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O.C. Arts Season Takes Shape

January 11, 2002

Two Orange County performing arts institutions, South Coast Repertory and Opera Pacific, have announced new programming plans.

South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa has turned to its leading workhorse, New York City playwright Richard Greenberg, for this fall's inauguration of its new, 336-seat second theater.

"The Violet Hour" will trace a day in the life of a novice New York publisher in 1918. The play will run Nov. 5-24, 2002, on the Julianne Argyros Stage, the new theater that is part of a $19-million expansion and renovation of the existing building. "The Violet Hour," directed by Evan Yionoulis, is the seventh play by Greenberg produced at South Coast, starting with "The Extra Man" in 1991.

Another Greenberg play, "The Dazzle," will be the final production on the 161-seat Second Stage (to be used for rehearsals and new play development when the new theater opens), running from March 29-April 28, 2002.

All of the Greenberg plays except "The Extra Man" have been world premieres commissioned by South Coast. Among the others are "Three Days of Rain," a 1997 work that became a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and "Everett Beekin," seen in 2000.

Opera Pacific, meanwhile, will present three new productions during its 2002-2003 season in Costa Mesa, including Mozart's "Abduction From the Seraglio" and Strauss' "Salome," both for the first time.

Director James Robinson sets the Mozart opera, which usually takes place in a Turkish harem, on the Orient Express during 1920. (Dates are Jan. 21-26, 2003.) Ian Judge, who created the inventive staging of Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann" presented by Opera Pacific in 2000, will again collaborate with set and costume designer Tim Goodchild on the new "Salome" (Feb. 25-March 2, 2003).

The third new production will be "Il Trovatore," staged by the Belgrade-based Dejan Miladinovic (April 29-May 4, 2003).

The season will open with a production of Puccini's "La Boheme" borrowed from the Canadian Opera Company (Nov. 5-10, 2002).

Company artistic director John DeMain will conduct all the operas except "Abduction," which will be led by British conductor Jane Glover.

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