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In the news: Rembrandt drawing stolen from Marina del Rey Hotel this weekend

 

This weekend, “The Judgement,” a pen-and-ink drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from an evening exhibit at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey. The work, worth more than $250,000, was snatched around 10:30 p.m during an evening event for potential buyers. The curator was temporarily distracted by a person, who may have been part of a team of art thieves. According to experts, more than 81 of Rembrandt’s works have been stolen over the past century.

For more information on the Marina del Rey heist, please read:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/8702503/Rembrandt-stolen-in-well-planned-heist.html

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In the News: Musician and Conductor Daniel Barenboim to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

You heard it here first!

News reports suggest that Musician and Conductor Daniel Barenboim will be nominated next week (Aug 17) for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 69-year old Barenboim helped to found the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999,  which is composed of international musicians including: Israelis, Arabs, and Iranians.

This week, before his orchestra performed in South Korea, Barenboim said,

Music cannot solve conflicts,  but music has the ability to make people interested and passionate about the same thing,” 

For the full story, please see:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iwKlHCm2ufOtt6Tvosjpez941X4Q?docId=CNG.395bec0157ae53758ac65c87b4cf6e70.211

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LA Cultural Events Aug 12, 13, and 14

This week’s Cultural Cocktail recipe is: 3 Oz. of Italian chamber music, a Dash of Mendelssohn, and a Splash of a soirée for young art enthusiasts. Shaken. Not Stirred. Enjoy!

Commemorating the Unification of Italy through the Music of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart

Free Concert at the Norton Simon

Fri. August 12- 7:00 p.m

To mark the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, the California String Quartet will perform chamber music by Italian composers Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, in addition to compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who influenced Italian opera.

Concert is free (with museum admission ticket)

Norton Simon Museum of Art.411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Gallerati Society

Sat. Aug 13. 3:30- 5:30 p.m

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

The Gallerati Society is a new breed of social networking: an art gallery soirée where young arts enthusiasts mingle over art, fine wine, and gourmet desserts. Meet 3 of the artists at a group exhibition featuring Surrealist landscapes and portraits, abstract sculptures, crashed Porsches, and defiled Bibles. The exhibiting artists are: Clair Carter, Jerry Wanye Downs, Susan Hannon, Steven Kenny, Aleve Meh Loh, Larissa Morais, and Joshua Suda. Carter, Hannon, and Morais will be in attendance.

For information on purchasing tickets to the exhibit, as well as the dinner at Il Piccolino Restaurant after the show please visit: www.gallerati-society.com

The Lyris String Quartet

Free Concert at LACMA

Sunday, August 14- 6 pm

Mendelssohn: Quartet in A minor, Opus 80.

Bing Theater.

No reservations or museum ticket needed.

LACMA. 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA

323-857-6000

http://www.lacma.org/

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The tumultuous love life of Richard Strauss- part deux- Strauss versus Stransky

Since so many of my readers enjoyed reading about Richard Strauss’s unusual engagement to the libretto-throwing singer Pauline De AhnaStrange Love: the berserk engagement of Richard Strauss 

we will now continue onto his roller coaster marriage.

Due to a letter mix-up, his wife Pauline de Ahna filed for divorce.

In his book, Richard Strauss, Tim Ashley reports that while Strauss was working in England, his wife opened a letter from a female opera fan. The fan mentioned looking for a composer at Union Bar and asked for opera tickets. The harmless letter caused Mrs. Strauss to foam at the mouth. She contacted an attorney, telegraphed Strauss (who was working in England) to let him know that she was filing for divorce, demanded to draw their life savings from a bank, and prepared to vacate their apartment.

 Strauss telegraphed his wife that he had no clue as to the identity of the opera fan nor had he ever been to Union Bar.

It turned out the confused woman had asked an Italian tenor for the name of Czech composer Josef Stransky. Tim Ashley revealed that the Italian had mispronounced Stransky as “Strausky,” and hence, the confusion began.When the mix-up was revealed, Pauline eventually withdrew her plans for divorce.                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo, Left- Richard Strauss and the eye-scratching Pauline De Ahna!

Although the event left Strauss with a headache, it also left him with an opera: “Intermezzo” which he composed about his wife’s accusation.

Mrs. Strauss’ jealous streak continued into her eighties. In his biography, Richard Strauss, An Intimate Portrait, Kurt Wilhem revealed that an elderly Pauline exclaimed, “I would scratch the eyes out of any hussy who was after my Richard.” 

Fräuleins beware! 

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Cultural Events- LA- August 6-7th

This week’s Cultural Cocktail involves exotic gifts,  French satire, and stellar jazz- enjoy!

LACMA exhibit- Gifts of the Sultan

Through September 5

LACMA 

5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA,

http://www.lacma.org/

An evening with grammy-award winning Branford Marsalis– Free

Sat. August 6– 8:15 P.M

Orange County Great Park

For more information and direction, please visit: http://www.ocgp.org

 

Moliere’s Tartuffe

Sat Aug 6th 4:00 P.M

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum.

1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga CA 90290

For information on tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or

visit

www.theatricum.com

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Cultural Events- LA- July 30 and 31

This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail includes a dash of Calypso, an apertif at the Old Mill, and an infusion of Rachmaninov- Enjoy!

Saturdays Off the 405- July 30 6 pm – 9 pm

Songwriter Lord Huron’s Afro-Caribbean percussion and Calypso-inspired music. Free Spotlight after Dark tours in the galleries at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Getty Center. 1200 Getty Center Drive. LA, CA. 90049. (310) 440-7300 

Cal Phil at the Mill.

July 30: 8:00 P.M.

An evening of chamber music under the stars in the Pomegranate Patio of San Marino’s historic Old Mill

1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino, CA, United States, 91108.  626.449.5458

http://www.old-mill.org/index.asp

Pianist Roger Wright

Sunday, July 31- 6 pm- LACMA- Free- No Reservations

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in D major, Opus 23 No. 4, Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, Frederic Rzewski: Down by the Riverside, and Mily Balakirev: Islamey, an Oriental Fantasy. Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA,

http://www.lacma.org/

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Review: Rooting for the villain- the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum

Rooting for the villain: the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

Nestled in a wooded glen, underneath the evening stars and accompanied by the hypnotic hum of crickets, Topanaga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum adds a dose of magic to Shakespeare. The outdoor Globe-like theater simultaneously infuses the Bard with reality and wonder. The march of Richard III’s army down dark, forest-like hills conveys a dimension of realism and immediacy that cannot be matched by an enclosed venue. Similarly, the towering loft used during the Tower of London murder scene enhanced the mysterious mood. The vast verdant set suspended the audience’s disbelief, as did the cast of talented actors in the Theatricum’s production of Richard III.

On Saturday night’s performance, Melora Marshall starred as the protean protagonist, triumphantly suspending the audience’s disbelief that the Machiavellian king could be played by a woman. With a small frame and intense, red-rimmed eyes, Ms. Marshall illustrated that the true source of Richard III’s power emanated from his cunning speech and a knack for manipulation. Marshall elicited sympathy for the murderous monarch not only through her constant limp, but more importantly via the edgy humor that she brought to the role. Marshall’s appealing underdog Richard III is akin to the archetypal schoolyard outcast who through sheer force of determination (and sarcastic zingers) manages to court the most popular girl, topple the In Crowd, and get the audience to root for him. Marshall’s comedic delivery of the line in Act I “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?” (after Richard’s brazen courting of Lady Anne at her husband’s funeral) added lightness to Richard’s realization of his dark powers. The casting of the tall Christopher W. Jones as Buckingham was a brilliant choice; the diminutive Richard bossing around the hulking Buckingham underscored Richard’s rhetorical and manipulative prowess.

One scene that humorously embodied Richard’s capacity for mind games occurred during Act III, when Richard “reluctantly” accepts his subjects’ pleas to be their ruler. Through this scene Marshall conveyed Richard’s talent for reverse psychology, another tool in his arsenal of manipulation. With Catesby, Buckingham, and the cast kneeling below him on the balcony, Richard protests innocently, “Why would you heap these cares on me/I am unfit for state and dignity.” The comedy of the scene was further depicted as the murderous Richard posed piously between two clergymen, holding a book of prayer. The gesture was especially biting in today’s world, a salient commentary on the hypocrisy of politicians who don the cloak of religion as a mantle to seduce the masses.

The entire cast of Ellen Geer’s production, from the precocious children playing Richard’s young nephews to the booming oracle, Queen Margaret (played by Earnestine Phillips), to the guilt-ridden Second Executioner of Clarence (Dylan Booth Vigus) added to the narrative’s vivacity . At one point, the wrapped bloody head of Hastings is tossed around like a football. Political battles are often a sport. With Marshall’s interpretation of Richard III, we don’t focus on the fact that he was more morally reprehensible than anyone else. What we realize is that in the bloody match of Team Lancaster Versus Team York, the glib-tongued Richard III was just better at the game.

Photo by IAN FLANDERS: Melora Marshall as Richard III, Willow Geer as Lady Anne

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In the news: in honor of artist’s Alexander Calder- a Google doodle

In honor of the birthday mobile sculptor inventor, Alexander Calder, play with a Calder-like mobile. The moving mobile will appear on Google search today Friday July 22. The left side of the interactive mobile reminds me of a hungry plant from the Little Shop of Horrors: “Feed Me!”

Before becoming an artist, Mr. Calder studied engineering. According to the Calder Foundation, one of the most profound experiences in Mr. Calder’s life occurred when he was working as a fireman on a Ship’s Boiler Room. When he awoke one day (on a ship heading from New York to San Francisco) he saw both a radiant sunrise and a resplendent full moon. At that moment the ship lay off the coast of Guatemala, and Calder could see each striking vista on opposite horizons. What an incredible sight that must have been…

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A Liszt of cultural events in LA this weekend- July 22nd and 23rd

This week’s cultural cocktail includes: a dash of Romanticism, a twist of Mullholland Drive, and a morsel of Parisian luxury- oh la la!

Piano Performance: Angels and Demons: Liszt and the Arts

Fri. July 22- 7:00 p.m.

Tatiana Thibodeaux. Held in the 20th-century gallery. Norton Simon Museum of Art.411 W. Colorado Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91105 626.449.6840 http://www.nortonsimon.org/

Mulholland Drive  Sat July 23- 7:30 P.M

Directed by David Lynch and starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forrester and Ann Miller.

Bing Theater. LACMA• 5905 Wilshire Blvd. LA, CA, 90036 To purchase tickets, call: 323 857-6010  Or Visit: http://www.lacma.org/


Paris: Life and Luxury

closing August 7th

Getty Center.

1200 Getty Center Dr. LA, CA 90049

(310) 440-7300 http://www.getty.edu


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Strange Love: the berserk engagement of Richard Strauss

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Some men plan a midnight stroll by the beach. Others a calm picnic under stars…

Richard Strauss‘ engagement to temperamental soprano Pauline de Ahna involved: 1. being shrieked at by a soprano, having a musical score thrown at his head, and ducking flying objects

Elizabeth Lundy, in her book, Secret Lives of Great Composers, reports that after being conducted by Strauss in an opera rehearsal, Miss Diva Pauline went ballistic over a difference of opinion over tempo.

“Pauline threw her score at Strauss’s head…the entire orchestra tiptoed.. so they could listen to the screaming, shrieking, and occasional thuds as objects flew around the room… The musicians announced that in respect for their conductor and in protest of Pauline’s outrageous behavior, they would refuse to participate in any further production in which Fraulein de Ahna had a role.

“That distresses me,” said Strauss, “as I have just become engaged to Fraulein de Ahna.”

[The Secret Lives of Great Composers, 183]

I hope that Strauss threw Miss Pauline a nice derangement, I mean, engagement party.

To the left, Pauline de Ahna, who rather resembles a Viking warrior                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

“Fear my wrath, Strauss If you mess up my tempo, I will kill you.No, I will MARRY You.”

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