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Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto-April 16 and 17- LA Chamber Orchestra

What you are, is by accident of birth; What I am, I created myself.

There are, and have been, thousands, of princes; 

There is only one Beethoven.”

-Ludwig Van Beethoven to Prince Lichnowsky, after storming out of his estate

BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR CONCERTO
  • Saturday, April 16, Alex Theater, Glendale- 8pm. 216 North Brand Boulevard
    Sunday,  Apr 17,  Royce Hall, UCLA- 7pm
  • Jeffrey Kahane, conductor
  • Jon Kimura Parker, piano
  • JOHN HARBISON Gli accordi più usati(“The Most Often Used Chords”)
  • DVOŘÁK Serenade in E major for Strings
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, “Emperor”
For information about tickets, please call: 213 622 7001
or visit:  http://www.laco.org/
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In the news: Daniel Cátan: Composer of LA Opera’s Il Postino

Unfortunately, Daniel Cátan, a prolific opera composer, died this week at the age of 62.

Mr. Cátan composed the music for LA Opera’s “Il Postino,” which had its premiere in Los Angeles only a few months ago.

His other operas included: “Florencia en el Amazonas” and  ”Rapaccini’s Daughter.”

Mr. Catán received his doctorate from Princeton University, where he studied under Milton Babbit.

For more on the life of Mr. Cátan, please read the following article in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/arts/music/daniel-catan-composer-of-operas-in-spanish-dies-at-62.html?src=me

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Getty Villa- photography exhibit: In Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan

In Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan in Nineteenth-century Photography

March 2–September 12, 2011

Getty Villa. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA.

(310) 440-7300

http://www.getty.edu/

Photo: 1870′s “Jews at the Wailing Wall,” Felix Bonfils
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Shakespeare Salon: April 14- Huntington

Shakespeare Salon: Scenes and Sonnets

ShakespeareportraitApril 14 (Thursday)

7 p.m.

The Independent Shakespeare Co. will present readings of some of the Bard’s sonnets and scenes, in the Huntington Art Gallery.

Catherine Hess, curator of European art, will explore their connections to some of the masterpieces in the collection. Seating is limited.

For information on ticket prices, please call: 626-405-2128.

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

http://www.huntington.org

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Tennessee William’s final play “A House Not Meant to Stand” -extends- till May 22nd

Tennessee Williams’ final play, never before seen on the West Coast:

A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND extends at the Fountain-  till May 22

The Fountain Theatre. 5060 Fountain Ave. LA CA 90029 (Fountain at Normandie)

For information on show times and tickets
(323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com

For a link to my review on this play, one of the best theatrical productions in LA this year, in my opinion, please see:

Review: -Must See- Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater

-Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Dudamel’s latest creation- congratulations!

The La Times reports the real reason why Gustavo Dudamel was unable to conduct last Tuesday’s concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: he and his wife Eloisa were having a baby boy.

Many congratulations to the conductor on his newest creative endeavor!

For more, please read:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/04/gustavo-dudamel-and-wife-welcome-baby-boy-martin-in-la.html

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In the news: Aphrodite Goes Home

Illegal Smuggling?

Organized Crime?

After much controversy, the Getty’s Villa’s Aphrodite goes home.

Ciao bella! Buon Viaggio!

For the full report, read:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-return-of-aphrodite-20110323,0,6998689.story

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In the News: the Curious Collection of the Barnes Foundation

Which American Museum has:

181 works by Renoir

69 Cezannes (more than in all the museums of Paris combined),

59 Matisses

46 Picassos

and

7 Van Goghs

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

This happens to be the spot that Matisse called, “the only sane place to see art in America.”

Unfortunately, the collection will be at the Foundation for only two more months.

The Independent covered the saga and court hearings behind the attempt to move the works of art out of the Foundation

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/rupert-cornwell/rupert-cornwell-is-this-the-biggest-art-heist-in-history-2246968.html

as did the documentary Art of the Steal.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1326733/

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All the World’s a Stage: William Leavitt’s “Theater Objects” at MOCA

All the World’s A Stage:

William Leavitt’s Theater Objects at MOCA

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

All photography© MOCA

All the world’s a stage, all the men and women merely players. Nowhere does Shakespeare’s expression hold more true than at William Leavitt’s Theater Objects at MOCA.

Walking into the exhibition one hears the constant chirping of birds and the flow of cool air. Are we in a jungle? A theme park? On the set of a play?

Leavitt’s engaging exhibition interacts with its audience, causing the museumgoer to constantly question where he or she stands.

Co-curated by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and Ann Goldstein, former MOCA senior curator and director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, William Leavitt: Theater Objects represents the first solo museum exhibition and retrospective of the artist’s 40-year career. The exhibit showcases approximately 90 works from 1969 to the present, including: sculptural tableaux, paintings, works on paper, and photographs.

Leavitt’s background in stagecraft, narrative, and theater, informs his work, which gives audiences a behind-the scenes peek at theatrical installations. An inscription in the exhibit gives a “nod to Raymond Chandler,” an apt allusion as Leavitt’s work veers into noir, into what is lurking behind the shadows, behind the patio, behind the façade.

William Leavitt, Theme Restaurant, 1986, oil on canvas 46 x 72 in., collection of Carolina Bilbao and Richard Massey, Miami

Leavitt employs satire in his painting of the landmark Encounter Restaurant at LAX by titling it Theme Restaurant. His title links the iconic airport restaurant to a theme park like Disneyland. The visual context of the painting, cleverly hung by MOCA next to Roller Coaster (1984) and Brown Derby (1987) underscores this motif. Leavitt’s satire highlights Los Angeles’ identity as an entertainment hub. Are people flying into the city simply to be entertained? (Ironically, the interior of the LAX restaurant, was in fact designed byWDI, Walt Disney Imagineering)

William Leavitt, California Patio, 1972, mixed media(artificial plants, Malibu lights, flagstone, slider, curtains, wooden wall, and text), 96x144x 96 in.,collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam,courtesy of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Approaching California Patio (1972), are we walking on a set? Are we actors or viewers? Next to the patio set is a script, reinforcing the notion that the patio is merely an illusion.  The sliding door alludes to the wilderness coming in, the danger lurking behind the glass. The green curtains resemble theatrical curtains, adding to the spectacle motif in Leavitt’s exhibit.

William Leavitt, Cutaway View, 2008, mixed media installation with painting (acrylic on canvas),  98  x  75  x  26  in., painting:  30 x  40 in., courtesy of Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles

Cutaway View (2008) allows the viewer to play peek-a-boo with a horse glancing at us from behind foliage. The horse examines us quizzically with his steady gaze, putting us on the spot. Who is viewing whom exactly? Are we the spectator? Are we the audience? Leavitt plays with the experience of looking. The artificiality of the plant suggests façades around the city, heralding Los Angeles as a place to see and be seen, once again denoting the spectacle of the city.
Below:

William Leavitt, The Tropics,1974, gelatin silver prints and text, edition of  3 with  2 Artist proofs, each:  11 x 8  1/2 in., collection of Edward Israel,  Los Angeles

Finally, the Tropics is a multi-media display consisting of a water color set, a script, gelatin silver prints, and texts. The script tells the story of a man bestowing a pearl necklace upon his wife. The jaguar in the painting symbolizes the predatory nature of the man who uses jewelry as a means of seduction in the jungle of desire.
William Leavitt, Jaguar (from The Tropics), 1974, oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 44 1/4 in., courtesy of the artist
The plethora of visual media in the Tropics adds to its psychological dimension. The repetition of images like the jaguar elicits archetypes from our subconscious mind.
Presented through 10,000 square feet of exhibition space at MOCA Grand Avenue, Leavitt’s vast and cohesive exhibit marvelously takes the viewer on a journey, at once mysterious and humorous. Leavitt’s perspective on Los Angeles not only impacts the way that we see our city, but also the very way that we experience art itself.

Editor’s Note:

In addition to being an artist, Leavitt is also a playwright.

MOCA will stage two of his performance works in conjunction with the exhibition. Spectral Analysis (1977) will be performed in the galleries; Pyramid, Lens, Delta (2003) will be premiered as a table reading in the Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue.

William Leavitt: Theater Objects

March 13- July 3

MOCA Grand Avenue

250 South Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012

http://www.moca.org/

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Review: The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann

The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann

Israela Margalit’s “Trio,” currently playing at the Lounge 2 Theater in Hollywood, offers a window into the artistic triangle between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Maragalit, a concert pianist, tied the play together with her own recorded compositions of Schumann, Brahms, and Beethoven.

Photo: From Left- Bjørn Johnson, Meghan Maureen Mc Donough. Jeremy Shranko

Meghan Maureen Mc Donough played the grim, subdued Clara Schumann, a once famous concert pianist repressed as a housewife cooking beans. Mc Donough’s Clara was a woman drained by years of belittlement by an insecure husband who would toss cruel jabs at her, including, “Those who can’t compose, play.”Her father, dynamically portrayed by Peter Colburn, bemoaned the wasting of Clara’s life. Bjørn Johnson, captured Robert Schumann’s madness with pathos, particularly when he called out in the asylum for his beloved Clara, his little “Clashen.”  Jeremy Shranko energetically portrayed the arc of Schumann’s protégé Brahms, from naïve tongue-tied ingénue to cunning manipulator.  Joseph Joachin, Brahms’ confidante (played by Brian Normoyle) radiated genuineness as a straight shooter, a voice of reason to his flattering friend.

The play worked best during the musical sequences.  For instance, when Brahms consoled an exhausted Clara, one heard his soothing Lullaby for Piano Solo. The music explained his solace and why Clara turned to him at that moment in time. Another memorable moment was a scene in which Clara and Brahms toyed with tempo, swept away rhythmically during Beethoven’s Appasionata. Margalit’s play was most meaningful when it centered on the music itself.

One minor weakness in the play is that structurally, a narrative element was needed to convey expository plot details: perhaps an introductory Greek-inspired chorus, a group of Düsseldorf townspeople, critics or audience-goers commenting on the timeline of the Schumann scandal. This element would have spared the actors from having to recount plot through dialogue (a structural challenge during which they did an excellent job) and instead focus on the immediate and the raw.

Margalit’s play begs the question: Can two eagles (artists) live together in domestic bliss? Or will one feel forever caged?

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