Holidays haunting my dreams


Vocal focus from CCMN*

SOUTHERN CA VOCAL EVENTS Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights


Can you feel it?

The holidays are here, and the mania is out of the gate like a shot.  I actually had a dream last night that holly garlands were growing from my arms, and I was starting to sprout antlers.  Admittedly, that may be the combined after-effects of LAO’s recent Bluebeard and Daniel Radcliffe’s Horns, but there are mild advantages: how often do we get to reference Bartok and Mr. Potter in the same sentence?  My geeky little heart is all a-flutter.

…Oh yeah — the music.  There’s so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start, and we’ve all been bombarded for weeks with ads from the big groups in town.  The usual suspects in the big halls have huge concerts and busy schedules planned.  But don’t forget to take a gander at a few offerings from the smaller groups this weekend:

Friday night, combined choirs and orchestra celebrate ‘A Baroque Christmas’ at Glendale City Church, conducted by SEBASTIEN VALLEE and accompanied by organist KEMP SMEAL.

LA METROPOLITAN OPERA will offer just one performance of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ on Saturday afternoon, at All Souls Chapel in Los Angeles.

OPERA BUFFS presents their fall showcase on Sunday afternoon, the first under the direction of newly appointed “chief buff” BRENT MCMUNN.

For details on these and a multitude more, visit the Calendar.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY CHORAL COMPANY is a rapidly-growing group based in Monrovia and directed by the fabulous ZANAIDA ROBLES.  (That’s Dr. Robles now — she recently finished her DMA work at USC, and deserves many kudos for that.)  SGVCC brings seasonal cheer with ‘Ring in the Holidays’ on Saturday 12/6, with music by Holst, Britten, Tallis and the good doctor herself, in a concert complete with bells, drums, and sing-alongs, as well as an appearance by kids from their local Monroe Elementary School.   Can’t wait.  Very affordable tickets (including special discounts for the kids in your life) are available, along with more details and info about the choir, on their website.

Speaking of Tallis, the world-renowned British choral group that bears his name is coming to beautiful St. Basil’s on Sunday night, presented by the Da Camera Society.  THE TALLIS SCHOLARS are ‘a cappella rock stars’ who regularly tour the globe and produce jaw-dropping recordings, but they don’t get this far west terribly often.  Don’t miss ‘em.  For details and tickets, click here.

Be sure to keep an eye on websites for the churches in your area, too!  Church directors get so swamped this time of year that they don’t always succeed in sending us their notices, but there are many, many beautiful holiday events all over the country.  There must be something gorgeous near you.


Here’s a little chance to support arts ed while you enjoy a grand holiday tradition: Tchaikovsky’s original arrangement gets spectacular treatment in MOSCOW BALLET’s touring ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’ at the Wiltern, and the 12/21, 7pm performance features a group from SOUTH BAY CHILDREN’S CHOIR, led by DIANE SIMONS.  They’ll also sing carols in the lobby prior to the show.  Buy tickets and show a little support or SBCC’s ongoing and excellent programs that make music a part of children’s lives for years and years to come!

CONTINUINGCheck the calendar for details:

Thru 12/6 — INDEPENDENT OPERA COMPANY’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ has one TWO more performances in Santa Monica.  The show opened over Thanksgiving weekend (certainly a bold move), and our spies say it’s a good one…

Thru 12/20 — Daniel Catàn’s ravishing ‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ has four remaining performances, but the show’s getting such good reviews that tickets are in high demand.  Take care of that sooner rather than later…


As the holiday excitement ramps up, take it easy on the cookies, but feel free to gorge yourself on great music.  And just as in the rest of the year, thank you for supporting live singing!

Lauri D. Goldenhersh


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*This post echoed from Lauri’s 12/4/14 column in the Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter. The original is a text-based email newsletter, and images, links and details may differ here.

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