Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


Frank's House: Andrew Norman Composes a Musical Version of Frank Gehry's Home

Posted By: Brian Lauritzen · 1/30/2015 1:59:00 PM

"He took a very traditional pink bungalow and then he sort of just deconstructed it. In my piece, there's a piece of old music that I've kind of stuck in the middle, that I'm totally exploding then in the rest of the piece." Andrew Norman

Composer Andrew Norman has been inspired by architecture since he was a student. For his new piece (premiering Thursday at LACO's Westside Connections), Frank's House, he drew from the home of architect Frank Gehry, pictured below. You can hear the whole story on KUSC tomorrow at 8AM when Norman and Gehry are Brian Lauritzen's guests on Arts Alive.


Icono-Graphic: Jacaranda Recreates a Daring Premiere With Music & Dance

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 1/28/2015 1:14:00 PM

Forty years ago, dancer Gary Bates gave the LA premiere of Vesalii Icones with music by Peter Maxwell Davies and production design by Jacaranda's Patrick Scott. This Saturday at 8PM, Jacaranda is reviving the piece with dancer Jones Welsh to celebrate the 80th birthday of Peter Maxwell Davies. Here Scott, Bates and Welsh talk at a rehearsal about how two inspirations for the work (the anatomical drawings of Andreas Vesalii and the Stations of the Cross) influenced it then and now.


This Saturday's concert will open with early music of Ireland’s Gerald Barry, and the LA premiere of vignettes by his close friend Thomas Adès, but cellist Timothy Loo will only be perfoming Vesalii Icones and he says that's ok, because it's one of the hardest pieces he's ever learned to play. 

photos by Susie Goodman

Thérèse Raquin at LBO: Love, Lust & a Deadly Dip in the Seine

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 1/15/2015 2:05:00 PM

Next weekend, Long Beach Opera opens a new production of Tobias Picker's opera Thérèse Raquin, about a woman who can only be with the man she loves if she gets rid of the man she's married to. It's based on a novel of the same name written by Émile Zola and first published in 1867. On Arts Alive this Saturday at 8AM, Alan Chapman interviews Picker about composing for opera and how the story of Thérèse Raquin almost literally fell into his lap.

In LBO's production (Jan 24 & Feb 1), Baritone Zeffin Quinn Hollis plays Olivier -- part of the circle of friends surrounding the deadly love triangle. He says Picker did a brilliant job translating the novel into an opera. Click below to hear our conversation.

We also talked to Long Beach Opera Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek about the production and the author of the original novel.


Celebrating Fiddler on the Roof's 50th Anniversary

Posted By: KUSC · 1/7/2015 11:44:00 AM

Since it first opened on Broadway in fall, 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has rarely been absent from the worlds' stages. LA-based journalist and author Barbara Isenberg's latest book tells the tale of how its poignant story, sense of humor and universal themes struck a chord with audiences ... even when the backstage drama was less light-hearted. 

Barbara Isenberg

KUSC's Gail Eichenthal talked to Isenberg about the birth of the show, and what the stage and screen productions overcame (from accusations of communism to a curious lack of on-set snow) to become an iconic piece of musical theater now celebrating its 50th anniversary.


Wilshire Boulevard Temple

In December, Isenberg gave opening remarks at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple's Chanukah Concert and Sing-along Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fiddler on the Roof. The celebration brought together a dozen cantors from all over the city for a production of the musical.

7 of 12 cantors singing

During a rehearsal, KUSC contributor Sheila Tepper caught ...

Olympian & WWII P.O.W. Louis Zamperini's Children Talk About Their Father the Hero

Posted By: KUSC · 12/18/2014 1:10:00 PM

The movie Unbroken, coming out on Christmas Day, is the almost inconceivable true story of Louis Zamperini. Born in Torrance, California, he made a name for himself as a rebel and a rule-breaker when he was young. As a teenager, he was an Olympic long-distance runner. After his bombardier plane crashed during World War II, Zamperini was lost at sea for 47 days, before being captured by the Japanese and tortured in a P.O.W. camp for the remainder of the war.

Zamperini published two versions of his memoirs, but his notoriety had started to fade when a short documentary ran during TV coverage of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Then author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit) wrote the bestseller Unbroken about Zamperini and his story once again fascinated the nation.

Angelina Jolie directed the film version of Unbroken. Zamperini, himself, died only a few months ago at age 97, ...

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