Looking Back on our 2016 Season
It was again rich with the variety of our setting's history. We began with the fifth season of providing a 'home concert hall' for the remarkable child Prodigies of the Colburn School's Danielle Belen Strings Studio. It's been remarkable following these kids for the past five years as they keep winning international awards. Each is a gifted artist and they have the pleasure of performing on rare instruments on loan from the Mandel Collection. Kevin Miura explained to us how his violin contributed to his making the cut to go to England to compete in the Mendelssohn Competition (at which he took 2nd place in the junior division and won the use of a Stradivarius that we hope to hear this coming summer.)
Our Lecture Series brought back perennially favorite Cristi Walden's ever-popular "Art Tiles of the 1930s" Cristi brings samples of all of the art tiles manufacturers of Southern California. Combining lectures with our film series, brought us two talks by Marc Wanamaker bringing the extensive resources of his Bison Archives to the several episodes of our Unseen Charlie Chaplin
series. Over the 7-week series our Chaplin resources brought in depth research from their work as his biographers. The Chaplin series was picked by La Senora's 2015 audience to be the successor to the Gershwin Series.
Marc Wanamaker's arial photos of the area in Beverly Hills where both Chaplin and Mary Pickford/Doug Fairbanks lived made it startlingly clear that here were there two homes and tennis courts and walkways between them, and not much in the general are of anything else until you got to the Beverly Hills Hotel. The details he added about living with the Chaplin family in their Swiss lakeside retreat made 'Charlie' a real person to us.
Most of our audience was unaware that Chaplin, in addition to being the screen writer, casting director, actor, film editor and producer also wrote the scores for many of his films. Using a bit of modern technology slight of hand (that it worked was pure magic) via Skype we interviewed Composer Conductor Robert Israel at home in the Czech Republic. Despite the time difference, Robert had graciously arisen early to be with us bringing his extensive knowledge of the Chaplin scores and answering questions from the audience.
In preparation for our Seventh Annual Tango on a Summer's Eve we started six weeks of tango lessons. IN PROCESS DO NOT PUBLISH YET. series: La Senora started its Civil War series with the 75th Anniversary of Gone with the Wind and the 175th Anniversary of the introduction of Photography. The Ransom Center at University of Texas has the Selznick collection including 3600 hand drawn story boards that Lyle Wheeler drew for the film. Dr. David Hayes-Bautista spoke to a small group of Donors about the role that Latinos had played in the Civil War.
Dr. Hayes-Bautista returns each year to follow up on that topic this year. Do come.....he's a great lecturer and has amazing facts. It's remarkable how little Californian's know about the role California played, first as an instigator of the War and then as a major funding source for the Union. Every week donations came straight from the gold fields of the 49ers while California trained, equipped and sent a full Regiment to fight for the Union. But it's the fascinating roles leading up to the Civil War that we've missed learning about.
And when we visit the Cemetery you will see the beautiful new "Las Cruces" project. Our Historian, Ernest Marquez has designed Mexican crosses to commemorate each grave.