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The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra 2011-2012 season opened with a moving tribute to Mozart, conducted by Heiichiro Ohyama and featuring the talent of Canadian pianist Lucille Chung. The evening included overtures from The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Idomeneo, K. 366, The Impresario, K. 486, Symphony No. 35, K. 385 in D major “Haffner”, Don Giovanni, K. 527, and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra n. 23, K. 488 in A major.



The opening event was sponsored by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and Chaucer’s Books, and was dedicated form the stage to Connie Clark, long-time patron of the SBCO. A pre-performance Supper Club dinner included a special tribute to Connie Clark, where board members and guests offered their congratulations to the philanthropic ninety-seven year young Santa Barbara resident. Wine sponsor for the evening was Paul Arganbright, President of Touring and Tasting wine club. For upcoming performances and dinner reservations visit www.sbco.org.




                        Renowned Cellist Lynn Harrell Performs 



The first of seven great symphonic concerts at the Granada Theatre included the conducting magic of Nir Kabaretti and a performasnce by the renowned Cellist Lynn Harrell. The evenings program included John Adams: Tromba Lontana, Elgar: Cello Concerto and Berloiz: Symphonie Fantastique. Sponsors for the opening included Montecito Bank & Trust, Sara Miller Mc Clune, KDB93.7FM, KEYT3abc.



“Music Behind the Music” a free pre-concert program presented by instructor/pianist Ramon Araisa is offered one hour before each performance and gives guests an insight into the story behind the concert and the life of the composer being featured.  The season opening VIP party offered introductions and comments from Nir Kabaretti, Cellist Lynn Harrell and David Grossman. It was a celebration of a new symphony year with huge kudos to the conductor and cellist, as well as the symphony staff and board of directors in attendance. Marilyn Sullivan was the champagne sponsor, and a glass was served to all in attendance at the opening. For upcoming symphony schedule and reservations visit: www.thesymphony.org.


Dream Foundation Honors
Donna Karan
at 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams  

November 18, 2011
Bacara Resort and Spa 

A star studded evening with
Saks Fifth Avenue presenting the Donna Karan Spring 2012 Collection 

The Dream Foundation, the first national organization that makes dreams come true for adults in the end stages of life, is proud to honor fashion icon Donna Karan with The Founders Award at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams on November 18, 2011 at the Bacara Resort and Spa.  An event unlike any other, Celebration of Dreams combines high fashion on and off the runway, world-class entertainment, and creative cuisine, all benefiting Dream Foundation.
The Founder's Award will be presented to Ms. Karan by her dear friend Barbra Streisand.  The evening's festivities will be highlighted by the Donna Karan Spring 2012 runway show, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue.  Ronald Frasch, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, will introduce the fashion show.  “Saks Fifth Avenue is proud to support the incredible work of the Dream Foundation, and no one is more deserving of this honor than our friend, Donna Karan,” says Frasch. 
The evening will also include performances by Grammy award-winning singer Macy Gray, recording artist and American Idol finalist Pia Toscano, Naya Rivera and Amber Riley of GLEE and recording artist Jackson Guthy. 
In addition to a silent auction, actor and long-time Dream Foundation supporter, Dan Aykroyd will host a live auction to help raise money for the foundation. Auction items will include high-ticket items such as a seven-day voyage on The World, the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth;a 5-star African Safari from Singita &Beyond; VIP seats to the Argentine Open in Buenos Aires; a private dinner with acclaimed actor, Morgan Freeman and VIP tickets to Donna Karan’s Fashion week show (including a $2,500 shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York flagship and VIP tickets to Mercedes Benz Fashion week), amongst others.
Also, as part of the evening a special tribute will be made to dream recipients in attendance and the more than 2,000 dreams fulfilled over the year.
For the first time in the Dream Foundation’s history, Donna Karan - as the fashion partner - will be honored with the “Founders Award” due to her work with the Urban Zen Foundation. Previous recipients included Jeff and Susan Bridges and Rob and Sheryl Lowe. 
The Founders Award recognizes excellence in humanitarian efforts on behalf of those facing illness. There is tremendous synergy in the services offered by Dream Foundation and Urban Zen’s Wellness Initiative.  Both provide relief and comfort to those facing illness, beyond that which is offered through western medicine and treatments. 
For Dream Foundation this comes in provision of basic need items and resources that allow for closure, peace, and happy final memories.  For Urban Zen this comes via accessible forms of eastern healing techniques and meditation.
Dream Foundation Founder, Thomas Rollerson, comments, “In our 10 years celebrating this event, it has always been about dreamers who hope to find closure with loved-ones;  who wish to give their children a lasting memory of special family time and who want to live out their remaining moments in comfort and peace.  Those participating in this gala are literally making hundreds of dreams like these come true."
Celebration of Dreams Sponsors include:  Saks Fifth Avenue, Donna Karan, ThinkThin, CKE Restaurants, Revelry Event Designers, Bacara Resort & Spa, as well as live auction donors: The World – Residences at Sea, Crystal Cruises, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, Strictly Vacations, American Airlines, Singita Game Reserves &Beyond Africa.
Founded in 1994, the mission of Dream Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families battling life-threatening illness.  Dream recipients are 18 years and older and have been given a limited prognosis of a year or less.  Dreams range from basic need items, like a comfortable chair in which to rest, to family vacations with children.  With more than 2,000 anticipated dream requests for 2011, Dream Foundation relies on donations of cash, airline miles and other resources to make dreams come true.  Dream Foundation maintains a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator.  For more information visit www.dreamfoundation.org or call (805) 564-2131.  


Sculpted Pilars Represent Francis Jansen’s New Works Depicting Harmony in Creation

A large group of art enthusiasts, family members, and long-time friends of sculptor Francis Jansen gathered at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Santa Barbara to view the unveiling of Jansen’s latest amazing offerings in stone. The ceremony included an Indian sage blessing, music by Sudama Mark Kennedy and a poetry reading. The two 8-foot-tall monuments represent beautiful magical forms of a woman, and a male figure holding a happy baby. They offer a powerful message on the importance of humanity to strive for a proper balance and connection with the earth. Sister Stephanie, Director of La Casa de Maria opened the program, and praised Francis on the strength and beauty of the pilars. Jansen's sister and mother joined with her to listen to her explain the inspirations of the soul that moved her to create the two sculpted pilars, which took over two years to complete.



It was a lovely afternoon, and a message in stone to remember. For additional information on Francis Jansen visit: www.francisjansen.com.

Vincent van Gogh's painting Roses (1890)—among his largest and most beautiful still lifes—returns to view in Washington on January 29 in the West Building's newly renovated 19th-Century French galleries after traveling on loan for more than a year.

Following a two-year renovation, the galleries devoted to impressionism and post-impressionism in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art will reopen to the public on January 29, 2012. Among the greatest collections in the world of paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, the Gallery's later 19th-century French paintings will return to public view in a freshly conceived installation design.

"The Gallery's French impressionist and post-impressionist holdings, comprising nearly 400 paintings, are among the most prized in the Gallery, and rightly so," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "A world-class collection of this caliber results from the generosity of many donors, from the 1942 Widener bequest that brought the Gallery its first impressionist paintings to other treasured works of art, received primarily through gifts large and small."

The installation is organized into thematic, monographic, and art historical themes, including the "new" Paris of the Second Empire and the Third Republic; "high impressionism" of the 1870s marked by sun-dappled landscapes and scenes of suburban leisure; the fantastic, sophisticated color experiments of late Monet; Cézanne's genius in landscape, still-life, and figure painting; the bold innovations of Van Gogh and Gauguin; and the Parisian avant-garde circa 1900: Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Modigliani, and Rousseau. Text panels in many of the galleries will suggest the ideas behind these groupings, and new audio-tour stops will further help orient the visitor.

Opened in 1941, the National Gallery of Art is significantly younger than its competitors in this collecting area (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris). The Gallery boasts major masterpieces from the Chester Dale Collection, which in accordance with the deed of gift in 1962 may never be loaned. These include Manet's Old Musician, Cézanne's The Peppermint Bottle, Gauguin's Self-Portrait, Van Gogh's La Mousmé, Degas's Four Dancers, two of Monet's celebrated views of Rouen Cathedral, and Picasso's Family of Saltimbanques. They join other great works of French art, given to the Gallery by the Mellon family and other donors, including Manet's The Railway and Plum Brandy, Renoir's Dancer, Cézanne's Boy in a Red Waistcoat and Harlequin, and Van Gogh's Self-Portrait and Roses.

Thirteen works have been newly restored, including Renoir's sparkling Parisian view of the Pont Neuf, his ever-popular Girl with a Watering Can, Monet's classic Bridge at Argenteuil, and a portrait of Monet's newborn son Jean in his cradle. 

During the two-year period of repair, restoration, and renovation, works normally on view in these galleries were either in storage, on loan, or featured in a special installation—From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection—in the West Building Ground Floor galleries. Some fifty of the greatest works from this collection were included in major exhibitions shown in Houston, Tokyo, and Kyoto.

General Information

 New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia,and Later South Asia The Metropolitan Museum of Art PRESS PREVIEW: Monday, October 24, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

New Galleries for the Art of the


The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Opening November 1, 2011


Banjo Legend Earl Scruggs Hits UCLA Live’s Royce Hall Nov. 5


 One of the most revered artists in the history of bluegrass, Earl Scruggs performs at UCLA Live’s Royce Hall Saturday, November 5 at 8 p.m.

 The legendary 87-year-old multi-Grammy-award winner pioneered the distinctive three-finger Banjo-picking style that has thrilled audiences for decades. From 1948 to 1969, Scruggs and his partner Lester Flatt were a major force in introducing bluegrass music to America as the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs’ innovative solo career followed, including time in The Earl Scruggs Revue, which also featured his three sons. In 2008 the influential instrumentalist was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

Los Angeles’ own Merle Jagger opens the night, with a unique mix of blazing instrumental classic country, bluegrass and rock.

Tickets are available to the general public starting at $20 via uclalive.org, Ticketmaster or the UCLA Central Ticket office at 310.821.2101.




Saturday, November 5th through Saturday, November 12th  

FotoDC, Washington DC’s premier photography non-profit, has enriched its programming and broadened its vision to make the upcoming fourth annual  FotoWeek DC  the best yet. After earning international acclaim, visitors come from far and wide to enoy the numerous exhibits, workshops, lectures, and events the festival has to offer. This year FotoWeek DC programming can be found at FotoWeek Central, the designated festival hub, four satellite locations including FotoSpace, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, George Washington University, and Pepco’s Edison Gallery Place, as well as numerous partner venues.  All programming is open to the public and most is free with registration.

“The sheer number of extraordinary print exhibits we’re presenting at FotoWeek Central, is testimony to just how far the Festival has evolved in four short years,” said Theo Adamstein, Founder and Executive Director of FotoDC. “This year, we are proud to have partnered with local and national human rights organizations to focus on powerful, provocative images with strong social messages.”

The following is an overview of FotoWeek Central and the four satellite locations:

FotoWeek Central 1800 L St. NW, Washington, DC

Generously donated by Somerset Partners LLC, this 50,000-square-foot space (the former Borders Bookstore) will be transformed to house fourteen photo exhibitions including the winners of the FotoWeek DC International Awards Competition and World Press Photo 2011. In addition, FotoWeek Central will host lectures by renowned photographers, workshops, and events that highlight creativity in photojournalism and art.

 FotoSpace 1838 Columbia Rd. NWWashington, DC

Home to FotoDC’s offices year round, this contemporary venue in Adams Morgan will host this year’s NightVisions -- an all-night photography happening and exhibition, running from 8pm Saturday, November 5 until 4am Sunday, November 6. The cutting-edge Nocturnal Visions show will be on display through the end of November. 

Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design 500 17th St. NW, Washington, DC

As a major center for collecting, displaying, and studying photography and photojournalism, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design will be FREE and open to the public, November 5-12, including November 7 and 8, days the Gallery is normally closed, in celebration of FotoWeek DC. The Corcoran will also present free noon lectures by some of the leading minds in photography, including Stephanie Sinclair, Amy Yenkin, and Trevor Paglen, as well as host portfolio reviews by renowned curators, educators, and critics on November 12.

Throughout FotoWeek DC, a number of photography exhibitions will be on view: Hank Willis Thomas: Strange Fruit; Gordon Parks: Photographs from the Collection; Selections from the Indie Photobook Library; Photo Todos: Works by Corcoran College of Art + Design and Latin American Youth Center Students; and Prix Pictet.

George Washington University Kogan Plaza at 21st & H St. NW, Washington, DC

NightGallery’s digital HD exterior projections will make a monumental appearance at this year’s festival with larger-than-life projections on the south facade of George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium, Monday, November 7 though Wednesday, November 9. Details will be released soon.

 Pepco’s Edison Place Gallery 702 8th St. NW, Washington, DC

This gallery will host two exhibitions, Colors of Life from its 2011 International Photo Contest organized with Every Child Matters. The gallery will also feature vintage photography of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s from former National Geographic photographers Anthony Stewart and J. Baylor Roberts, two men whose work epitomized the early days of documentary photography.

 FotoWeek DC Launch Party

To kick-off this year’s festival, FotoDC will host a dynamic two-venue Launch Party on Friday, November 4 from 5:00pm-11:30pm. Beginning at FotoWeek Central and continuing at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. For ticket information visit: http://www.fotoweekdc.org.

 For more information regarding FotoDC or FotoWeek DC, please go to:  http://www.fotoweekdc.org.

* Museum-Wide Celebration Begins November 11 *

Eight Specially Decorated Thorne Miniature Rooms Joined by
Never-Before Seen Americana Miniature Room

Degas Sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen Returns to Impressionist Galleries

20th Annual Wreathing of the Lions and Daily Festive Events for the Whole Family

Everyone is invited to ring in the holiday season at the Art Institute of Chicago beginning November 11, 2011, when the museum welcomes visitors of all ages "Home for the Holidays." This year, a never-before seen Americana Miniature Room from Marshall Field V's private collection will be on display, alongside eight festive Thorne Miniature Rooms specially decorated for the holiday season. A special presentation of an old favorite-- Edgar Degas's captivating sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen--takes center stage in the Impressionist galleries. The annual Wreathing of the Lions ceremony, celebrating its 20th year as a Chicago holiday tradition, will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 25, at 10:00 a.m.

In addition, from November 25 through December 31, families can pick up a free holiday-themed self guide to the museum; participate in free art-making workshops every weekend where kids can make their own masterpiece to take home; or drop by for seasonal melodies during the daily Midday Music series. With a full roster of joyous performances, enlightening gallery tours, and engaging activities for young visitors, the Art Institute is the place to spend the holidays with friends and family. Children under 14 always receive free admission to the Art Institute.

Back by popular demand, the Holiday Thorne Miniature Rooms will be decorated for the season beginning November 11, 2011 . A total of eight dwellings will be decked out, with the New Orleans and New Mexico rooms joining the festive tradition this year. Keeping to Mrs. Thorne's exacting standards of craftsmanship, several renowned artists from across the country and around the world have been commissioned to create pieces for the rooms. Tiny toys from Germany, diminutive delicacies from Italy, and petite plants from South Africa, in addition to several pieces made in the museum, bring seasonal flair to the Lilliputian spaces. A Chinese New Year-inspired Thorne Room will be installed later during the season. In addition, a special presentation of the Americana Room from Marshall Field V's private collection will also be on display through the holidays.

A Chicago holiday favorite, the Wreathing of the Lions ceremony will celebrate its 20th anniversary the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 25, at 10:00 a.m. on the museum's front steps at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street. This year, soulful performances by the Wooten Choral Ensemble will add cheer as the iconic lions are adorned with traditional evergreen wreaths. The celebration continues after the museum opens to the public at 10:30 a.m., when visitors will find Edgar Degas's beloved Little Dancer Aged Fourteen back on view in Impressionism Gallery 201. This sculpture of a graceful Parisian ballerina was first on display in 2006 as a special loan to the museum from a private collection. Art Institute curators have once again installed this famous sculpture among some of the most revered works of the Impressionism movement by Monet, Renoir, and Caillebotte. After exploring the galleries, families are invited to create wreaths of their own in free family art-making workshops. The first 50 people to arrive and attend the event will receive free admission to the museum.

Holiday Music at the Art Institute

Melodies of the season will fill the Modern Wing's Griffin Court everyday from November 25 through December 31 as part of the Midday Music series. A diverse lineup of Chicago's finest musicians offers seasonal songs--from traditional carols, gospel, and jazz to klezmer, harp, lute, and pipa--from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. An annual showcase of area high school and university choirs will brighten the bedecked Woman's Board Grand Staircase by the Michigan Avenue entrance with harmonies on December 1, 2 and 5-9 at 12:00 p.m. All performances are free with museum admission.

The Art Institute is also pleased to welcome Anonymous 4--the renowned virtuosic, all-female quartet specializing in medieval music--on December 18 for two shows (2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) in the museum's Fullerton Hall. Celebrating their 25th anniversary year with a major world tour titled "Anthology 25," the ladies of Anonymous 4 will perform ancient, traditional, and modern music from each of their 19 prize-winning albums under the hall's historic Tiffany Dome. The ensemble--twice voted one of Billboard's Top Classical Artists of the Year--has enthralled audiences with performances ranging from Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" to sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Advanced purchase is strongly recommended: tickets are $15 for members/students, $20 for the public; visit museumtix.com for more information.

For a complete holiday music performance schedule at the Art Institute, please refer to the museum's website: www.artic.edu/holidays2011.

More Art Institute holiday events continuing through December:

Go on an expedition to learn about the museum's artworks and collect stickers and stamps, followed by a tea party featuring live entertainment and refreshments at the 30th Annual Treasure Hunt and Tea Party on December 11 at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., or 1:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale November 1. Call (877) 307-4242 or visit www.museumtix.com to purchase tickets.������

Feeling creative? Why not gather the whole crew and construct an edible dream home with the Build Your Own Gingerbread House workshop in the Millennium Park Room (December 17-18, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). The cost is $60 per family of four; $50 per Art Institute member family of four. Gingerbread kits, frosting, and decorating candy are included. Additional kits and discounted dining vouchers for the Garden Café will be available for purchase. Tax and gratuity not included. Call (312) 553-9675 for reservations.

Enjoy a family-oriented afternoon filled with holiday sing-alongs at Caroling Tea events in the Stock Exchange Trading Room (December 17-18, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.). Complimentary tea sandwiches and festive desserts will be offered. Drinks and kids' "mocktails" can be purchased at the cash bar. The cost is $25 per person; children 12 and under $15 per person; Art Institute members $20 per person. Tax and gratuity not included; cash bar available. Call (312) 553-9675 for reservations.

Masterpiece of the Day returns for this year's holiday celebration. Each day at noon from December 19 to 31 (except December 25), visitors can take a 30-minute guided gallery tour focusing on a different jewel in the Art Institute's crown, including Grant Wood's American Gothic and Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath . These engaging, brief talks give viewers the chance to learn more about their favorite works--and the objects that make the Art Institute's collection world-renowned.

On the second night of Hanukkah, Chicago's own Maxwell Street Klezmer Band plays songs inspired by the works of Marc Chagall. This concert, free with museum admission, will take place on December 22 at 6:00 p.m., in Fullerton Hall.

Family Programs for the holidays include workshops and gallery walks on Saturdays and Sundays in December (except December 24 and 25). The popular Holly Days festival takes place annually just before the New Year. Beginning Tuesday, December 27, and continuing through Friday, December 30, Holly Days offers a variety of activities daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Ryan Education Center. This year, families are invited to visit the picture book exhibition Animals around the World and stop by the studio to create a paper animal sculpture of their own. Families can explore movement, rhythm, and yoga at a storytelling led by Pranita Jain of Kalapriya at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. In addition, families are invited to discover captivating works throughout the museum on an interactive gallery walk at 1:30 p.m. Art Institute mascot Artie the Lion makes a special appearance on December 27!

Looking for unique, inspired gifts this holiday season? Art Institute gift memberships can be purchased at both the Michigan Avenue entrance lobby and the Monroe Street Modern Wing entrance lobby. Members receive free hot chocolate all season long! Or, stop by the Art Institute's main Museum Shop and the Modern Shop and find a wide array of merchandise, including jewelry, home décor, clothing, stationery, gift books, and much more. Then, after art, entertainment, and shopping at the Art Institute, take a break at Terzo Piano in the Modern Wing or the Garden Café in the lower level of the Rubloff Building for treats and more.

For general museum information, please call (312) 443-3600 or visit www.artinstituteofchicago.org. For information about specific lectures and family programs, please call the Department of Museum Education at (312) 443-3680. Exhibitions and programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. The Art Institute will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.


A new Jean Cocteau Museum will open in the seaside city of Menton in the Riviera on November 6, 2011. Thanks to the generous donation by Severin Wunderman, former owner of Swiss luxury watch brand Corum, the Jean Cocteau Museum – Severin Wunderman Collection will house the world's largest public display of Cocteau's works. Located in Menton’s old town, the museum directly faces the scenic Menton Bay. The collection consists of over 2,000 works, which will be displayed on rotation through both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The works will be arranged based on specific themes and periods in the artist's career; one topic will be "Parades," featuring the artist's graphic works and his collaboration with the ballet Parade, while another will be "Mysteries," featuring the poetry and films Cocteau created post-WWII, such as La Belle et la Bête.

Cocteau had an important relationship with the city of Menton while living in the French Riviera in the 1950s. The artist created a number of artworks commissioned by the city, including the Salle des Mariages in the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). Cocteau also designed his own museum from a fort called le Bastion, which was later transformed into the Musée Jean Cocteau in 1966. Differing from the original museum, which mainly showcases the artist's most famous works, the new collection will encompass Cocteau's works through all art mediums, including drawings, photographs, slideshows and film. The space also includes an educational workshop area intended for school groups, an appointment-only print room featuring additional works from the collection, a documentation center, an indoor and outdoor cafe, and a bookstore and gift shop selling Cocteau's most famous films, written works and more. The city will be offering discounted tickets that include admission to both the new and old Jean Cocteau museums in Menton.

The striking building where the museum is housed was constructed specifically to showcase Cocteau's works. Designed by SA17 architecture group along with specialist Frédéric Ladonne, the architecture is a contemporary artwork in itself. Its facade is coated in shades of black and white, evoking a contemporary artistic design reflecting Cocteau's style. The entire museum evokes a labyrinth, and plays with elements of light and shadow through its unique design.

As Cocteau is considered to be one of the fathers of contemporary art, temporary exhibitions will highlight current contemporary artists who employ all types of media, from painting to photography to video installations. The first exhibition will be dedicated to Jean Sabrier, a Bordeaux-based artist who gives new perspectives to paintings through art history.

How do you follow a season that critics declared was “on a trajectory to new heights of operatic excellence”? This was the challenge for Opera Santa Barbara’s Artistic Director José Maria Condemi, who has assembled an imposing array of talent for OSB’s 2011-12 season’s three fully-staged operas: Puccini’s enduring love story, La bohème, November 11 and 13 at the Granada Theatre; Mozart’s delightful Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), March 23 and 25 at The Granada Theatre; and to close the season, a debut production of Gluck’s mythical Orphée et Eurydice, April 27 and 29 at The Lobero Theatre.

“Our last season offered a glimpse into the new Opera Santa Barbara. I hope that we have piqued our audiences’ curiosity so that they join us again for even more thrilling opera,” commented Mr. Condemi, who enters his second year as Artistic Director for the company.

La bohème
The light of one small candle ignites opera’s most touching and poignant love story. Christmas Eve in Paris. An icy garret. Four young Bohemians living in idealistic poverty. There’s a knock at the door… And so begins Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème, the quintessential portrait of romance, high-spirited friendship, and the pursuit of love and art. La bohème is Puccini at his most tender and sympathetic, his music piercing our hearts with its beauty and directness.

OSB welcomes back the lovely soprano Rebecca Davis (Mimì), who triumphed in its production of La traviata last season, along with baritone Malcolm MacKenzie (Marcello) who earned rave reviews as Germont in that same production. Also returning is 2011 OSB Studio Artist, the extraordinary bass Gabriel Vamvulescu (Colline), and Jesse Merlin (Benoit/Alcindoro), who was last seen as Reporter #3 in Séance on a Wet Afternoon.

Making their OSB debuts are former Opera San Jose Resident Artist, tenor Christopher Bengochea, (Rodolfo) who sang the role in OSJ’s production of La bohème last season, and soprano Jan Cornelius (Musetta), who made her 2010 debut with Atlanta Opera as Musetta. She is a resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Stage Director Brad Dalton has directed productions at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, San Diego Opera, Austin Lyric Opera among others, and recently directed Renée Fleming in A Streetcar Named Desire in Great Britain with Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. He brings his considerable talent to the OSB stage for this production.

Dean Williamson, one of the country’s foremost emerging opera conductors, will conduct. He is Artistic Director of Opera Cleveland in addition to his conducting engagements with opera companies around the country.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English translations above the stage.

Le nozze di Figaro
Here come the Count and Countess Almaviva, Figaro and Susanna. Toss in an amorous teenager, a scheming old maid, a tipsy gardener and a silly young girl, and you have Mozart’s madcap Le nozze di Figaro. Filled with mistaken identities and plot twists, Mozart deftly maintains a balance between drama and comedy as the wiley Figaro outwits his lecherous master in one “folle journée” – one crazy day! With its brilliant, shimmering score and one breathtaking aria after another, Le nozze di Figaro is Mozart at the height of his genius.

Making her OSB debut, Canadian soprano Rhoslyn Jones sang the role of Countess Almaviva at Vancouver Opera last year to great critical acclaim. She is a former San Francisco Merola Program artist and Adler Fellow; in the role of the Count is baritone Jason Detwiler, who has sung over 30 leading roles with regional companies throughout the United States.

Considered by José Maria Condemi as “three of the most exciting young singers today” the production also features Karen Vuong (Susanna) a former Music Academy of the West Fellow; Brandon Cedel (Figaro) also a MAW Fellow, who will sing a leading role in their production of Barber of Seville this summer; and mezzo-soprano Evgenia Chaverdova, a native of Moscow, who will reprise the role of Cherubino which she sang at Livermore Valley Opera this past season. Returning 2011 OSB Studio Artist and audience favorite Alissa Anderson will sing the role of Marcellina.

Maestro Valéry Ryvkin returns to conduct the OSB orchestra. Directing the production is Kelly Robinson, whose career spans opera, theatre, film and television, and brings this production from The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada where he is the Director of Theatre Arts.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English translations above the stage.

Orphée et Eurydice

In Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Orphée’s grief at the death of Eurydice is so profound, L’Amour (alias Cupid) is moved to appear, telling him he may go to the Underworld and bring her back to life. But there is a catch: he cannot look at her! After calming the Furies with his lyre and fleeing with his beloved, Orphée cannot resist gazing upon her, and pays the ultimate price.

Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas, an outstanding Santuzza in OSB’s Cavalleria Rusticana (2008), returns to sing the title role in Orphée et Eurydice; soprano Marnie Brekendridge (Eurydice) recently made critically-acclaimed European and Asian debuts as Cunegonde in Candide, and debuted the role of La Princesse in Philip Glass’s Orphée.

Audiences will experience OSB Artistic Director José Maria Condemi’s deft hand as stage director for this production. Conducting honors go to West Bay Opera’s General and Artistic Director Jose Luis Moscovich.

The opera will be sung in French with English translations above the stage.

Subscriptions on sale now!
Opera Santa Barbara 2011-12 Season subscriptions to all three operas start at $77 and are on sale now through July 15. Subscribers receive discounts of up to 15%. Single ticket sales will begin August 1. To purchase subscriptions call 805-898-3890 or visit www.OperaSB.org.



To Benefit Andrea Bocelli Foundation and

Grammy Museum Foundation



Friday, December 9, 2011


Cocktails: 6:00 – Dinner: 7:00 – Concert: 8:30


Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze Tables Available

(10 seats per table) Single seats: Gold $1,500

Silver $1,000 and Bronze $500.00.


Dress Code – Cocktail Attire


Contact: grammymuseum.org/abfoundation or

213-765-6800 Ext. 3 for reservations and information


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