Weekly Magazine


CHARMINGLY ARRANGED in 1925. Who knew?



LOCAL PRINT MEDIA are desperately trying to find something to fill their calendar pages. MEANWHILE, CAFÉ MUSIQUE comes to Hidden Valley on New Year’s Eve.



LAST WEEK I received email from a spokesperson for Espressivo, the Santa Cruz-based chamber orchestra, with a desperate-sounding appeal for contributions, particularly to cover the costs of their next concert, scheduled for March 31, 2019. I responded by urging them to appeal to Santa Cruz Gives, the annual, end-of-year matching program set up between Good Times and the Arts Council. The spokesperson responded saying Espressivo had applied but been turned down. “That makes no sense,” I replied. (After all, Espressivo’s website shows the Arts Council as a sponsor.) She followed up with a copy of the rejection letter which, to my eye, looked more like an exclusionary obstacle course than a welcoming embrace.

I took the matter up with Brian Thayer, Senior Philanthropic Services Officer with the Community Foundation for Monterey County whose major donors provide matching funds for Monterey County Gives, a similarly-modeled program between the Foundation and Monterey County Weekly that was established in 2000. I say similarly-modeled because in each county, the publication solicits requests from non-profits—mid- to late-summer—and manages the selection/screening process for its recipients while their respective foundation partners cultivate the matching funders. Thayer told me the Monterey County Gives program this year hit an all-time high of 159 recipients, in all categories across the board. (There are about 1,000 non-profits in the county.) The major matching donors are the Monterey Peninsula Foundation (their largest), the Packard Foundation, Cannery Row Company and Cypress Coast Auto Group. He added that the more recipient non-profits, the smaller the share of matching funds for each. It’s a balancing act; for it to work it must give the donating public the incentive to join a bigger pool. I asked if more participating recipients would attract more matching contributions. He said, “That’s the goal.”

By contrast, Santa Cruz Gives, founded in 2015, provides for only 33 non-profit recipients. I spoke with Jeanne Howard, a publisher of Good Times (since 2014) with a long history in the newspaper business in both Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Her explanation of the ‘barriers’ in their rejection letter actually made sense since it spells out their criteria in specific terms. “This was the hardest year yet,” she told me. “All the applicants were so good that choosing between them was like splitting hairs.” Santa Cruz Gives’ major matching partners include Good Times, Volunteer Center, Community Foundation for Santa Cruz County, Oswald Restaurant, Santa Cruz County Bank and Winn Capital Management. Putting the comparison into perspective, Howard made obvious observations: Santa Cruz Gives is a much younger institution than Monterey County Gives, and the matching pockets in Monterey County are much deeper and, with Packard on board, broader. So far this year—with less than a week to go—MC Gives has attracted $4.25 million, while SC Gives to date has raised a total of just under $2 million. (In both counties, animal welfare is the biggest winner.) SM


KAREN BROOKS HOPKINS calls it her Holiday Rant. Click HERE   


A BRILLIANTLY REIMAGINED ‘entertainment’ that premiered at the Louvre for the young—age 15—Louis XIV, in 1653. Music by Jean de Cambefort and several other 17th century French and Italian composers, with costumes by Olivier Charpentier, recorded at Caen, 2017. Musical reconstitution by Sébastien Daucé. Unlike the Italian Baroque’s multiple musical innovations, the French Baroque is mostly a continuation of the French Renaissance, dominated mostly by dance. This sumptuous perfect-bound, hard-cover book contains three hours and 17 minutes on three CDs and 1 DVD of the complete work. The ballet and its 120 costumes dazzle the eye. The music is nonstop French dances and for all its vivaciousness remains subordinate to the visual spectacle.     



IN 1605 CHARLES DE LIGNY, a Frenchman, was having a drink in the Fleur de Lys pub near the Tower of London when someone noticed what was in his bag. Soon after, government spies burst in, arrested him and threw him in Newgate prison. The seditious document was a copy of sacred choral music by William Byrd. How could this possibly be grounds for arrest? To find out, click HERE  And be sure to click the links to hear the music. 


ASCENDANT ORCHESTRAS are taking more risks on the new and outliers. Click HERE   


STENDHAL SYNDROME, hyperkulturemia, or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an experience of great personal significance, particularly viewing art. Works with music as well. Click HERE


ALEX ROSS focuses on Yo-Yo Ma’s current world tour. Click HERE

TO OUR HUNDREDS of loyal subscribers and thousands of casual visitors to our pages, week in and week out. Thank you to our sponsors and advertisers who support our commitment to serving and promoting the Performing Arts of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, and whom we endeavor to support in return. Thank you to the extraordinary talent in music, dance and theater that graces those of us who make our home here and entice arts-loving visitors from around the world to our shores. Thank you to those scores of dedicated behind-the-scenes staff and volunteers whose untiring efforts, even to exhaustion, keep afloat the crucial “tide that lifts all boats.” Especially, thank you to our editorial contributors of 2018 who have set and maintained the highest standards of journalism and criticism to be read anywhere in Monterey Bay print or electronic media; they are, in alphabetical order, Dana Abbott, Don Adkins, Roger Emanuels, Jocelyn McMahon, Susan Meister, Monica Mendoza and Philip Pearce. In each and every case, their only reward—our only reward—is to serve the live performing arts of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.


STARRING HILARY HAHN (center) ‘hoops’ Paganini’s 24th Capriccio. 



JON NAKAMATSU & JON MANASSE play for Distinguished Artists in Santa Cruz. 8 TENS AT 8 theater festival opens in Santa Cruz. PRISCILLA PRESLEY and BRANFORD MARSALIS come to Carmel.   


Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor