The Music Academy welcomes new sponsorship and collaboration to inspire reading and discovery about events June 7-August 4



The Music Academy of the West welcomes new sponsorship from Chaucer’s Books as Official Bookseller of the 2019 Summer Festival, and collaboration with Santa Barbara Public Libraries and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to inspire reading and discovery about the Civil War and space exploration in events June 7-August 4

Jennifer Higdon’s opera Cold Mountain, set in North Carolina following a Civil War battle, is preceded by Santa Barbara Public Library book club discussions and film screenings

London Symphony Orchestra Voyager Family Concert takes the audience on a space exploration-inspired musical journey; Santa Barbara Public Libraries offer space-themed reading opportunities and activities; Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History hosts Star Parties and Gladwin Planetarium shows


Santa Barbara – Music Academy of the West, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara Public Library, and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History have teamed up to inspire reading and discovery about the Civil War for adults and space exploration for families.

The Music Academy’s presentation of the West Coast premiere of Cold Mountain and the London Symphony Orchestra Voyager Family Concert led to the city-wide offering of six book club discussions at Santa Barbara Public Libraries, as well as film screenings of the Oscar award-winning Cold Mountain; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and Space Cowboys. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History offers events to learn more about space sciences.



Cold Mountain is the first opera by Music Academy of the West Composer-in-Residence and 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon. An American odyssey of love, honor, and redemption at the close of the Civil War, based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Charles Frazier, the opera was itself recognized with a 2016 International Opera Award. Directed by Princess Grace Award-winner James Darrah, Creative Director of the Vocal Institute, and featuring the Academy Festival Orchestra under the baton of Daniela Candillari, whose “wondrous music-making” (Chicago Tribune) has been showcased at Chicago Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and more, the Academy’s fully staged and costumed production takes place at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara (August 2 & 4). To prepare to sing the opera’s leading roles, vocal fellows will receive coaching in a dedicated Vocal Masterclass (July 10) from mezzo-soprano and Mosher Guest Artist Isabel Leonard (’05) and tenor Jay Hunter Morris, who created the roles of Ada and Teague in Cold Mountain’s world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 2015.

The Music Academy has collaborated with Chaucer’s Books and Santa Barbara Public Library to inspire discovery of the novel and major motion picture Cold Mountain, including book club discussions, film screenings, and related events. Music Academy information will be on display in the Central Library for the month of July. Chaucer’s Books is the Official Bookseller of the Music Academy of the West 2019 Summer Festival, retailing copies of Cold Mountain at 3221 State Street for purchase and providing raffle boxes for opportunities to win free tickets.





Fri, Jun 7, 1 pm / Central Library / Free

This romantic and epic Civil War drama starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger and directed by Anthony Minghella, won Ms. Zellweger an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The film was also nominated for Best Actor, Best Original Music Score, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.



Sat, Jun 8, 11 am / Montecito Library / Free

Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain

In 1997, Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history when it sailed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list for 61 weeks, won numerous literary awards (including the National Book Award) and went on to sell over three million copies.

Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic odyssey, hugely powerful, majestically lovely, and keenly moving.” – National Book Foundation



Tue, Jul 2, 5:30 pm / Central Library / Free

Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union

“A freed black woman with a photographic memory goes undercover as a slave in a Confederate senator’s home, where she meets a rakish fellow Union spy who grates her nerves, aids her cause, and steals her heart.” – Alyssa Cole, author

“Cole’s sparkling gem of a romance portrays love at its most practical and sublime; she writes with lyricism, intelligence, and historical accuracy. This fascinating novel is a most welcome addition to the historical romance genre.” – Publisher’s Weekly



Tue, Jul 9, 5:30 pm / Central Library / Free

Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain



Thu, Jul 11, 5:15 pm / Central Library / Free

Artistic Visions of a Growing America 1826-1900

A living artist views surroundings with an eye that is both immediate and thoughtful. The result on the canvas can be a historical record which is informative as well as provocative. At times, however, a painting is also disturbing and cautionary. The art of this remarkable era reveals all the growing pains of a society rushing into its future.



Thu, Jul 11, 5:30 pm / Free and all are welcome

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, 540 W. Pueblo St., Resource Library

Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain



Fri, Jul 12, 1 pm / Central Library / Free

O, Brother where are thou? is related to Cold Mountain in that it is influenced by Homer’s The Odyssey. The Coen brothers crime comedy stars George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in supporting roles. The Appalachian music soundtrack produced by T Bone Burnett won a Grammy Award for album of the year.



Tue, Jul 16, 6 pm / Central Library / Free

Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo

Barracoon…takes its title from the barracks that enslaved Africans were kept in before they were forced onto slave ships. It tells the story of [Cudjo] Lewis’ capture by Dahomey warriors in West Africa, and how he was sold to slavers and taken to Mobile, Alabama, in 1859, more than 50 years after the United States Congress had outlawed the slave trade, in what Hurston describes as the “last deal in human flesh.” – The New York Times



Sat, Jul 29, 5:30 pm / Carpinteria Library / Free

Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain



Fri, Aug 2, 7:30 pm and Sun, Aug 4, 2:30 pm / Granada Theatre / $10, $58, $80, $100

Vocal Institute Fellows, Academy Festival Orchestra

Daniela Candillari conductor, James Darrah director

Evan Bravos Inman, Annaliese Klenetsky Ada, Talin Nalbandian Ruby, Sangmoon Lee Teague, Andrew Zimmerman Veasey


Based on Charles Frazier’s best-selling Civil War era epic historical novel, Ada and Iman’s journey and relationship in the mountains of North Carolina reveals the damage of a country divided. This West Coast premiere of the International Opera Award-winning work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon is a new production created exclusively for the Music Academy of the West.



Last season saw the launch of Music Academy of the West’s new four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), a world leader in innovation, management, and international presence. This summer, the orchestra makes its first trip to Santa Barbara for a residency promising exceptional performances and transformative training opportunities. Elim Chan, winner of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, takes the podium for the LSO’s spaced-themed Voyager Family Concert at the historic Granada Theatre. Combining orchestral excerpts by Beethoven (Symphony No. 5), Richard Strauss (Also sprach Zarathustra), Holst (The Planets), Ives (The Unanswered Question), Shostakovich (Symphony No. 10), Messiaen (Les offrandes oubliées), John Adams (Short Ride in a Fast Machine), and John Williams (Flying Theme from E.T.) with audience participation and a specially created film, this multimedia event is designed to cultivate the next generation of music-lovers (July 12).

Written by Gareth Davies and Victor Craven, from an original idea by Gareth Davies, the Voyager film (directed and created by Victor Craven) features Kepler, an interstellar traveler, who has beamed herself down to the Granada Theatre. Having found the Voyager space probe and its precious Golden Record, she looks through its contents and explores the great classical masterpieces and their impact on humankind.

The music dates from 200 years ago alongside much more recent pieces, some of which will be familiar and some won’t. From Beethoven’s best known symphonic opening to Holst’s famous piece “Jupiter” and the music which accompanied Elliott as he soared over the forest in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Journey to the stars with your family and the London Symphony Orchestra in this space-themed concert. Sing along with the stellar participation piece and help get Kepler home to her distant galaxy.

Learn more about space exploration and space sciences at Santa Barbara Public Libraries and at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Palmer Observatory and Gladwin Planetarium.





Jun 1-Aug 1 / All Santa Barbara Public Libraries / Free

Kids, teens, and adults win prizes for achieving reading goals. Learn more at



Thu, Jun 27, 10:30 am / Central Library / Free

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly

“Captivating, charming. . . . [Kelly] pulls back the curtain separating the myth of the astronaut from its human realities. . . . It is easy to imagine future generations of explorers and daredevils harnessing the lessons and truths within the pages of Endurance as the blueprints for their own trips into the unknown.” — The New York Times Book Review



Sat, Jun 8 & Sat Jul 13, Dusk-10 pm / Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History / Free

The Palmer Observatory hosts a Star Party organized by the Museum and the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. This free event welcomes the public to view and learn about the night sky using a range of telescopes, including the 20-inch state-of-the-art telescope in the Observatory.



Fri, Jul 12, 6- 7 pm / Granada Theatre / All adult tickets $10 / 7-17s Free

London Symphony Orchestra

Elim Chan conductor

Written by Gareth Davies and Victor Craven, from an original idea by Gareth Davies

Voyager film directed and created by Victor Craven


Including excerpts from:

STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra

JOHN ADAMS Short ride in a fast machine

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

HOLST “Jupiter” from The Planets

MESSIAEN Les offrandes oubliées

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10

IVES The Unanswered Question

JOHN WILLIAMS Flying Theme from E.T.


The Granada Theatre becomes Mission Control for this London Symphony Orchestra space-themed family concert.

The Voyager spacecraft contains a Golden Record full of music and messages from humankind. One day, in a galaxy far away, it is hoped that someone, or something will hear our messages of hope and understanding. Join us for a musical journey into interstellar space and discover if anyone is listening out there…



Fri, Jul 19, 1 pm / Central Library / Free

Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner star as a group of pilots whose time has come to serve their country and fulfill their dream of going to space. In 1958, the members of Team Daedalus, a group of top Air Force test pilots, were ready to serve their country as the first Americans in space. When NASA replaced the Air Force for outer atmospheric testing, they were pushed aside for a chimpanzee. The team retired, but the dream of going into space never died.



Daily / Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History / Admission (Free-$15) and Planetarium Tickets ($4, Members Free)

The Gladwin Planetarium is the only planetarium on the Central Coast that features live, multimedia shows. You can tour the constellations of the night sky, fly through the Milky Way galaxy, and explore the surface of the Moon.

Chaucer’s Books is the Official Bookseller for the Music Academy of the West 2019 Summer Festival.

Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain is the Irene Cummings (’52) Endowed Opera and generously supported by exclusive corporate sponsor Chaucer’s Books.

Thank you to the Santa Barbara Public Library for their partnership in screening films and hosting book clubs for Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and collaboration for the London Symphony Orchestra Voyager Family Concert.

Thank you to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for hosting free Star Parties and offering admission to Gladwin Planetarium shows and to the dedicated volunteers of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.

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