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Long Beach Opera outlines 30th season

The company plans stagings of 'The Cunning Little Vixen,' 'Motezuma' and more.

July 02, 2008|Chris Pasles | Times Staff Writer

After a season of song cycles, minimal opera productions and a solo recital, Long Beach Opera will celebrate its 30th season next year with four full-fledged operas.

"I don't want to take the 30th anniversary too much into consideration because our aim remains the same -- to do things that are rarely done or not done at all," company General Director Andreas Mitisek said Tuesday.

The season will open with a new production of Leos Janacek's 1924 "The Cunning Little Vixen," Jan. 17 and 25 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Like most of the season's productions, it will be sung in English.

Antonio Vivaldi's "Motezuma" will receive its first U.S. performances on March 28 at the Long Beach center and on April 5 at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica. Composed in 1733, the score was thought lost until it was found in 2002 in Berlin.

The opera, loosely based on Cortes' conquest of Mexico, was given its modern premiere in 2005 in Dusseldorf, Germany, 272 years after it was first staged at the Teatro S. Angelo in Venice, Italy.

The season will conclude with a double bill of Viktor Ullmann's "The Emperor of Atlantis" and Carl Orff's "The Clever One" (Die Kluge), May 9 and 17 at a venue to be announced.

Ullmann's work, an anti-Nazi allegory, was composed in 1943 in the Terezin concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic. Ullmann died the following year in Auschwitz.

Orff's opera, also composed in 1943, is based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a foolish, tyrannical king taught a lesson about love by his wife.

"Both deal in some way with dictatorship," Mitisek said. "I hope we can integrate one piece into the other, making one piece out of them without disturbing their individuality."

The budget for the year will be $879,000, nearly a 30% increase over last season's $681,000, the director said.

"Yesterday we paid all our outstanding bills from the last year," he said. "We have money in the bank and are ready to move forward. We don't have any deficit. I feel very fortunate."


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