Take That, COVID
By Richard Mineards   |   April 15, 2021

Since its founding in 1948, the Santa Barbara Choral Society has never missed a performance. Despite wildfires and mudslides, the show always goes on. And even during the worldwide pandemic, veteran director JoAnne Wasserman, who has conducted the talented singers for 28 years, was determined to carry on the tradition with a virtual concert at […]

‘Storm Reading’ Revisited
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 19, 2021

Back in 1988 nobody could have predicted the success or impact of Storm Reading, a theatrical play starring and based on the life experiences of Neil Marcus, a humorist-philosopher who lives with a neurological disorder called Dystonia that dramatically impacts his ability to speak and control movement. That includes Rod Lathim, who as head of […]

 

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Words + Music: UCSB’s Virtual Concerts Add Visuals
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 12, 2021

UCSB’s Music Department Winter Concert Series has not only gone virtual, it’s also veered toward video, with a big percentage of the ensembles choosing to incorporate visual material into their programs. Each entity took a different approach to marrying music and imagery, ranging from traditional filmed scenes of nature for choral music to wildly abstract […]

Red-Letter Days for CAMA
By Hattie Beresford   |   March 11, 2021

On March 6, 1920, the Morning Press reported that the petroleum industry was booming in Ventura, prohibition agents were arresting bootleggers and rumrunners, and fruit vendors were setting up stands along the highways so booze-deprived drivers could quench their thirst by sucking on oranges. (I kid you not, there was an article in the newspaper!) […]

Mission: Impossible Objects
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2021

Ed Lister, who is known in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara as a skilled scenic artist with credits in the theater credits and mural making, has created a series of vibrant abstract silk screen prints, or serigraphs. They were made starting in the early 1970s while he was teaching printmaking at the Chelsea School […]

Arts in Lockdown #21: Musician Brayell
By Joanne Calitri   |   March 4, 2021

Brayell is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, and music producer in the genres of rap, hip-hop, and alternative. He has recently explored a version of indie pop music in his just-released single titled, “Made Her Feel Good,” a heartfelt song reminiscent of a breakup. He began recording at age 15 and, in 2017, started releasing his […]

UCSB’s Zoom-tastic Don Giovanni Opera-ting in the ‘New Reality’
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 26, 2021

More Mozart is headed our way this weekend as UCSB Opera Theatre and the Department of Music present an abridged two-act virtual video version of Don Giovanni on Friday, February 26. The production is helmed by Associate Professor Dr. Isabel Bayrakdarian, the star soprano who sang the love interest role of Zerlina in multiple productions […]

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The Eyes Have It Symphony’s Concert a Musical (and Medical) Marvel
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 26, 2021

There’s plenty to celebrate in Santa Barbara these days, and not just the spurt of greenery and wildflowers poking up from the earth in the sunshine following last month’s rains or the fact that the number of daily COVID-19 cases has dropped down to double digits for the first time in nearly two months.  Joy […]

‘The Shot’ Premieres
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 12, 2021

You could say that Robin Gerber has had a backwards career. After working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and then serving as a well-paid Congressional lobbyist for trade unions for 15 years, Gerber, experiencing self-described burnout, junked it all for a life as a writer for newspapers and magazines.  Then her mentor suggested she […]

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VADA VADA Voom Art Show on Lobero’s Back Wall Quite a Project(ion)
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 11, 2021

Most of what the students in the Visual Arts & Design Academy (VADA) at Santa Barbara High create is seen on the school’s near-downtown campus. But the program has made a lot of efforts to exhibit the students’ artwork in public places, including showcases as part of the monthly First Thursday gallery walk. But with […]

Music to Their Ears!
By Richard Mineards   |   February 11, 2021

Three of the key leaders of the Santa Barbara Symphony, president and CEO Kathryn Martin, artistic director Nir Kabaretti, and board president Janet Garufis, have committed to advancing the organization over the next half decade. It will build upon the 67-year-old organization’s programming innovation, leveraging the symphony’s new momentum and growth to look toward the […]

MAW in Jeopardy?
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 29, 2021

Apparently Music Academy of the West personnel aren’t just nerdy (er, well-versed) in classical music. At least that’s the conclusion one must draw from the fact that a MAW staffer, Henry Michaels, will be appearing on an episode of Jeopardy! airing on NBC on February 2.  Michaels is the Music Academy’s Director of Audience Experience […]

Beam Me Up: MAW’s 2021 Alumni Enterprise Award Winners Announced
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 29, 2021

Music Academy of the West (MAW) has always been a decidedly different sort of summer music festival for both the young fellows who hone their classical music skills and repertoire over an eight-week period from mid-June to mid-August each year. That’s because in addition to the academic offerings of its program – which is very […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 18: Producer and Director Steve Binder
By Joanne Calitri   |   January 28, 2021

As you are reading this, it’s the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday (January 8) and I’ve been talking to Steve Binder, an American producer and director born in Los Angeles. Steve, who just celebrated his 88th birthday last month, is currently working as a creative consultant on Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis, where Dacre Montgomery is […]

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