Local Dish: Smithy Kitchen + Bar

The outdoor patio at Kitchen + Bar is a beautiful place to dine, day or night. Photo courtesy Smithy.

The outdoor patio at Kitchen + Bar is a beautiful place to dine, day or night. Photo courtesy Smithy.

There’s nothing better than good food in a beautiful setting, and the new Smithy Kitchen + Bar (7 E. Anapamu St.) has both! I’ve dined on the lovely outdoor patio—under its gorgeous canopy of 100-year-old olive trees—twice in the last few weeks—once on a cold night and once on a warmish one—and the well-placed heaters make it a comfortable and cozy spot to be in almost any weather.

Designer Steve Hermann has redone the former Somerset space in an upscale yet approachable style, with a more “Santa Barbara” vibe and every day price point. Originally a blacksmith shop, hence the name “Smithy,” this prime downtown location (near the Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Public Library and Sullivan Goss Gallery) is now a great spot for lunch, dinner with friends and family, nighttime drinks and bites or a leisurely Sunday brunch. There’s also a special Easter Brunch menu, if you’re eager to check it out this weekend.

Smithy's "Baby I'm a Star" cocktail and roasted sunchokes with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Smithy’s “Baby I’m a Star” cocktail and roasted sunchokes with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Chef Lauren Herman’s new menu is delicious, and nothing is over $20. We loved the mussels and clams with shallot, garlic, crispy pork belly, and bok choy served with grilled toast. The sauce was so savory we asked for extra toast (homemade) to lap up every last bite. The pastas were also terrific. Try the Cavatelli combined with pork ragu, mustard greens and tomato confit for a hearty dish. The squid ink casarecce in lobster bisque with uni and nori breadcrumbs was also fabulous.

The vegetables really shine as well. We loved the fried delicata squash with cauliflower, bagna cauda, calabrian chili and anchovy aïoli, as well the roasted rainbow carrots with spiced cashew butter, coconut yogurt and carrot top pistou. I also enjoyed the sunchokes, roasted with chanterelles, brown butter hazelnuts and butternut squash puree. Overall, everything was tasty and ideal for sharing.

Smithy's Polenta Dumplings and Mushroom Flatbread. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Smithy’s Polenta Dumplings and Mushroom Flatbread. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Partners in life and in the kitchen, Lauren Herman’s wife, Christina Olufson, is a terrific pastry chef.  The flourless chocolate cake with crushed honeycomb was amazing, as was the butterscotch pumpkin cake. Our friends at a nearby table also raved about the brioche doughnuts, so those are definitely on my list to try next time. 

The cocktails are also worth noting, with creative names like “Ortega Undead II: The Resurrection”  (tequila blanco, lime , thai chile, wild elderflower, falernum and chili-salt rim), “From Tokyo to Mars” (iwai japanese whiskey and bittered grapefruit cordial) and “Baby I’m a Star” (pear and fennel, vodka, fino sherry, absinthe, lemon and peychauds bitters) that are just as delicious as they are irresistible for wordsmiths.

One of several communal dining tables at Smithy Kitchen + Bar, courtesy photo.

One of several communal dining tables at Smithy Kitchen + Bar, courtesy photo.

While I loved the aesthetic of Somerset, Smithy is definitely a more welcoming space, not to mention significantly less expensive. The building’s original exposed brick walls with white weathered board and batten walls, rustic reclaimed table tops, and original school house chairs create a beautiful restaurant that is both airy and open, yet still feels intimate. As is becoming a trend, there are three separate communal tables and bar seating, as well as an additional 130 seats located inside and out, offering a myriad of dining possibilities. The nights I was there, there were large groups of people (both young and less young), lots of couples and smaller groups, as well as some solo diners.

Smithy's Kale Salad. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

Smithy’s Kale Salad. Photo by Kay Cheon, courtesy Smithy.

“We want Smithy to provide a dining oasis in the heart of Santa Barbara,” states owner and designer, Steve Hermann.  “We hope to become that bar/restaurant that feels like home for all of our guests’ dining and drinking needs, whether small or large.  Our food is delicious yet accessible, and our environment is welcoming and comfortable.  We’d like to create a new history with Smithy that matches the history of our iconic Santa Barbara location.”

Smithy is located in downtown Santa Barbara at 7 East Anapamu St.  Call 805/845-7112 or visit Open Table for reservations. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday for lunch from 11:30 – 2:30 p.m.; dinner from 5p.m. – close; and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Happy hour runs daily from 4 – 6 p.m.

Leslie Dinaberg 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 29, 2018.

Interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Bar interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Bar interior shot, courtesy Smithy Kitchen + Bar.

Celebrate Kids Helping Kids’ 10th Anniversary

NeedtoBreathe (l) and Andy Grammer return to perform at the 10th Annual Kids Helping Kids benefit concert. Courtesy photos.

NeedtoBreathe (l) and Andy Grammer return to perform at the 10th Annual Kids Helping Kids benefit concert. Courtesy photos.

Kids Helping Kids celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the beautiful Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) January 12-13 with performances by NeedtoBreathe and Andy Grammer.

Andy Grammer performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Andy Grammer performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

Kids Helping Kids is an entirely student-run nonprofit organization lead by the students in the Advanced Placement Economics classes at San Marcos High School. The group works  to help children in need both locally and globally and has raised an amazing $2.5 million to date.

NeedtoBreathe performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

NeedtoBreathe performs a benefit show for Kids Helping Kids on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Granada Theatre. Courtesy photo.

The annual benefit concert looks back on the legacy built by the students of San Marcos and the support of our community, bringing back two of the past favorite performers, Andy Grammer (Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.) and NeedtoBreathe (Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.).

Past artists who have performed at Kids Helping Kids benefit concerts include:

  • Toad the Wet Sprocket and Tyrone Wells (2009),
  • Five for Fighting (2010),
  • Mat Kearney and Tyrone Wells (2011),
  • Sara Bareilles and Tyrone Wells (2012),
  • Switchfoot and Brad Corrigan from Dispatch (2013),
  • Andy Grammer and Tim Lopez from Plain White T’s (2014),
  • Ingrid Michaelson and Jon McLaughlin (2015),
  • NeedtoBreathe and Johnnyswim (2016),
  • and Gavin DeGraw and Parachute (2017).

In addition to the local chapter, the Kids Helping Kids model to is now in place at two other high schools in Sacramento and Dana Hills, California.

For more information click here, and to purchase tickets, visit the Granada website.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 6, 2018.

Lil Buck – A Jookin’ Jam Session

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

JOOKIN’ (jook·in): A street dance style that emerged from Memphis, Tenn. Identified by its extremely intricate footwork and propensity for improvisation, seen by many as a descendant of hip-hop and jazz, with elements of ballet and modern dance. 

See what jookin’ looks like for yourself, when UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Lil BuckA Jookin’ Jam Session—directed by Damian Woetzel, featuring Sandeep Das, Johnny Gandelsman, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles, Cristina Pato and Wu Tong—on Tuesday, October 25, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre (1214 State St.).

Named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, Lil Buck has performed on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, in a highly-praised program at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, in a mesmerizing performance with Yo-Yo Ma to Saint-Saëns “The Swan,” with New York City Ballet, in Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One and in numerous other high-profile collaborations.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

Lil Buck, photo by Kyle Cordova.

“I think he’s a genius, ” says Yo-Yo Ma. The New York Times says, “Lil Buck has already carved out a niche that almost no other dancer can fill, bouncing from music videos (that’s him, slo-mo spinning through Janelle Monae’s ‘Tightrope’) to a Super Bowl halftime show (2012, with Madonna) to Lincoln Center.”

A Memphis jookin’ phenomenon who also received early hip-hop training from and studied on scholarship at the New Ballet Ensemble, this genre-defying artist is taking the world by storm.


 

For more information or to purchase tickets call 805/893-3535, visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu or call 805/899-2222 or visit granadasb.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 21, 2016.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

 

Rice dancer Chen Wei-an, photo by Liu Chen-Hsiang.

Rice dancer Chen Wei-an, photo by Liu Chen-Hsiang.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents leading contemporary dance company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performing Rice, a multimedia work of human drama and the story of a revered land, on Tue., Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre.

Renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min, “the most important choreographer in Asia” (Berliner Morgenpost), created the visually stunning Rice in reverence of the land that has nurtured “Asia’s leading contemporary dance theatre” (The Times, U.K.). A work of devastation and resurrection, Rice is set to a backdrop of the living, breathing rice paddies that make up Taiwan’s expansive panorama; immersed in this landscape, Cloud Gate’s formidable dancers—described by The Globe and Mail as “One of the finest dance companies in the world”—enact a human drama parallel to rice’s life cycle: flooding, sprouting, harvesting and burning rice fields. On-site recordings of rustling grain, soughing wind and pealing thunder meet folk songs in Hakka—the oldest among the existing Chinese dialects—and operatic arias from the West to make up the soundscape.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's Rice, photo by Gio To.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Rice, photo by Gio To.

A cinematographer spent two years on location documenting the cultivation of rice, capturing images of clouds reflected in the water, rice swaying in the wind and ravaging fire to provide the production’s essential visual elements. With this awe-inspiring multimedia production, “Lin attains a sharply moving synthesis of man and nature, east and west, death and rebirth” (The Guardian, U.K.).

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or purchase online at ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 1, 2016.

Reel Cool Movies at the Granada

The Muppet MovieGet ready for a fun series of family favorite movies at the Granada this summer.  The 2015 Summer Film Series offers audiences an especially rare opportunity to see memorable favorites on the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art digital 4K rear-projection screen at the historic Granada Theatre.

These family friendly films screen on Wednesdays throughout the summer.

June 10,  6 p.m.: The Muppet Movie (1979), G

June 24, 6 p.m.:  Ghostbusters (1984), PG

July 8, 6 p.m.:  E.T. (1982), PG

July 22, 6 p.m.: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (2005), PGThe Chronicles of Narnia

August 12, 6 p.m.: Surf’s Up (2007), PG

August 26, 6 p.m.: Despicable Me (2010), PG

General Admission tickets are $10 with discounts for multiple series purchases. Click here to purchase tickets for each movie performance, or by calling The Granada Theatre’s Box Office at 805/899-2222. The theater is located at 1214 State St. For more information please visit www.granadasb.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on June 6, 2015.

The Granada Theatre Film Series Presents: ANTWONE FISHER and “MOVIES THAT MATTER” with Hal Conklin

Antwone Fisher movieMovies are all over Santa Barbara this week!

The Granada Theatre Film Series presents “MOVIES THAT MATTER” with Hal Conklin, a film programming series of iconic movies that touch the soul and draw out the best in humanity.

On Monday, February 2 at 7 p.m, the second film in the series, ANTWONE FISHER, will screen on state-of-the-art 4K digital cinema, and will include special guest from the Martin Luther King Committee of Santa Barbara for a discussion and Q&A  following the film.

Antwone Fisher is the story of a young navy man who is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment, a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.

Click here to purchase tickets, or call The Granada Theatre’s Box Office at 805/899-2222. In support of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, The Granada Theatre will honor all level passes for this screening.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 31, 2015.

The Granada Theatre’s new “Monday At The Movies” Series

"Bugsy malone movie poster". Via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bugsy_malone_movie_poster.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bugsy_malone_movie_poster.jpg

“Bugsy malone movie poster”. Via Wikipedia –

Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts (SBCPA) recently announced the launch of MONDAY AT THE MOVIES!, a special series of films to be screened throughout the year in the Granada Theatre. The first in the film series will be Bugsy Malone on  on Monday, September 8 at 7 p.m.

Bugsy Malone is a 1976 British musical gangster film, directed by Alan Parker. Set in Chicago, the film is loosely based on Chicago events from the early 1920s to 1931 in the Prohibition era, specifically the exploits of gangsters like Al Capone and Bugs Moran, as dramatized in cinema.

This season’s filmed entertainment programming features the Elmer Bernstein Memorial Film Series, established by the SBCPA to honor the life and work of noted film composer and Santa Barbara resident Elmer Bernstein. The series presents an annual selection of films noteworthy for the importance of their musical scores to the telling of each film’s unique story.

Dates and film titles for the inaugural Elmer Bernstein Memorial Film Series are:

9/8/14 Bugsy Malone

11/24/14 To Kill a Mockingbird

1/26/15 Magnificent Seven

3/30/15 The Great Escape

“Elmer’s greatest passion was creating music for the arts, and it is truly an honor to have his legacy in film be memorialized in Santa Barbara, a city he called home,” says Elmer Bernstein’s widow, Eve Bernstein.

The inaugural series features selections by guest curator Paul Williams, an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning lyricist and composer.

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to be the first guest curator for this extraordinary cinematic series,” says Williams. “The first film BUGSY MALONE holds a special place in my heart as I wrote many of the lyrics in the original film. This program will be a fantastic collaboration of impressive musical scores with the most advanced level of technology in the 21st Century.”

Screenings will be preceded by a conversation with Williams and other special guests about each film and its musical score.

Tickets range in price from $9 – $20, and are available through The Granada Theatre’s Box Office—please click here to purchase or call the Box Office at 805/899-2222.  The Granada Theatre is located at 1214 State St. For more information,  visit www.granadasb.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 4, 2014.

Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival September 2-7 Features Jay Mohr, Brad Williams, Kirk Fox and More

Jay Mohr, U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Corwin Colbert, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Jay Mohr, U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Corwin Colbert, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

We’re getting excited about next week’s Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival. Organizers recently announced the addition of three new headline comedians; actor, comedian and radio host Jay Mohr (8 p.m. on 9/5), actor and comedian Brad Williams (10 p.m. on 9/5) and television host and comedian Kirk Fox (6 p.m. on 9/6). All three of these performances will be filmed at the Lobero Theatre as one-hour stand-up comedy specials for future broadcast. These will be the first 1-hour specials for both Willams and Fox.

Previously announced specials being filmed for broadcast on Saturday, September 6 include “Andrew Dice Clay Presents the Blue Show.” In addition, “LOL Comedy Inc.” will be filming in and around Santa Barbara during the festival to give viewers “the coveted insider’s access to what goes on behind the scenes with some of today’s hottest comics, with the LOL Comedy Festival as its backdrop.”

Other live performances include a premiere screening of Rip Taylor’s documentary Rip Rip Hooray to open the festival on Tuesday, September 2, with Rip Taylor here for a Q&A after the screening at the Arlington Theatre.  Also performing are Russell Peters and his “Almost Famous World Tour” at the Granada Theatre on Thursday, September 4 at 8 p.m. and “Jim Jefferies Live” at the Arlington Theatre on Sunday, September 7 at 7 p.m.

Here’s the entire schedule:

Tuesday, September 2,  8 p.m. • “Rip Rip Hooray” • Arlington Theatre
The premiere of the Rip Taylor Documentary. Rip Taylor will be in attendance for the premiere and will be conducting a Q&A at the conclusion of the premiere. – Tickets: $18 & $25.

Wednesday, September 3, 8 p.m. • “Next-Up Stand-Up” • Lobero Theatre
Featuring the hottest up and coming comedic and musical performances (see website for details), “Next Up Stand Up” kicks off at the Lobero Theatre and will take place at different, locations downtown. “Next Up Stand Up” will be filmed as part of a series to be aired on Hulu and loflix.com. Tickets: $18 & $25

Ben Gleib, courtesy photo

Ben Gleib, courtesy photo

Wednesday, September 3,  10 p.m. • “SuperNaked” • Lobero Theatre
Be prepared for the musically unexpected. SuperNaked lives somewhere between the lines of Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords with a raw intelligent and masterful comedic flare. With their hit show entitled, “Get SuperNaked!” This will be star-studded with guest comedians & musicians. Tickets: $18 & $25

Thursday, September 4, 8 p.m. – “Russell Peters: Almost Famous World Tour” • Granada Theatre
Canada’s number one stand-up export, Russell Peters will launch his world tour from Santa Barbara and the SB LOL Comedy Festival. Tickets $45, 65$, and limited Box Seats $72

Thursday, September 4,  7:30 p.m. • “Hot, Funny Femmes 1” Bring A Date • New Vic Theatre
Hosted by Latin Diva of Comedy Monique Marvez and BravoTV.com’s Nadine Rajabi, featuring some of the funniest woman in comedy today. Tickets $12, $18

Thursday, September 4,  9:30 p.m. • “Hot, Funny Femmes 2” Find A Date • New Vic Theatre
Hosted by Latin Diva of Comedy Monique Marvez and BravoTV.com’s Nadine Rajabi, featuring some of the funniest woman in comedy today. Tickets $12, $18

Friday, September 5, 8 p.m. • “Jay Mohr” Lobero Theatre 

Comedian, actor, radio host and best selling author, Jay Mohr has been performing stand-up comedy since he was 16 years old. Anyone that has ever seen one of his concerts will be quick to tell you that there is no one better. Comedy Central agrees, having named Mohr one of the 100 greatest stand-up comics of all time. Tickets for each show. $18, $25 and $40 for Gold Circle ticktes that include best seats, meet and greet and signed festival poster from Jay.

Friday, September 5, 10 p.m. • “Brad Williams” Lobero Theatre
Brad is filming his first one hour comedy special in Santa Barbara and has appeared on numerous TV shows including “Legit,” “Live at Gotham,” “the Tonight Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Mind Of Mencia,” and “Pitboss.” Brad’s show is high energy and Robin Williams called him “Prozac with a head.” Tickets for each show. $18, $25

Saturday, September 6, 6 p.m. Kirk Fox, Lobero Theatre
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Tennis Anyone?” and “The Test’s” own Kirk Fox will be filming his first one hour comedy special from the Lobero Theatre. Tickets for each show. $18, $25

Saturday, September 6, 8 p.m., Ben Gleib, Lobero Theatre 

ESQUIRE named Ben Gleib one of “Six comedians who could be comedy’s next big thing.” Ben is the host of IDIOTEST, the new comedy brain teaser game show on GSN (Game Show Network,) and for the last 7 years was one of the stars of CHELSEA LATELY on E! with over 100 appearances.  He was recently on tour in arenas all over North America opening for both Chelsea Handler and Dane Cook.  He’s the voice of Marshall the Sloth in “Ice Age – Continental Drift” the #1 animated movie. Tickets for each show. $18, $25

Saturday, September 6, 10 p.m. – Lobero Theatre – “Andrew Dice Clay Presents: The Blue Show”
Coming on the heels of his role in the critically acclaimed, “Blue Jasmine,” and his hit Showtime special, “Andrew Dice Clay: Indestructible,” Dice will present his favorite “blue” comedians on the Lobero stage with Eleanor Kerrigan, Jason Rouse and more. This show is being filmed for Broadcast. Tickets $18, $25, $35

Sunday, September 7 – Arlington Theatre – “Jim Jefferies Live”
The star of the hit show, “Legit,” and international comedy fan favorite, Jim Jefferies will round out the Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival. Show @ 7:00 PM. Tickets $32, $42

VIP Festival Passes and individual tickets are now on sale at lolcomedyfestival.comFor daily updates go to: http://www.sblolfest.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on August 27 2014.

Music Academy of the West Presents “Carmen” in Honor of Opera Great Marilyn Horne

Music Academy of the West "Carmen," photo by David Bazemore.

Music Academy of the West “Carmen,” photo by David Bazemore.

 The Music Academy of the West will present a new, fully staged production of Georges Bizet’s timeless opera Carmen in honor of celebrated mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne’s 80th birthday at Santa Barbara’s historic Granada Theatre. Directed by David Paul and conducted by James Gaffigan, the performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 1, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 3.

In addition to Music Academy Voice and Instrumental Fellows, the Academy’s production will feature dancers from Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet, choreography by William Soleau, and a chorus that includes local children.

For tickets and information, call 805.969.8787 or visit musicacademy.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on July 28, 2014.

Marilyn Horne Named “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days”

Marilyn Horne, courtesy photo

Marilyn Horne, courtesy photo

Viva la Fiesta and Viva la Diva!

This summer, The Music Academy of the West presents the 2014 Carmen Celebration; a special series of events in honor of the legendary opera singer Marilyn Horne’s 80th birthday. As part of this series, the Music Academy has partnered with Old Spanish Days to celebrate Horne, director of the Music Academy’s voice program, in conjunction with her 80th birthday, and recognize her with the official title, “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days.”

On July 23, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., the Music Academy hosts a special private event to commemorate this occasion. The program includes performances from the Music Academy’s production of Bizet’s Carmen and the 2014 Spirit of the Fiesta. (The Music Academy will present a new, fully staged production of Carmen, directed by David Paul, conducted by James Gaffigan, and featuring State Street Ballet dancers at Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre on August 1 and 3.)

“Marilyn Horne embodies the very spirit of our extraordinary performing arts & cultural community in Santa Barbara, and Old Spanish Days is the perfect partner to help us commemorate our Carmen Celebration in honor of her 80th birthday,” says Scott Reed, president of the Music Academy of the West. “We are thrilled to bestow this honor upon a legend, and true legacy of the Music Academy of the West.”

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the Fiesta Historical Parade, one of the largest equestrian parades in the United States, which will take place on August 1. As part of the Carmen Celebration festivities, during the parade Horne will ride in an antique carriage sponsored by the Music Academy’s presenting sponsor, Montecito Bank & Trust.

The Granada Theatre will also commemorate the honor of Marilyn Horne’s title “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days” on the theatre’s marquee.

Horne has long been recognized as one of the most influential artists to portray Carmen. Her first major professional engagement was in 1954, when she dubbed the singing voice of Dorothy Dandridge in the film Carmen Jones. Horne went on to sing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen to open the Metropolitan Opera’s 1972-73 season, which featured Leonard Bernstein as conductor, and earned a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 1974. Horne’s distinguished career has garnered her numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gramophone magazine. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995, received the National Medal of Arts in 1992, and has been inducted into the American Classical Music and Hollywood Bowl halls of fame. Among her worldwide prizes are the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters from France’s Ministry of Culture. She was named a National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors recipient in 2009.

Horne, who attended the Music Academy in 1953, has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 1995, and has directed the Academy’s renowned Voice Program since 1997.

Please also note these upcoming performances.
• Opera Covers Performance in Lehmann Tuesday, Jul 22 at 3:15 p.m.
• Carmen Opera Performances, Friday, August 1 and Sunday, August 3
• Vocal Masterclass with Marilyn Horne, Wednesday, August 6

For more information, visit musicacademy.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on July 22, 2014.