joomla visitor

Cultural Events LA October 6th and 7th

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail recipe: 1 Part Berlioz, a swirl of sacred treasures, topped off by a hearty shot of Tchaikovsky. Enjoy!

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

American Youth Symphony Launches 49th Season

FREE CONCERT Sun. Oct. 6th 7 p.m.

Pre-Concert Talk featuring free screening of Keeping the Score: Symphony fantastic, 5:30 p.m.; Alexander Treger, music director; Allan Steele, cello; TIMOTHY ANDRES Bathtub Shrine; TCHAIKOVSKY; Variations on a Rococo Theme; BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique; UCLA’s Royce Hall 340 Royce Drive Westwood, CA 90095. (310) 470-2332.


Treasures from Church and Cloister

Sept 20, 2013- February 2, 2014

Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300

10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Dudamel & Bronfman Los Angeles Philharmonic

Thu-Sat, Oct 3-5 8:00PM Sun Oct 06 2:00PM

SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 4, “Tragic;” LIEBERSON (OLIVER KNUSSEN REALIZATION): Shing Kham (world premiere, LA Phil commission; TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1. Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 S. Grand Ave. LA, CA USA 90012 (323) 850-2000

WDCH Photo:© 2010 Leticia Marie Sanchez

read more

Cultural Events LA Sept 28th and 29th

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail recipe: 1 Part Colburn Orchestra, a fusion of Flanders and Florence topped off by a splash of Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Enjoy!

 Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

Colburn Orchestra Concert

Sat. Sept. 28th 7:30 PM

Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena

Yehuda Gilad, conductor; William Hagen, violin;  Program: Glinka Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla; Sibelius Concerto for Violin;  Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6; Reserve online through:

Photo of Ambassador Auditorium: © 2012 by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance Painting

Opens Sept. 28th

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108.

Left: Rogier Van Der Weyden; Virgin and Child; c 1460





Los Angeles Dream Orchestra 

Sat. September 28th; 8:00 p.m.

Aratani Theatre; Little Tokyo

Akira Nakano;  Rachmaninoff; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Liszt Totentanz; Nakano, Original Score from “the Norwood Affair;” All Proceeds Benefit The Dream Orchestra Youth Performance & Music Education Fund;  For more information, see:



read more

Top Cultural Picks this weekend in LA- Sept 21, 22nd

This weekend is a classic-filled Cultural Cocktail: a dose of outdoor Shakespeare, 1 part LA Chamber Music, and 1 Part Greek Tragedy at the Getty Villa!  Enjoy!

Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus; new translation by Joel Agee

Directed by Travis Preston

Thursdays–Saturdays, September 5–28

8:00 p.m.

Getty Villa, the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA .For information on tickets, please Call (310) 440-7300 or visit

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s“Beethoven, Mozart, Lutoslawski & Kodály”

Saturday, September 21, 8 pm Ambassador Auditorium 131 S St John Ave, Pasadena, CA 91123

Sunday, September 22, 7 pm Royce Hall, UCLA 40 Royce Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90095

Jeffrey Kahane, conductor;  Benjamin Beilman, violin;  BEETHOVEN; Twelve Contredanses for Orchestra; MOZART Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, “Turkish;” LUTOSLAWSKI Chain 2; KODÁLY Dances of Galánta

The Taming of the Shrew

September 21 8:00 p.m.

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga CA  90290. (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura Freeway)

(310) 455-3723

read more

Top Picks this week in LA

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail recipe: an apéritif of Carmen, 1 Oz. California History, and 2 Doses of Czech music. Enjoy!

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

LA Opera Performs Arias from Carmen


September 12 7-8:30 pm

 One Colorado Courtyard, Pasadena. 24 E Union St  Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 564-1066

Two 30-minute performances at 7pm & 8pm

For more information please see:

Photo Credit:  Robert Millard, LA Opera’s 2009 production of “Carmen”

Junipero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens 1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108.

Czech Mates at the Hollywood Bowl

September 12 8:00 p.m

Los Angeles Philharmonic; Jakub Hrůša, conductor; Simon Trpčeski, piano

SMETANA: Šárka from Má vlast;  PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3 Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 Program Notes;  DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 6

2301 North Highland Avenue. Hollywood, CA 90068.

For more information see:


read more

In the news: “Fake” Van Gogh determined to be real

In an unusual twist, the very same museum that declared a Van Gogh painting to be fake in 1991 now declares it to be an authenticated work by the Dutch master.

The 1888 landscape painting “Sunset at Montmajour,” has now been hailed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as a “high point” of Van Gogh’s “artistic achievement.”

“A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum,” declared Axel Ruger, the museum’s director, 

The painting has been stashed in an attic for four decades, as two of its previous collectors were told that it was a fake.

Questions abound.

1. If it were not for the tenacity of the collector who absolutely insisted on taking it back to the Van Gogh museum (that had declared it a fake) for a second time, this painting may have lived in an attic in perpetuity.

What went wrong during the authentication process in 1991?

2. The painting originally came from the collection of Van Gogh’s brother, Theo Van Gogh. What better provenance than that of the painter’s closest relative (and artistic patron)?

3. After being discarded to the attic again in 1991, did the painting’s quality decline in those two decades?

Art sleuths, this case is far from over. 

I think that heads (or ears) may roll at the Van Gogh Museum after this mess is sorted.

At least the painting can now see the light of day!

For more information, please read:;_ylt=A2KLOzGwcS9SuAwAWj7QtDMD

read more

Cultural Events LA September 6-7

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail recipe includes a Wagnerian Love Letter and Medieval Saints

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark

KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen hosts an in-depth look at Wagner’s private,

musical love letter to his wife in Salastina Society’s season-opening


Sat. Sept 7th. 8 pm Thayer Hall. Colburn School 200 South Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

The concert opens with composer-in-residence Jeremy Cavaterra’s arrangement of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5. Post-concert reception and silent auction. For information on tickets, please visit:

Miracles and Martyrs: Saints in the Middle Ages

Getty Center.

1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049.

(310) 440-7300

read more

Stendhal Syndrome in Florence

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Visiting Florence in 1817, the French novelist Stendhal found himself overwhelmed inside Santa Croce. The proximity to Giotto frescoes and Michelangelo’s tomb drove him to a state of delicious delirium.

“I was in a sort of ecstasy…Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul… I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves.’”

Florentine psychiatrist Dr. Graziella Magherini coined the term Stendhal Syndrome in 1989. Through her work at the Santa Maria Nuova hospital, she has recorded more than 106 cases of patients exhibiting an intense reaction to art with symptoms ranging from rapid heartbeat and dizziness to extreme cases of hallucinations.

Stendhal was not alone. Dr. Iain Bamforth claims that Marcel Proust suffered from the syndrome and Brazilian neurosurgeon Edson Amâncio postulates that Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky exhibited Stendhal Syndrome upon viewing Hans Holbein’s masterpiece, Dead Christ in a Basel museum.

Can Stendhal Syndrome also apply to a reaction towards Living Art?

Florentine Poet Dante Alighieri was overcome when contemplating his muse, Beatrice Portinari, a woman he unbelievably saw only twice in his life. The first as a child, the second time, as an adult when he approached Florence’s Santa Trinita bridge. On their second chance encounter, Beatrice spoke for the first and only time to Dante. Her simple greeting triggered Stendhal-like symptoms, as he recorded in Vita Nuova:

“As this was the first time she had ever spoken to me, I was filled with such joy that,my senses reeling, I had to withdraw from the sight of others.”

Painting Above: Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinità, by Henry Holiday, 1883.

The few-seconds transportive meeting on the bridge bequeathed a lifetime of inspiration for Dante. He poured the sensations that he felt from her brief salutation into a fertile decade of writing, and that moment of intensity on the bridge resulted in forty-two chapters of love poetry, La Vita Nuova.

Perhaps the sensations of Stendhal Syndrome are not that far from those of falling in love.

In any case, Italian scientists have been recently tracking the reactions of tourists to Benozzo Gozzoli’s “Journey of the Magi” in Florence’s Palazzo Medici Riccardi, taking tourists’ blood pressure and heart rate.

For more information on tests for Stendhal Syndrome at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, please see:

read more

Seek and You Shall the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Photography and text © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark

Photo, Left: Giorgio Vasari, The battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Inside the Palazzo Vecchio, one can stroll through the Salone dei Cinquecento. This imposing hall for the five hundred members of Florence’s Grand Council can inspire Stendhal-like syndrome in those who view the daunting, dazing Vasari frescoes lining its walls. One can only imagine the moment a visiting ambassador stepped into the hall for the first time. The look in the ambassador’s eyes as he absorbed the massive, vivid scenes of Siena being conquered, of Pisa attacked by Florentine troops, bodies trampled by muscular horses. Do not cross us, the images seem to warn.  Surrounded by such immense intensity, the ambassador suddenly feels very small. Perhaps, he wishes that his boots were an inch taller, or that he worn a larger plume in his velvet cap. Looking upon the ambassador’s ashen face, Cosimo de Medici smiles. Mission Accomplished. The negotiation is over, long before it ever began.

Embedded in Vasari’s The battle of Marciano in Val di Chiana on a green flag are the words, Cerca Trova. Seek and You Shall Find. This phrase can be interpreted as Cosimo’s sarcastic dagger to the Republic of Siena, vanquished by the Duchy of Florence. Seeking independence, the Sienese rebels instead found defeat.

But those words may have a second meaning, one linked to a mysterious, missing Leonardo Da Vinci painting.

For the scoop on the missing Leonardo, please read Cultural Cocktail Hour’s report last year, revealing clues on the mystery.

Click on the grey link below:

In the news: Art detectives possibly discover lost mural by…Leonardo Da Vinci?
read more

St. Francis and the Cappuccino

Photography and text © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark

Okay, so this photo isn’t a cappuccino. But an espresso macchiato from Badia a Coltibuono, Gaiole In Chianti (where I had the most scrumptious Aubergine Terrine on the planet, but I digress...)

After years of living as a fashionista playboy, St. Francis took a vow of poverty. Of celibacy. Of Abstinence. He even poured ashes on his food so as not to taste its flavor.

But did you know that the Franciscan saint unwittingly influenced the frothy concoction imbibed by so many coffee lovers today?

The Capuchin order of friars emerged in the 16th century as a reformist group devoted to following the original ideals of Saint Francis. The Capuchin hood, or Cappuccino, symbolized this spartan order of hermits.

Legend has it that the coffee derives its name from the rich brown color of their hoods (although some will argue that the foam itself forms a hood-like peak).  

In fact, this year, Capuchin monks in Poland decided to use the famous drink named after their order for the greater good. “Cappuccinos for Africa” raised money for children in Chad and the Central African Republic.

So next time you have a Cappuccino, raise your cup to Saint Francis.

(And please don’t tell him about that delectable eggplant terrine, thanks!)

read more

Assisi, Night and Day, August 2013 by Leticia Marie Sanchez

All Photography © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez

 Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark

read more