Tag archives: summer festival

That’s a Wrap
By Richard Mineards   |   August 16, 2022

The Music Academy wrapped up its 75th anniversary summer festival in fine form at the Granada when alumna Italian Speranza Scappucci conducted the Academy Festival Orchestra. With the hugely entertaining program including Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” “The Pines of Rome” by Respighi, and vocal works by Donizetti, Verdi, Gounod, Bizet, Serrano, Chapi, and Puccini, the […]

So Long Summer Fest 
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 16, 2022

The 2022 Music Academy Summer Festival came to a close on Saturday night with the symphony-vocal extravaganza at the Granada. Coming up next: three different recitals from the five fellows who claimed top prize in the musical competitions, plus perhaps a new product from the winner of the Music Academy Innovation Institute’s 2022 Fast Pitch […]

Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ at the Granada
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 19, 2022

With all due respect to Opera Santa Barbara, the opera event of the year may well take place this weekend when the Music Academy (MA) mounts an original and fully-staged production of Tchaikovsky’s popular and beloved opera Eugene Onegin at the Granada on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Especially if Peter Kazaras’ direction comes close […]

Music Academy Celebrates 75th in Community Concert
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 21, 2022

Conductor Donato Cabrera and Music Academy of the West (MAW) vocal pianist John Churchwell met in 2003, the first of two summers Donato spent at MAW as assistant conductor for the annual opera. The two, who live near each other in the Bay Area, became fast friends and visit each other frequently. In fact, Cabrera […]

MAW Music: Competition Winners Congregate for Concerts
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 5, 2022

The official launch of the Music Academy of the West’s special 75th anniversary summer festival is still more than two months away, but in the span of less than three weeks, Santa Barbara will have been witness to the wildly divergent extremes offered by the revered institute. Hot on the heels of three landmark performances […]

More From MAW
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 31, 2022

Even more accomplished alumni of the Music Academy’s summer festival are returning to Hahn Hall this week, if only via streaming via satellite in a re-broadcast of the Met Opera’s Live in HD presentation of Strauss’ Ariadne Auf Naxos on April 3. Former fellows Brenda Rae and Isabel Leonard appear as Zerbinetta and the Composer, […]

Finishing with a Flurry
By Richard Mineards   |   August 19, 2021

While Fiesta Pequeña at the Mission and Noches de Ronda at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens were cancelled after the significant uptick in coronavirus infections, La Recepcion del Presidente at the Carriage & Western Museum with 200 guests went ahead as planned, raising nearly $50,000 for Old Spanish Days. Drew Wakefield served as emcee and auctioneer, […]

Busy, Busy: Sitting Down with Two MAW Artists with Plenty on Their Plates
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 29, 2021

Juggling all the tasks and opportunities a fellow faces at the Music Academy of the West is a stiff if rewarding challenge in a normal summer, what with private lessons and sectional coaching, studying new pieces of repertoire, practicing as an individual and rehearsing for chamber, orchestra, and duo concerts, performing in master classes and […]

Madame Maestro
By Richard Mineards   |   August 15, 2019

The Music Academy of the West concluded its 72nd annual summer festival on a high note when the Academy Festival Orchestra, under conductor Marin Alsop, performed Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 at the Granada. The entertaining program also comprised of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon‘s 13-minute piece blue cathedral, just a week after her well received […]

Chords for the Kids
By Richard Mineards   |   August 1, 2019

School students had to face the music at the Music Academy of the West. More than 300 youngsters from United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Fun in the Sun scheme attended a concert at Hahn Hall as part of the Up Close and Musical program, now in its eighth year. The fun event, a collaboration […]

Summer Festival Continues
By Richard Mineards   |   July 25, 2019

As the 72nd Music Academy of the West summer festival nears its conclusion, the Santa Barbara Bowl was the place to be on an idyllic evening for a community concert with the historic London Symphony Orchestra and the Academy Festival Orchestra under conductor Daniel Harding, music director of the Orchestre de Paris. The sold-out show, […]

Venturing Off Campus
By Richard Mineards   |   July 4, 2019

It was all a case of location, location, location as the Music Academy of the West’s 72nd annual summer festival entered its second week. Having staged all concerts at Hahn Hall on the Miraflores campus with the fest’s kickoff, the Lobero and Granada were added into the mix this week. The Festival Artists Series at […]

Shakespeare Salon
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 27, 2019

In just his third season at the Music Academy of the West, Los Angeles-based director and designer James Darrah has already had a dramatic effect on the seven-decades-old summer festival – employing his unique collaborative focus and vision at a convergence of opera, classical music, and theater to the already well-respected program at the stunning […]

Summer Festival Preview
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 13, 2019

Finding a selection of events to highlight from the new Music Academy of the West summer festival isn’t an issue. Distilling the 200-some offerings over the eight weeks down to a manageable preview is a much greater challenge. That’s because MAW has been moving in leaps and bounds in its wildly successful recent efforts to […]

Festival Gala
By Lynda Millner   |   August 23, 2018

The Music Academy of the West gave its 2018 Summer Festival Gala weaving its magic to turn a parking lot into an elegant, glamorous venue. Co-chairs Regina Roney and Judy Getto called it a “Feast for the Senses”. After cocktails in the garden with a white Steinway player piano tinkling away, guests made their way […]

High Note
By Richard Mineards   |   August 16, 2018

It couldn’t have been a more splendiferous end to the Music Academy of the West’s 71st annual summer fest when the Academy Festival Orchestra, under Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, in his academy debut, performed with the L.A. Master Chorale, under artistic director Grant Gershon, at a sold-out Santa Barbara Bowl. Soprano Susanna Phillips […]

Rodriguez Returns
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 16, 2018

Like just about every other community across the nation and around the world, Santa Barbara had to wait 40 years to see the singer-songwriter Rodriguez perform in concert in town – something they didn’t even realize they were missing until the movie Searching for Sugar Man appeared five years ago – when he performed at […]

Gala-Force Winds Spring into August
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 26, 2018

The Music Academy of the West’s (MAW) annual gala benefit concert is anchored by a quintet of distinguished alumni artists. Among the former Fellows performing at this year’s special fundraiser are soprano Brenda Rae (2008), whom Opera News has praised for her “dazzling, pinpoint coloratura,” and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel (2010-11), whom The New Yorker‘s Alex […]

MAW and Order
By Richard Mineards   |   July 19, 2018

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 […]

Cover to Cover
By Richard Mineards   |   July 12, 2018

A mother-daughter collaboration that started 10 years ago has just come to fruition. Montecito resident Helen Drachkovitch and her cultural anthropologist daughter, Nicole Sault, who lives in Palo Alto, have just published Celebramos/Let’s Celebrate: Seis Traditions de Mexico/ Six Traditions From Mexico, a bilingual work. “It all started a decade ago when my mother became […]