joomla visitor

Video: Plácido Domingo makes a cameo appearance on Cultural Cocktail Hour

Cultural Cocktail Hour was thrilled to speak for a minute with Plácido Domingo!

Despite being swarmed on the dance floor by photographers & enthusiastic fans who dreamed of getting their picture taking with the Maestro, Mr. Domingo  graciously stopped by to talk to Cultural Cocktail Hour about the meaning of his name.

The majority of the 3-minute video provides a history of the LA Music Center and the accomplisments of Mr. Domingo.

Enjoy! Leticia Marie SanchezFounder and Editor-in-Chief

read more

Cultural Events LA: March 2, 3, 4


Heras-Casado conducts Strauss at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Fri, Mar 2 8:00PM; Sat., Mar 3 2:00PM; Sun, Mar 4, 2:00PM
Los Angeles Philharmonic. Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor; Martin Chalifour, violin. Beethoven: Egmont Overture (Except Friday). Matheson: Violin Concerto (West Coast premiere; LA Phil commission) Strauss: Ein HeldenlebenWalt Disney Concert Hall. 111 South Grand Ave. LA, CA 90012. 323.850.2000

http://www.laphil.com/

 

Gothic Grandeur: Manuscript Illumination, 1200–1350

February 28–May 13
Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300

http://www.getty.edu/

 

 

Capitol Ensemble at LACMA- Free
Sun, Mar 4th 6 pm
Haydn: String Quartet in D major, Opus 20, No.4;  Schubert: String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D. 804, Rosamunde.
Bing Theater. No reservations
Stream Sundays Live. LACMA905 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036. (323) 857-6000

http://www.lacma.org

read more

Roman Emperor Caligula loved horsing around…

Salvador Dali- Caligula


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

by

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Salvador Dalí s painting, “Le Cheval de Caligula” depicts Incitatus, pampered pony of blood-thirsty Roman emperor Caligula.

The often-violent Caligula became so enraptured with his stallion that he giddily showered him with 18 servants, a marble stable, an ivory manger, rich red robes, and a bejeweled collar. Caligula even made sure that his horse had a lil’ wifey and presented him with the alluring mare Penelope as a bride. The neurotic emperor demanded that everyone bow down to his horse as a god.

No Mueslix or chewy carrots for this horsey. According to Roman historian Suetonius, Caligula’s horse snacked on oats mixed with flex of gold, naturally, and sipped the finest wine from golden goblets. Dignitaries must have clenched their teeth politely when Caligula required that they all sit at the dinner table with the guest of honor, the horse.  But, how could anyone say no? The punishment for daring to disrupt the horse’s beauty sleep before a big race was pain of death. Gulp.

Caligula longed to appoint his beloved horse to the prestigious position of Consul. To be fair, Incitatus was probably no better or worse than some of today’s politicians.

Le Cheval de Caligula (ca. 1971) by Salvador Dalí

read more

Magnificat by Moonlight…

Cultural Photography © 2012 by Leticia Marie Sanchez

The Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena,basking in moonlight

after a performance of Bach’s Magnificat by LA Chamber Orchestra Feb 25th

 

read more

Cultural Events LA- Feb 25th

Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring 

Opening Night Sat Feb 25th 7:30 p.m

LA Opera.

135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-8001

http://www.laopera.com/

 

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s BACH’S MAGNIFICAT “Discover” Concert

led by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane

Saturday, Feb 25, 8 pm

Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105

Tickets available online at laco.org, by phone 213 622 7001 or by fax 213 626 2157

 

Year of the Chimera 7.0 exhibit 

Glass Garage Gallery Fine Art Gallery. 414 N. Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90048

For more information on the exhibit please call 310-659-5228 or e-mail: info@glassgaragegallery.com

“The Doe Marriage” Copyright © Margo Selski & Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery. All rights reserved.

http://www.glassgaragegallery.com/

read more

President’s Weekend Cultural Cocktail

LACMA is Free President’s Day

Mon- Feb 20- 12pm

Live music from 12:30-2:45

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90036. 323-857-6000. Free, general admission ticket required | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.

http://www.lacma.org

Photo © Leticia Marie Sanchez

read more

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 by the pirate hero of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, (our English word for buccaneer derives from Boccanegra). Seductive sea currents literally flow on stage while James Conlon conducts the orchestra, evoking Debussy-like waves. Simon Boccanegra represents a deeply personal memory for Conlon, and his conducting on opening night honored that memory. In a podcast interview on LA Opera’s website, Conlon revealed that watching Giorgio Strehler’s production of Simon Boccanegra as a youth so moved him that it became his favorite recollection of an opera production. Conlon did justice to that defining moment by shaping Saturday evening’s music into a dynamic character. For instance, when Boccanegra reaches for a poison-filled chalice in Act II, ominous strains of the strings hint at the nefarious culprit, who is not on stage. As the strings evoke the villain, a woman in the audience gasped, “Paolo.”

Michael Yeargan‘s sets poetically captured the themes of the opera. Black and white tiles adorned the stage floor, a metaphorical chessboard for the power plays in fourteenth-century Genoa. The first act takes the audience inside a striking hall of Doric columns whose heightened perspective makes us feel like we are stepping into a Brunelleschi-designed colonnade. In the last scene, a stark blue square, like an azure Rothko framed by Doric columns, hearkens back to the blue screen at the prologue, fittingly, as Boccanegra has gone full circle and sings of his memories.

Duane Schuler’s lyrical lighting envelops the audience in the darkened ambiance of political intrigue. Shadows herald the tragic death of Simon’s lover, Maria. In contrast, during the fortuitous entrance of his daughter Amelia (in which she prevents her beloved father from stabbing), a golden splash of lights illuminates the darkened columns. We can see and feel that Amelia is her father’s sunshine. The interplay between shadows and light underscore the emotional heart of Verdi’s opera.

The dark motifs blend seamlessly with the voices in this opera, the low voices of bass (Vitalij Kowaljow as Fiesco) and baritone. Plácido Domingo, renown for his prowess as a tenor, emerges triumphant in the baritone role of Simon Boccanegra. His voice radiates in the lower tessitura and he infuses the role of the Doge with equal measures of dignity and tenderness, particularly for his daughter wonderfully portrayed by Ana María Martínez. Although Ms. Martínez has sung with Mr. Domingo in other venues and has been conducted at LA Opera by the maestro, this production marks the first time that they have sung together on the LA Opera stage. A 1995 winner of the Operalia World Opera Competition, founded by Mr. Domingo, Ms. Martínez’s cascading soprano sound contrasts brilliantly with Domingo’s burnished baritone at the end of Act I, (“Figlia! a tal nome io palpito) when she sings “I will be your dove of peace.”  Italian Baritone Paolo Gavanelli flourishes in the role of the Karl-Rove-like mastermind (“You owe your thrown to me”) Paolo, and tenor Stefano Secco embodies the jealous young lover, Gabriele Adorno. One of the most powerful moments in the opera was the trio between Adorno, Amelia, and the Doge in the second Act (“Oh Amelia…ami..un nemico”). The intensity and emotional impact of this trio laid bare the vivid humanity at the core of Verdi’s opera. Chorus master Grant Gershon successfully guided the chorus of the Genovese crowd; their eerie hisses of “be cursed” to Paolo at the end of the Council Chamber scene proved a spine-chilling finale in Act I.

Left: Plácido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra.

In addition to Domingo’s powerful singing, his acting made the Doge of Genoa riveting to watch. Domingo embodied statesmanlike gravitas while radiating intense emotion for his daughter, the wellspring of his joy. Domingo literally threw himself into the role, in a way never before seen by other singers. When Domingo unpredictably threw the full weight of his body onto the ground, shockingly collapsing at the end of Act III, the painful thud made the audience jump in their seats. Did he just collapse? Domingo pushed the envelope, suspending disbelief. How the mighty have fallen, one thought while watching a powerful ruler expire before our very eyes.

 

During the final act, Fiesco warns Boccanegra, “The hand of the Lord has written your fate on the walls,” a clear allusion to the Biblical narrative in the Book of Daniel in which the writing on the wall  signals to King Belshazzar that his end is near. One of the most enriching symbols in Moshinsky’s production revolves around the various writings on the wall. In the prologue, the plebians have scrawled graffiti in favor of Simon Boccanegra. In contrast to the street graffiti, esoteric gold-tinged Latin sayings reinforce the rarefied atmosphere of the council chambers, as do the late Peter Hall’s sumptuous red costumes. In the center of the majestic wall, one word stands out. Dignus Summa. Dignified. Worthy.

That one word captures LA Opera’s production of Simon Boccanegra, the best work by the Los Angeles company to date: Dignified. Worthy of opera. Worthy of Verdi. Opera at its highest level. The enthusiastic standing ovations on opening night revealed the audience’s appreciation of this dream team production. Bravo to Conlon, Moshinsky, Yeargan, and last, but not least, the inimitable, unstoppable force of nature, Plácido Domingo.

read more

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 Opera135 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

read more

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:

read more

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

read more
Page 19 of 47« First...10«1718192021»3040...Last »