revolution of the Palette. Although both exhibitions proved stunning (and sublimely curated) this review will focus on the Revolution of the Palette, an exhibition that reveals the power of color, specifically the color blue. This vivid exhibition sheds light on the nuances of different shades of blue paint, providing insight about their historical origins. Did you know that ultramarine was derived from Lapis Lazuli, a rare semiprecious gemstone mined almost exclusively in Afghanistan in the 6th century and imported to Europe through Venice? The expensive true blue ultramarine can be viewed in the sumptuous cloth in Paul Liégeois’ Still Life, Mid 17th Century. Paul Liegeois French,

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Review: LA Opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”- Standout Albina Shagimuratova- Do not miss

 Review: LA Opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” Albina Shagimuratova delivers a A Standout Performance-  by Leticia Marie Sanchez LA Opera’s “Lucia Di Lammermoor” epitomizes everything that an opera should be: scenes of unrequited passion, arias between star-crossed lovers, and most importantly- a stellar, unsurpassed voice that rouses the audience at every turn. Albina Shagimuratova is by far the most gifted female singer to have performed on the LA Opera stage in recent memory. Photo, Left Albina Shagimuratova as Lucia di Lammermoor, Photo Credit: Robert Millard Singing Bel Canto Opera, particularly in a role like Lucia, is like swimming in the ocean without a life vest- the singer is completely exposed. Thankfully, Albina Shagimuratova and the entire cast of Lucia have the vocal chops to carry out their roles. A force of nature, Albina truly carried the opera with her undeniable talent. Range,

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Review: Le Salon de Musiques- A Must See!

Traveling through time without leaving your seat- Le Salon de Musiques by Leticia Marie Sanchez Photo Left: View of Downtown LA from Le Salon De Musiques, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion Imagine being able to step into an intimate nineteenth-century musical salon, hear a piece for the very first time, and then engage in spontaneous dialogue with the musicians. Fortunately, Angelenos now have the opportunity to time travel without leaving Los Angeles, thanks to Le Salon De Musiques, an original salon series created by French pianist and melodist Francois Chouchan. Chouchan is somewhat of a musical detective, searching for and unearthing brilliant compositions and bringing them to the light of day, much to everyone’s delight. For instance, at this month’s Salon, Chouchan discovered not one, but two pieces by Xaver Scharwenka, a German composer and pianist famous in his time, but whose

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