Do you sing in the shower? Need an outlet for your (alto, soprano, tenor, baritone) pipes? Ever thought about joining a chorus? This weekend you’ll have your chance! On Saturday, January 12, The Verdi Chorus is holding auditions for their Spring 2019 concert at First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th Street, in Santa Monica.

Founded back in the days when the Verdi Restaurant in Santa Monica featured opera singing servers, the restaurant closed but the Verdi Chorus went on to become its own stand-alone non-profit organization, now entering its 36th year under the direction of founding artistic director Anne Marie Ketchum.

It brings together 50 singers from all walks of life, with ages ranging from 18 to 80, and focuses on operatic music. With the addition of opera stars starting their careers and college students learning to perfect their opera skills, each rehearsal is said to be like a vocal master class.

The chorus presents four concerts each year, as well as other collaborative events. Performance times for The Verdi Chorus Spring 2019 Concert are Saturday, April 6th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, April 7th at 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica, located at 1008 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403. Tickets will go on sale March 1, 2019.

Positions are open for all voice types. To request an audition on Saturday, January 12 please visit or call (661) 418-7882.


In case you didn’t know this, in addition to her career as a model and an actress, Isabella Rossellini is a long-time animal lover. In fact, she is completing a Master’s Degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation and runs an organic farm on Long Island; her new book, “My Chickens and I” comes out in March this year.

She says that modeling and acting took her away from her early passion for animals. “It’s funny, when I was a little girl and had my little dog and it seemed that we understood each other so well, I was asking questions about how much animals think and feel emotion. I’m still asking.”

Now Rossellini brings her passion and her knowledge together to present her Link Link Circus at The Broad Stage. The show is described as quirky and scientifically informed, playfully arguing Darwin’s theory of evolution which links humans to animals. It’s illustrated with Rossellini’s short comic films, home movies and animation. She transforms herself into philosophers of the past like Aristotle, René Descartes and a medieval theologian while her dog, Pan, plays various animals, assisted by puppeteer and animal handler Schuyler Beeman.

The New York Times wrote that Rossellini “delivers a ‘theatrical conference’ about the nonhumans with whom we share this planet, using puppets, projected drawings and animated videos to illustrate her points. Ms. Rossellini talks about how she has loved animals from a young age, and mentions her involvement with the Guide Dog Foundation in a segment that is typically funny, touching and informative … it is hard to deny how pleasurable Ms. Rossellini’s company is. And have I mentioned there is a dog?”

The Link Link Circus comes to town for just three performances, January 25-27, at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Tickets are on sale at or by calling 310-434-3200.


One of the most exciting theatrical events from the London stage is coming to Beverly Hills. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) presents J.B. Priestley’s thriller, “An Inspector Calls,” directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Crown”), January 22 – February 10.

This modern reimagining of the 1945 script, set in 1912, was called the landmark theatrical event of its generation when it was staged in 1992 by the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Inspector Goole’s unexpected arrival at the prosperous Birling family home shatters their peaceful dinner party with his investigations into the death of a young woman. His startling revelations shake the very foundations of their lives and challenge audiences to question their own consciences.

I’ll be there opening night and will report back to you. Meantime, get tickets while you still can: or call 310 746-4000. The Wallis is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210


Commissioned for the LA Philharmonic’s Centennial, the World Premiere of Minimalist composer Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 12, Lodger, will be performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall this Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Jan. 10, 11 and 13, with John Adams conducting.

Glass has composed three symphonies based on David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy, a series of three albums he made with collaborator Brian Eno.This new work will be preceded Adams’s own “over-the-top” composition, Grand Pianola Music.

This should prove to be a really adventurous concert, enhanced by getting to hear it performed in the also-adventurous Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall. You can still get seats:

Sarah A. Spitz is an award-winning public radio producer, now retired from KCRW, where she also produced arts stories for NPR. She writes features and reviews for various print and online publications.

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