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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Uplifting Signs of Cultural Life Remerging in LA: Pasadena Pops

“Let the Sunshine In!” An Evening by the water with the Pasadena Pops by Leticia Marie Sanchez               Yesterday, I took my son and his friend to check out the Pasadena Pops. The waterfront setting at the LA County Arboretum was an uplifting spot to listen to an outdoor concert after these surreal 18 months. What was even more soulful, was when the Motown Musicians sang a rendition of “Let the Sunshine In”- that is exactly the kind of soul stirring music that is needed this summer! Click here on the link for a taste of the music! Let the Sunshine In Let the good vibes continue!

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This weekend’s highlight- at the Colburn School: Met Opera Auditions Western Region Finals

Metropolitan Opera National Council 2019 WESTERN REGION FINALS Sunday, January 12, 2020 1 P.M. THE COLBURN SCHOOL’s ZIPPER HALL 200 S. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012 TICKETS – Reserve Seating — $40 To order tickets please contact Molly Siefert email:  phone: 626.437.5944 The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. Notable past winners include: Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Deborah Voigt, and Sondra Radvanovsky Photography  © 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Cultural Cocktail Hour in Paris: Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera, Part II

Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera Part Two by Leticia Marie Sanchez All Photography and text © Leticia Marie Sanchez This article first appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2012 Charles Garnier declared, “I have two shows in my opera; one on the stage and one in the theater.” The most prestigious box, that of the emperor, was monitored by bodyguards.  Nobles and industrialists had private boxes equipped with a curtain that came in handy for playing cards, ordering food, and engaging in amorous intrigue. On the ground floor stood working professionals, writers, and composers. Ladies were not allowed on the ground floor due to the tight conditions and bumping which resulted in occasional fisticuffs. Only prostitutes stood here as very few ladies in the nineteenth century worked as writers or composers.  The very high chicken box nosebleed seats were called Paradise:

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Study: A Child’s Brain develops faster with exposure to music education

Researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California conducted a 2 year-study that illustrates that exposure to music and music instruction increases the rate of brain development in  young children. The study focused on the areas of the brain responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception. The study began in 2012, when neuroscientists started monitoring a group of 37 children ages 6-8 years old. Thirteen of them received music instruction through the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Program The researchers compared various groups by tracking the electrical activity in the brains, conducting behavioural testing and monitored changes using brain scans. “The results showed that the auditory systems of the children in the music programme had accelerated faster than the other children not engaged in music. Dr. Assal Habibi, the lead author of

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Young Verdi: Altar Boy


By Leticia Marie Sanchez       Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark In his Book of Musical Anecdotes, Norman Lebrecht relates a revealing incident from Verdi’s childhood. The seven-year-old Verdi, born into a modest family, once served as an altar boy at the church of Le Rencole. During Fête Day, the young boy heard the organ for the first time. Transported by the emanating musical harmonies, the child did not hear the priest’s request for water. Three times did the priest make his demand, to no avail. Enraged at the child with his head in the clouds, the priest struck a severe blow, pushing young Verdi down the three altar stairs, knocking him into unconsciousness. When the child thankfully awoke from his ordeal, what was the first thing for which he asked his parents? A painkiller? A glass of

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The Key of D Minor? Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to Mozart’s death

According to an article in Live Science, the lack of sunlight-induced Vitamin D may have contributed to Mozart’s young demise. The authors of the study surmise that the Vitamin D deficiency could have made the composer more susceptible to a plethora of infections during the winter. According to the authors of the study, “Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48 degrees N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about 6 months of the year. Mozart died on December 5, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.” The researchers include: D. William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, and Stefan Pilz of the Medical University of Graz in Austria For the

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Beautiful Day at the Norton Simon Fall Family Festival

All Photography  © 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Verdi: A bold request

Verdi: A bold request by Leticia Marie Sanchez The following correspondence in the form of abridged letters between Giuseppe Verdi and one very unusual opera-goer, Prospero Bertani: Much Honoured Signor Verdi,       Reggio, May 7, 1872 On the second of this month, attracted by the sensation which your opera Aida was making, I went to Parma. Half an hour before the performance began I was already in my seat, No.120. I admired the scenery, listened with great pleasure to the excellent singers, and took pains to let nothing escape me. After the performance was over, I asked myself whether I was satisfied.  The answer was “No.” I returned to Reggio, and on the way back in the railroad carriage, I listened to the verdicts of my fellow travelers. Nearly all of them agreed that Aida was a work

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Cultural Cocktail Hour reports from Paris: Garnier and the Paris Opera

A brief history of Le Palais Garnier: Persona Non Grata and the Opera Bombs By Leticia Marie Sanchez All Paris Photography and Text © 2012 Leticia Marie Sanchez Persona Non Grata On the exuberant opening night at Le Palais Garnier, the Paris opera, one person was not on the guest list: Charles Garnier, the opera’s architect. In order to attend the inauguration ceremony with his wife, the landmark’s architect had to pay one hundred and twenty francs out of his own pocket. Persona Non Grata. Persona Non Gratis. Garnier’s status had changed from revered architect to social pariah due to the shift in Paris’s political landscape. Garnier had been selected during a competition in 1861 under the reign of Napoleon III. The opening ceremony took place fourteen years later, under a vastly different regime. The government of the Third Republic had an

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Rock on, Gottlieb– the many nicknames of Mozart

First published by Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011 Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark by Leticia Marie Sanchez A lecture by Professor Robert Greenberg, from San Francisco Performances, revealed hidden gems about Mozart’s name. Enjoy! Baptized Name: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart The divinely-inspired composer adored word games. He called himself: Di Mozartini, Mozartus, and Mozarti  He also enjoyed playing with the letters of his name and called himself:  Romatz, Trazom, Volfgangus (Latin Version) Gangflow (backwards)  His middle name, Theophilus, had the most permutations  His father called him GOTTLIEB because Gottlieb is the German version of Theophilus- “love of God”) What was Mozart’s personal favorite?  Amédée, the French version, which he picked up when he lived in Paris.  He actually never referred to himself as Amadeus!  (Unless it was a joke, then he would call him self Woolfgangus Amadeus) Out of

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