Weekly Update


Artistic director Paul Goodwin engages composer Caroline Shaw in a one-hour conversation about her new Festival commission, this Thursday, 2:30pm, at Sunset Center in Carmel. Members of Shaw’s vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, are also among the Festival chorale, including Watsonville native, Estelí Gomez (above).

Festival sopranB00IH0VGLC.MAIN_o soloist Dominique Labelle has just released “Moments of Love,” a charming collection of songs by French composers Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Hahn, plus Benjamin Britten and a multi-movement ‘madrigal’ by her piano accompanist, Yehudi Wyner.





I must applaud Gordon’s short bio of Noël Sullivan as a major player in the Carmel music scene of Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, founders of the Carmel Bach Festival and Carmel Music Society. Sullivan (1890-1956) was a San Francisco native who came into a substantial inheritance from his uncle, James Phelan, a banker and politician. Sullivan acquired his Hollow Hills Farm in Carmel Valley (now the site of Carmel Valley Manor) where he entertained copiously and provided residential hospitality for the likes of Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson when no public hotel on the Monterey Peninsula would accommodate them. Sullivan was a conspicuous patron of music in Carmel and an accomplished bass/baritone. (He sang during the first 13 Bach Festivals.) Descended from a Catholic family, he supported his sister Ada, a nun at the Santa Clara Carmelite monastery, and ultimately built and gifted the landmark Carmelite monastery on Highway 1 just south of Carmel.

As Gordon reports, the Bach Festival orchestra evolved from the Monterey Peninsula Orchestra which debuted in 1932 as presented by the Carmel Music Society. As he documents, in the fifth concert of the 1933 season, the orchestra’s pcellist in river021arogram included the premiere of a cello concerto by Frederick Preston Search with the composer as soloist.

(My sidebar: after arriving in Carmel in 1915, Search and his wife, Opal Heron, ultimately chose remote Jamesburg, in upper Carmel Valley, as their residence. The image shows Search and his pets rafting on Carmel River.)


Open orchestra rehearsals will be conducted at Santa Cruz Civic evenings at 7pm on July 27 and 31, and August 5 and 6, and mornings at 10am on July 30 and August 6 and 7. Conductors/composers workshops are also open. Click HERE for details.
Click on the ad left above to go directly to the Cabrillo Festival homepage.


The California Arts Council announced it plans to award $50,000 to Friends of Olympia Station dba Tandy Beal & Co as part of its new Creative California Communities program. This award will expand the Company’s pilot ArtSmart project, bringing to the Central Coast concerts in circus, music and dance along with classes for adults, children and teachers.

And Tandy adds this personal note: So thrilled you are having this email/blog/news letting the area know what is happening all around the bay. You are stemming the tide of arts marginalization with your insightful reviews and articles. Thank you for your work!

(Okay Tandy, now we’re blushing.)


Artistic director of Magic Circle Theatre, Elsa Con, has notified her subscribers that the small company will close after one more production, The Mountaintop. The play, about the last day in the life of Martin Luther King, is scheduled to open August 15; however, Con warns that her company is now $12K under budget for that show. Con and her husband, board president Richard Jackson, will ultimately put the Carmel Valley Village theater up for sale.


This week it’s Michael McGushin, well known musician in Santa Cruz County now stage- and music directing Sondheim’s Putting It Together on the Cabrillo Stage. Click HERE. Find performance dates and times on our Calendar page.


Rob Klevan reviews Summer Arts at CSU Monterey Bay on our Music Reviews page: click HERE.

Philip Pearce covers Stop Kiss at The Western Stage and 1984 at Paper Wing, Click HERE.


We and our Performing Arts community need critics, writers who know their subject and how to write about it. This is entry level but an opportunity for the ambitious and comes with free guidance and instruction. Apply to editor@performingartsmontereybay.com.

Scott MacClelland, editor