In response to Jerry Falkenhagen's letter (Calendar Letters, May 1), I must disagree with his perspective on what kind of opera company we are attempting to build for Los Angeles. No one here has a desire to program only the "rare and unusual" and "force it down" Los Angeles' throat.
To his claim that the upcoming season has only one opera from the standard repertory, may I suggest that Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann," Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte," Verdi's "Otello" and Strauss' "Salome" are all core works of the standard repertory.
As for the other four operas to be performed--Berg's "Wozzeck" (which the writer deemed "interesting") we happily inherited from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which had previously planned it; Rossini's "Tancredi," though rare, is a marvelous vehicle for Marilyn Horne's first local operatic outing in more than 20 years; Janacek's "Katya Kabanova" is a lovely work, as lyrical and moving as any Puccini, which has sold out performances in Chicago and San Francisco in recent years; and "Orpheus in the Underworld," with its famous can-can, has been a popular hit for a century.
I hardly think this is a plan which will "endanger this youthful company."
In fact, the Los Angeles audiences seem to like our recipe. While the subscription campaign for the next season has barely begun, we had more subscribers in the second season than in the first.