Monday, June 13, 2011

39 Steps Solvang Theatre

Summer is officially here with the opening of the outdoor amphitheater in Solvang. The Solvang Festival Theatre production by the PCPA Theaterfest is Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps starting June 16th; it will run until July 3rd to be followed by the musical Hairspray. 39 Steps is a Tony winner from Broadway, keeping most of the multiple twists and turns of Hitchcock's famous film and adding a generous dollop of farce.  Marie and Deborah are film buffs and we know this film inside and out and still love it.  And as good as the play is sure to be, what excites me is the prospect of having a leisurely day in the Solvang area, visiting a winery or two and picnicking,  maybe tasting olives and finally ending up in the magic of the Solvang Festival Theatre.  I love the the transition from a sunny day into the twilight in the Valley and then the cold settling in as the lights come up.  Hot apple cider, tucked up in blankets and a fantasy to transport one, this is the good life.  The theatre is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays.

If you are looking for fine accommodation in Santa Barbara, we welcome you to the Bath Street Inn; rooms are available for this production.

Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Music Academy of the West 2011

 Well, the Music Academy of the West is gearing up for another wonderful year.  For eight weeks in the summer, from June 20th to the 13th of August,  Santa Barbara is the home of a group of exceptionally gifted classically trained young musicians from around the world.  Here on a full scholarship, they work intensively with faculty,  guest artists and each other in one of five different programs: instrumental, solo piano, collaborative piano, vocal piano and voice. And we get to see and hear them learn and perform in over a hundred events and recitals in the Music Festival!  Many are free.

With five different guest conductors, the orchestral offerings are particularly strong this year. Choose from the intimate chamber orchestra pieces to Beethoven's Fourth. Maybe Strauss, Stravinsky, or Mahler has more appeal.  The first orchestral event is June 25th.   Key opera and vocal events this year are the Opera Showcase, July 16 and 18;  the Marilyn Horn Song Competition July 23rd and Rossini's Barber of Seville; performances August 5th and 7th at the Granada. 

Tip for locals and visiting parents: Try attending a MasterClass on your favorite instrument, piano, brass, string, percussion or wind.  Watching the students learn can open up a whole new way of listening and learning for you.  Many are free, others have a minimal charge.

If a fine Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast sounds like the accommodation you need while visiting the Festival, give us a call, we'd love to see you.  800-341-2284.

Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photography Exhibitions Santa Barbara

This is a great summer for photography fans to visit Santa Barbara museums and galleries; not only do we have First Thursday every month which typically includes the exhibitions of current students of the Brooks Institute of Photography, but the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Maritime Museum have installed new exhibitions running through mid September.   The focus of the Art Museum's exhibition is portraiture: called New Faces of the Collection, you'll see 27 contemporary pieces, some larger than life, including Grant Mudford's, Renee Petropoulos, pictured here.  The Maritime Museum exhibition, called Sea of Light, celebrates the return to diving and the world of underwater photography by local photographer Richard Salas, a Brooks grad. of the '70s.  Taken during 5 years of recent diving in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary, you'll see vibrant photos of undersea beauty: an entire ecosystem in all its complexity and elegance.  Both exhibitions are free with general admission to the museum 

If you need a place to stay in your travels and are looking for casual elegance and Victorian charm in a Santa Barbara bed and breakfast check us out, we'd love to see you.

Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper Bath Street Inn