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Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions: Western Region

All Photography and Text © 2011 Leticia Marie Sanchez

All Rights Reserved.

Passionate singers, heavenly arias, storm clouds, and an adorable Jack Russell Terrier!

It was a dark and stormy night.

Or day, rather.

(Yes, there will be a canine featured in this operatic tale. No, it’s neither Snoopy nor the Red Baron).

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions!

Where contestants sing their hearts out for a chance to sing on the Met stage in New York..

Zipper Concert Hall,

Colburn School of Music, Downtown Los Angeles:

Ten talented singers wait in the wings for their chance to shine…

Audience-favorite,  Narine Ojakhyan’s voice was heavenly as she sang “Regnava nel Silenzio” from Lucia Di Lammermoor, for which she received thunderous applause.


Joseph Lim – 1st place and going to New York

Marina Boudart Harris – 2nd place

Narine Ojakhyan – 3rd place

Peabody Southwell  – Special Encouragement Award


Wandering upstairs at the Colburn School Of Music, I bump into a familiar-looking sculpture.

Could it be Nipper?

The Jack Russell Terrier who illustrates the RCA Gramophone’s with the painting “His Master’s Voice?”

Indeed it was.

Here’s Nipper on a Duke Ellington Record.

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A Tennessee Williams play never before seen on West Coast

A House Not Meant To Stand– Running February 26 – April 17

This is Williams’ final play, never before seen on the West Coast. Williams called this tragicomedy about the dysfunctional McCorkle family—a “Southern Gothic spook sonata

Directed by Simon Levy.  Featuring Chip Bent, Daniel Billet, Robert Craighead, Alan Blumenfeld, Kevin High, Sandy Martin, Virginia Newcomb, Lisa Richards, Caroline Treadwell

The Fountain Theatre. 5060 Fountain Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029 (Fountain at Normandie)  For more information on show times and tickets, please call (323) 663-1525 or visit

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Baroque Conversations 3: LA Chamber Orchestra- February 17th

Thursday February 17- 7pm

“Baroque Conversations 3”

Jory Vinikour, conductor & harpsichord

MUFFAT Concerto Grosso No. 12, “Propitia Sydera” (“Lucky Stars”)

HANDEL Chaconne from Terpsichore

WF BACH Harpsichord Concerto in D major

ROYER Suite in C minor for Solo Harpsichord

RAMEAU Suite of Dances from Hippolyte et Aricie

Zipper Concert Hall. 200 South Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012

For more information on tickets, please call 213 622 7001 x 215.

Or visit:

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Pinocchio Redux- Deaf West Theatre- Opening Feb 25th

The Adventures of Pinocchio– Running February 25-March 27

Tony Award winner Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) has created an adaptation steeped in the Italian tradition of commedia dell’arte – a form of physical comedy that lends itself to Deaf West Theatre’s combination of signed and voiced theater. (Rated “PG” for mild language and dark themes – recommended for ages 10+)

Written by Carlo Collodi; Directed by Stephen Rothman. Featuring James Royce Edwards, Lindsay W. Evans, Matthew Henerson, Tommy Korn, Lexi Marman, Colin O’Brien-Lux, Darrin Revitz, Vae, Amber Zion

Deaf West Theatre. 5112 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood CA 91601(one block south of Magnolia Blvd;

Fore more information on showtimes and tickets, please call:


or visit:

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Cultural Valentine’s Weekend- Flamenco- Sunday February 13th

FOREVER FLAMENCO! Sunday, February 13- 8pm

Featuring Dancers: Lakshmi Basile, Adriana Maresma-Fois and Manuel Gutierrez de Cordoba Singer: Vicente Griego and Guitarist: Juan Antonio Gomez

Gallery Theatre Barnsdall Art Park. 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Hollywood Blvd &Vermont Ave)

For tickets, call (323) 663-1525

Or visit:

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Chinese New Year Family Festival: Huntington Museum- Feb 5th & 6th


Sat Feb. 5th & Sun Feb 6th

10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road. San Marino, CA  91108


The festival includes:
String and Bamboo Orchestra,
the Chinese Music Ensemble
from the UCLA Herb Albert School of Music
Shadow puppet theaterCalligraphy demonstrationsTai Chi

For a full schedule of events and performances, please check:

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Black Swan Costumes: Coming to MOCA!


March 4–June 5, 2011

MOCA Pacific Design Center

Are you hankering for more Black Swan?
MOCA will hold the first West Coast solo exhibition of American designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte.
The exhibit will features pieces from runway collections as well as original ballet costumes for Black Swan.

With the Oscars on the horizon, explore costumes from the Academy-Award nominated film at the Pacific Design Center.

Better yet try the Buddy System
and bring a friend in tow—
just in case
pops out of a mirror-

MOCA PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER. 8687 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90069

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Music Review- The Pasadena Symphony & the Kramer Effect

The Pasadena Symphony:

Old Friends Immortalized- the Kramer Effect

By Leticia Marie Sanchez

On Saturday evening, in its incarnation at the Ambassador Auditorium, the Pasadena Symphony came alive. 27-year old guest conductor Tito Muñoz led the symphony on an exploration of Benjamin Britten’s “Soirees Musicales”, Dvorák’s “Cello Concerto in B minor, and Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” In contrast to its previous location near bustling Paseo Colorado, the symphony’s new venue, nestled between pools and the Egret Fountain designed by British sculptor David Wynne, embodies an atmosphere of tranquil civility. The venue, once hailed by Ella Fitzgerald for its fine acoustics, allowed the nuances of individual instrumentation to flourish, rivaling the sound of Downtown LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

An important facet of art is its ability to capture the essences of loved ones, to paint affectionate portraits, and bequeath them to future generations; one resounding theme of the Pasadena Symphony’s program revolved around music as tribute.

Elgar dedicated the individual “Enigma Variations” to loved ones within his circle. During the pre-concert lecture, Guest Conductor Tito Muñoz humorously nicknamed Variation IV (Allegro di molto) “W.M.B” the “Kramer” Enigma, alluding to the manically energetic chum on the popular Seinfeld television series. Just as Larry David’s TV series immortalized his real-life neighbor Kenny Kramer through the fictional counterpart, Elgar’s variation captured the spirit of his chum, William Meath Baker, an enthusiastic and energetic local squire.

William Meath Baker-

Manically energetic squire, door-slammer, and Edward Elgar’s buddy

(Like Kramer, this wiry squire was found of slamming doors, but did he wear the Kramer hairstyle? The cap keeps that mysterious)

Through the night’s performance, the audience revisited the composers dearest friends, from Elgar’s humorous pal Mr. Baker to Dvorák’s tragic lost love, Josefina, immortalized in a concerto performed poignantly by Cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan. Many modern audiences know the antics of Larry David’s neighbor Kramer as if he lived in the apartment next door. Artists invite us to let their lost loves and dearest friends inside our homes and our hearts.

We could call it the Kramer Effect.

For an excerpt from the Pre-Concert Interview of Guest conductor Tito Muñoz, please see below:

Q and A

Guest conductor Tito Muñoz interviewed by Pasadena Symphony and POPS CEO Paul Jan Zdunek

Q: How was it been to play with an orchestra that does not meet every week?

A: The members of the Pasadena Orchestra have a sense of community and a sense of ensemble. They have played together around town, collaborating in different orchestras, film projects, etc….I could tell from the very first rehearsal.

Q: What was the most inspirational and profound moment of your musical life?

A. Conducting the Cincinnati Symphony was an incredibly daunting experience…. I had an ‘A-Ha’ moment- I can do this. It reaffirmed everything I could hope for.

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Reverb- A Pasadena Symphony Event- for the Young & Culturally Savvy

For more information on Reverb, please visit

Or call 626.793.7172.

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Romantic Dvorák- January 22- Pasadena Symphony

Romantic Dvorák:

January 22, at 2pm and 8pm

Maestro Tito Muñoz, Conductor

Narek Hakhnazaryan, Cello

Britten: Soirées Musicales

Dvorák: Cello Concerto in b minor

Elgar: Enigma Variations

Ambassador Auditorium. 131 S. St. John Ave.  Pasadena, CA.

Insights, the pre-concert talk, will be led by Guest conductor Tito Muñoz at 1PM and 7PM in the auditorium.

To purchase tickets for Romantic Dvorák, visit

Or call the Box Office at 626.793.7172.

Ticket price range: $30-$80. Tickets for children 14 and under are $10. Senior Rush Tickets will be sold onsite for the 2pm concert for $15.

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