MAW and Order

By Richard Mineards   |   July 19, 2018
Conductor Stephane Deneve shows his talents

The Music Academy of the West’s popular 71st annual summer festival has been in full swing with concerts at Hahn Hall, the Lobero, and the Granada.

At the Lobero, the festival artist series featured the world premiere of instrumentalist Timothy Higgins‘s entertaining work Nursery Crimes with soprano Deborah Voigt and a multi talented sextet, accompanying a work Sextuor by Guillaume Connesson.

The performance wrapped with Schubert’s The Trout quintet in A Major.

Four days later, after a popular picnic concert at the sprawling Miraflores campus, Stephane Deneve, music director of the Brussels Philharmonic and director designate of the St. Louis Symphony, conducted the Academy Festival Orchestra in works by Bernstein – Overture to Candide – the American premiere of Connesson’s Les cites de Lovecraft, Debussy’s La Mer and, appropriately on Bastille Day, Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

No Thanks

TV talk-show titan Oprah Winfrey says she has no plans to run for president in 2020, believing the political landscape would “kill” her.

The 64-year-old media mogul, who graces the August cover of British Vogue, declares: “In that political structure – all the non-truths, the bullshit, the crap, and the nastiness and the backroom stuff that goes on – I feel I could not exist.

“I would not be able to do it. It’s not a clean business. It would kill me.”

For the cover, Montecito’s most-famous resident looked most regal in a white taffeta Stella McCartney gown with Buccellati white and yellow diamonds, to complement her emerald earrings.

New Cleese on Life

Former Montecito funnyman John Cleese, who has lived in Monte Carlo and his native England since leaving out rarefied enclave, is on the move again.

John, 78, who hit the big time with Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, says he is quitting the U.K. because he doesn’t like the voting system or the national newspapers.

The comedian, who married his jewelry designer fourth wife Jennifer Wade, 32 years his junior in 2012 – after a costly divorce from Alyce Faye Eichelberger – is heading to the idyllic Caribbean island of Nevis, population 12,000, in November.

The country, just two miles from St. Kitts, was the birthplace and early home of Alexander Hamilton and where Horatio Nelson was stationed as a young sea captain.

Among John’s other gripes, he listed London bankers and the dearth of good comedy on TV.

Honorable Mention

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, one of whose last appearances before his suicide was at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for a UCSB Arts & Lectures gala, has landed six Emmy nominations for his CNN series, Parts Unknown.

It comes just a month after the culinary wizard died in France at the age of 61.

The popular series, where Bourdain traveled the globe uncovering out-of-the-way restaurants and exploring cultures, premiered in 2013.

Hats Off

For the 11th consecutive year, I have the onerous task of judging the hat contest at the Santa Barbara Polo Club during the annual Belmond El Encanto tournament.

I will be looking out for a torrent of tony tete toppers, including the biggest, most colorful, and most creative.

It’s not quite Royal Ascot, but our standards are high.

Goodbye, Bob

On a personal note, I mark the passing of Bob Lovejoy, owner of the iconic Three Pickles Deli and the Pickle Room, at the age of 71.

Bob, who restored the historic property opposite the Presidio in 2013, was a regular at Cafe del Sol next to the bird refuge, with his wife, Dawn, and liked frequent trips to Mexico to stay at their home near the coast.

An energized and entertaining character who will be much missed.

Sightings: Comedian Steve Martin and his daughter noshing at Jeannine’s…Rocker Peter Noone picking up pizza at Little Caesars on Milpas…Singer Kenny Loggins perusing the wares at Pierre Lafond


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