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Metropolitan Opera- Western Regional Finals- Saturday Oct 22- 1:00 p.m- Colburn School- LA

You are cordially invited to attend

The 55th Anniversary of the WESTERN REGIONAL FINALS

Featuring Amber Wagner, Western Region, 2006, Grand National Winner, 2007

Zipper Concert Hall, The Colburn School, 200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012

Special Finals Tickets 29 (Box Office 35). Reception Ticket 28. Please mail check to: Western Region- 2455 Adair Street, San Marino, CA, 91108 postmarked by Oct 13th.                                                                                   Or For more information, call: 626.285.3688 

 

 

 

 

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In the news: Picasso in the garbage? An art thief named Spiderman?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Picasso’s “Le Pigeon aux Petits-Pois” stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art last year.

Sacré bleu!

Is nothing sacred ?

A Parisian art thief confessed that he dumped more than $134 million dollars worth of art in a garbage bin.

The stolen works, including paintings by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Matisse. and Leger were looted from the Paris Museum of Modern Art last year.

Apparently the paintings were destroyed with the rest of the day’s trash.

The sticky-fingered art thief got cold feet after his cohorts in the art spree began to be questioned by police so he dumped the masterpieces in the garbage. Not even the recycling bin, mind you.

Now here is where the spurious story takes an even more sordid turn.

The thief’s ally in gaining the stolen treasure was a 43-year-old wall-climbing Serbian who managed to climb inside the museum. The clueless security guards outside were oblivious to the masked intruder within the museum walls strolling around for more than one hour cherry-picking works to his heart’s delight.

His nickname?

Spiderman.

For the full story, please read:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-france-art-garbage-20111010,0,7870046.story

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Cultural Events LA- October 7th, 8th, and 9th

Attention Cultural Cocktail Hour adventurers: A 10-mile network of downtown streets will be closed on Sunday, October 9, from 10am–3pm. Your Cultural Concierge has tips to avoid Downtown on Sunday!

Frank Strazzeri Quintet- Fri. Oct 7th- 6pm

Free, No reservations

Veteran pianist Frank Straazerri has worked with musicians ranging from Billie Holiday to Chet Baker.

LACMA

5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90036. 323-857-6000.

For more information, please visit: http://www.lacma.org

Pacific Standard Time at the Getty opened this week

Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049.

(310) 440-7300

For more information on the exhibit, please visit: http://www.getty.edu/

Dudamel conducts Mendelssohn- Sat, October 8- 8:00PM

Los Angeles Philharmonic. Janine Jansen, violin

Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture; Violin Concerto, and Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 South Grand Avenue. Los Angeles, CA 90012 323.850.2000. For more information, please visit: http://www.laphil.com/


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In the News: “Il Volo”- Can Opera be embraced by the GLEE crowd?

This Sunday’s New York Times discussed the opera sensation”Il Volo,” a popular teenage boy band that has teen girls swooning.

With appearances on TV shows like Entourage, can “Il Volo”  bring the love of opera to a mainstream teen audience?  “Il Volo” means “the flight”- let’s hope that opera takes off in a wide audience of music-loving teens.

For the full story, please read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/arts/music/il-volo-the-teenage-italian-singers-go-on-tour.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

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Cultural Cocktail Hour takes you behind- the- scenes at the Sam Maloof exhibit at the Huntington

 

Please enjoy this tour of a wonderful exhibit and interview with Huntington Curator of American Decorative Arts, Hal Nelson:

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Eugene Onegin

tatianas-bath

Opera Review: The Visual Poetry of LA Opera’s “Eugene Onegin”

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” During LA Opera’s psychologically profound production of Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” red skies foreshadowed emotional storms, from the passion-red sky faced by Tatiana the morning after she wrote her feverish note to Onegin to the blazing landscape faced by Lensky on the morning of his fateful duel. LA Opera’s production masterfully captured the poetic spirit of Tchaikovsky’s opera, bringing the interior life of Alexander Pushkin’s characters to the foreground through sumptuous visual poetry. This beloved masterpiece has never before been performed at LA Opera. Its debut on Saturday night led by James Conlon was nothing short of world class. The visually stunning production was originally created in 2006 by the late director Steven Pimlott for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and was staged in Los Angeles by Francesca Gilpin. The production treated audiences to a dynamic tableau vivant, an invitation to step inside a living work of art.

It is fitting that LA Opera’s striking production is rich in visual metaphors, considering that Tchaikovsky’s opera was based on poetry, a novel-in-verse first published by Alexander Pushkin in 1833. In this work, the innovative Pushkin invented an unusual verse-form, one which has come to be known as the Onegin Stanza. Respectful of the literary source, Tchaikovsky did not refer to Eugene Onegin as an opera, but rather, as “lyrical scenes.” Tchaikovsky’s emphasis on the word lyric corresponds with LA Opera’s visually poetic interpretation, one that unearths the essence of the characters and brings them forth on stage.Peter Mumford’s lighting design evoked the vibrations of the soul, from peaceful palettes to blood-red intensity, shifting with the characters’ turbulent emotions and heightening Tchaikovsky’s expressionistic score.

In one beautifully choreographed lyrical scene in Act I,  Tatiana (Oksana Dyka) gleefully basks in a translucent pond, after pouring out her heart to Onegin in a love letter.  This visual image provoked a visceral understanding of her interior exhilaration.

Similarly, the starkly barren trees enhanced Lensky’s (Vsevolod Grinov) powerful rendition of “Kuda Kuda” in Act II. The symbiosis of set and vocals intensified the misery of Lensky’s alienation. Furthermore, dramatic paintings of Pietà-like human expression on the scrim heralded the beginning of each act, giving the audience visual clues to the chilling moments ahead.

In addition to the striking set, the cast of talented singers, including Slovakian baritone Dalibor Jenis as the eponymous hero, delivered an emotionally impacting performance. Oksana Dyka’s physical gestures as the girlish Tatiana were spot on. The Ukranian soprano embodied the perfect blend of innocence, conviction, and dignity as Pushkin’s noble heroine. In one of the longest arias in opera history, the letter scene, Dyka poignantly expressed the lovelorn girl’s turmoil through her pure voice. Keith Jameson’s Monsieur Triquet added a sensitivity and tenderness to the Tatiana Couplets in Act II that caused time to stand still with his interpretation.

LA Opera’s interpretation of Eugene Onegin takes audiences through the heart of Pushkin’s poetry, allowing us to hear, see, and feel its splendor all at once.

LA Opera’s performances of Eugene Onegin will take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012, on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 21, at 7:30pm

Sunday, September 25, at 2pm

Saturday, October 1, at 7:30pm

Thursday, October 6, at 7:30pm

Sunday, October 9, at 2pm

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ARIA’s Opening Night Festivities at LA OPERA- From Russia with Love

ARIA’s Opening Night Festivities at LA Opera: From Russia With Love

All text and Photography © 2011

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

At LA Opera’s ARIA’s White Night party, chaired by actress and singer-songwriter Emmy Rossum a vivacious fur-capped hostess floated around the dance floor bearing divine desserts. As James Bond would say, from Russia With Love.


The Maestro himself, Placido Domingo, appeared at the ARIA party to introduce the talented artists

behind the production of Eugene Onegin including:conductor James Conlon,Stage Director Francesca Gilpin, and Lighting Designer Peter Mumford. Additionally, the party goers met the stars of Eugene Onegin including: Dalibor Jenis (Eugene Onegin), Oksana Dyka (Tatiana), Vsevolod Grinov (Lensky), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Olga), James Creswell (Prince Germin), Ronnita Nicole Miller (Filipievna), and Keith Jameson (Monsieur Triquet).

The Über-talented Oksana Dyka (third from Left, belowwhose performance as Tatiana brought down the opera house with multiple standing ovations earlier in the evening, spontaneously jumped on stage during the Aria after-party and began to groove to 70’s rock.

One did not want the magical night to end. Never fear,Aria Nights at the Opera will continue this season with Roméo et Juliette on November 12, Simon Boccanegra on February 11, and La Bohème on May 12th.

For more information on ARIA, please visit:

http://www.losangelesopera.com/community/youngpro.aspx

Until then, keep your cultural cocktail glasses filled with bel canto, vibrati, and coloratura!

Leticia Marie Sanchez

Editor-in-Chief 

Cultural Cocktail Hour  

Reporting from LA Opera’s Opening Night: Saturday September 17th

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Cultural Events LA- September 17th and 18th

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail involves the opening weekend of opera season! Two doses of Russian romance and 1 dose of Mozart Mischief- enjoy!

PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY’S EUGENE ONEGIN

Opens Sat. Sept. 17. 7:30 p.m. 

LA Opera. 135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-8001 http://www.laopera.com/

ARIA WHITE NIGHT CELEBRATION with Emmy Rossum- Honorary ARIA Chair- Eugene Onegin After Party- Sat Sept 17th

ARIA is LA Opera’s group for young professionals in their 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s with an interest in opera.

ARIA tickets include a ticket to the opera performance and access to the After-Party, with Russian-inspired hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, entertainment, and dancing.

For more on ARIA, including information on how to purchase tickets to Saturday’s party, please visit: http://www.losangelesopera.com/community/youngpro.aspx

 

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART’S COSI FAN TUTTE

Opens Sun. Sept. 18. 2:00 p.m.

LA Opera.

135 North Grand Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 972-8001

http://www.laopera.com/

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Review: Itzhak Perlman and Beethoven at the Hollywood Bowl

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

The program notes for Tuesday’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl included a 1920 quotation from Italian musician and conductor Ferrucio Busoni, “With Beethoven humanity enters into music for the first time.” Busoni’s postulate also holds true for the humanistic performance of violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s in an all-Beethoven program including Romance No. 1 in G Major, Romance No. 2 in F. Major, Symphony No. 8 in F Major, and Symphony No. 5.

The indefatigable Mr. Perlman had the dual role of violist and conductor at Tuesday’s magnificent performance. Mr. Perlman’s sensitive interpretation of Beethoven had guts, soul, and heart.

As a conductor, Maestro Perlman is easily the best one to have graced the stage of the Hollywood Bowl for his talent in bringing out the best in each individual member of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. Instead of turning Beethoven’s pieces into loud, showy works, as other conductors are apt to do, Mr. Perlman wisely elicited the nuance and texture brought about by each individual instrument, probing the depth and rich emotions of each piece. To the Hollywood Bowl’s credit, its video projection screens complemented the nuanced performance by providing close-ups of the individual members of the string, brass, woodwind, and percussion sections coming to the forefront at any given moment of the Beethoven Program. The perfect rhythms elicited by Mr. Perlman made the L.A. Philharmonic soar seamlessly as one, as they did during the Fourth Movement (Allegro) of the 5th Symphony.

Perhaps, none said it better than E.T.A. Hoffman: “the soul of each thoughtful listener is assuredly stirred, deeply and intimately, by a feeling that is none other than that unutterable portentous longing, and until the final chord — indeed, even in the moments that follow it — he will be powerless to step out of that wondrous spirit realm where grief and joy embrace him in the form of sound.”

The audience was electrified after such a soulful interpretation of Beethoven, rendering a once-familiar composer a newfound treasure. After the finale, I, and those near me, sat in our seats, stunned, tears flowing down our cheeks.

Thank you, Maestro Perlman for a life-changing experience and a memory that I will never forget.

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The Magical World of Peter Lai: Fashion event Thursday Sept 8th at Pacific Asia Museum

The Magical World of Peter Lai 

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Stepping into the shop of San Marino designer Peter Lai is a step into a magical world. The visitor slips into a realm of Venetian masks, Chinese costumes imbued with symbolism from the Qing Dynasty, and contemporary Californian designs. A Hong Kong native, Mr. Lai was born into a family of costume designers for Hong Kong’s opera, television, and film industry.

Mr. Lai’s shop has been a fixture on Mission Street in San Marino for decades, and his exquisitely detailed gowns add glamour to museum galas and social events like the Save Venice ball.

Left: Design by Peter Lai.

Right: Rose Detail, Peter Lai designs

In 2004, Mr. Lai won the Golden Needle designer award in a competition whose industry judges included Mr. Blackwell, creator of the infamous Best and Worst Dressed list.Mr. Lai’s creative and richly-crafted designs fuse cultures.

For instance, he uses Venetian masks as a base and infuses them with Asian-inspired motifs. Mr. Lai himself takes part in the theatrically mysterious, donning his own costumes, mask included, at dinner parties.

Photo: Mask by Peter Lai

Photo Left: Designer Peter Lai next to his own design.

’Bob Mackie didn’t recognize me’, Lai revealed, “’he asked, ‘Who are you?’” Ever full of surprises, Mr. Lai has also been a student of Kabuki for the past ten years and performed the Japanese art form in full costume this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

This Thursday, September 8th, the Pacific Asia Museum will be hosting a fashion event with Peter Lai from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of the Festival of the Autumn Moon. For more information, please visit:

http://pacificasiamuseum.org/

Peter Lai. 2571 Mission St. San Marino, 91108. (626) 799-4645

From left: Vest by Peter Lai

Right: Detail from Vest

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