Orange County's Best-Kept Cultural Secret? It's a Hotbed of Literary Talent

"I never wanted to come to Orange County," said Richard Bausch, an award-winning novelist, poet, and acclaimed American master of the short story. "I believed California killed writers."

He was talking about his decision to leave a lucrative chair at the University of Memphis to take a post teaching in the "I never wanted to come to Orange County," said MFA writer's program at Chapman University, and the shadows of doubt that went along with it.

Who can blame him? Orange County for the literary life? Sun-kissed Byzantium of the young in one another's arms, Newport fashionistas, Chardonnay-swilling housewives bitching at each other on TV, and a meticulously commercial amusement park that bills itself as the happiest place on earth?

Pacific Chorale Releases a New Recording of Works by Tarik O'Regan

The Pacific Chorale’s latest recording, its first under artistic director Robert Istad, has come out just in time for the COVID crisis, which is to say that the musicians have something to offer their public at a moment when they cannot meet face to face. (The Chorale has cancelled its annual summer choral festival; plans for performances in the fall are still uncertain.)

The recording, on Yarlung Records, of music by Tarik O'Regan, the group's composer-in-residence, is a striking one, and should keep that public happy. The Chorale has long done good service by living composers, and this disc continues it. Born in London in 1978, O'Regan is a prolific composer who has written in many genres and who has been performed widely. His opera, "The Phoenix," based on the life of Mozart's librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, was given its premiere by Houston Grand Opera last year.

While the majority of Orange County's arts and culture organizations and venues remain physically closed; virtual/streaming offerings are thriving, and some outdoor venues are beginning their phased re-openings. Arts Orange County is pleased to combine its recommendations for online enrichment with some good news about places you can now visit personally. ArtsOC and Voice of OC continue to urge everyone to follow the State and County's current guidelines on distancing and masking as they venture out. 


OCCCA Celebrates 40 Years

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art has created a special online gallery and tour featuring the works of dozens of artists  DETAILS »


Mission San Juan Capistrano

One of south County's most beloved historical and cultural institutions will be open to limited public attendance with safety precautions beginning on Saturday  DETAILS »


Virtual Tours: Lyon Air Museum

You can now go online with Santa Ana's institution for the history of aviation and view some of their astounding collection of vintage aircraft and automobiles  DETAILS »


"Sleeping Beauty"'s Bring the Ballet Home Virtual Event

A special, free streaming presentation by the Richter Acadmey of Classical Dance brings the beloved dance telling of the timeless fairy tale into your home  DETAILS »


Virtual Rancho Family Fest

The Rancho Santa Margarita Chamber of Commerce will broadcast a free, live series of concerts and other events from 4-7pm on Saturday  DETAILS »

Editor's Note: This email newsletter is provided in partnership from Voice of OC, Orange County's nonprofit newsroom, and Arts OC, the officially designated nonprofit arts agency for the County of Orange, CA. Together we are proud to share the latest arts and culture news and curated events listings. Our readers can rely upon stories by established arts journalists and events from the largest Orange County database of arts and cultural events, workshops, jobs, individual artists, organizations and venues.

Voice of OC is Orange County's nonprofit newsroom with a mission to consistently deliver fair, focused and thorough journalism on critical quality of life and local issues for Orange County communities.

Arts Orange County builds appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. Event information provided by SparkOC, an Arts OC program.