March 16, 2013 |
Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz's "Camelia la Tejana," which will be performed this month at Long Beach Opera, is actually three stories in one. First, there's the legend of Camelia la Tejana, a Mexican drug-smuggling queen who shot and killed her lover in a jealous fit - if, that is, she really existed. Then there's the tale of how Camelia's gruesome exploits were immortalized in the smash narcocorrido tune "Contrabando y Traición" (Contraband and Betrayal), which was written by Ángel González and definitively recorded by the superstar norteño band Los Tigres del Norte.
February 27, 2013 |
This post has been updated. "The Death of Klinghoffer," the controversial 1991 opera by John Adams, is scheduled to make its much-belated Los Angeles-area debut in March 2014. But the producing company won't be L.A. Opera, which was one of several groups that commissioned the piece. Long Beach Opera said it will present the work as part of its season next year, in a staging directed by James Robinson. The dates and venue for the performances have not been announced. In April 2014, the production will be part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's recently announced "Minimalist Jukebox" festival.
January 28, 2013 |
Philip Glass is prolific beyond all understanding - and he keeps cranking out pieces at a clip that even his own record label, Orange Mountain Music, can't keep up with. What that means is that there are lots of opportunities for enterprising outfits large, small and in-between to sift through Glass' massive piles of score paper in order to score a regional premiere. Glass is becoming a specialty of the house for Long Beach Opera, which presented the companion operas “The Sound of a Voice” and “Hotel of Dreams” in 2006, the mighty “Akhnaten” in 2011 and on Sunday introduced the chamber opera “The Fall of the House of Usher” to the West Coast in San Pedro's ancient, Art Deco Warner Grand Theatre.
September 9, 2012 |
Eight Summer Olympics ago, it was Los Angeles' turn. We did well with the Games (traffic and weather cooperated). We built no monuments, no starchitect stadiums or the like. But a progressive Olympic Arts Festival gave a lasting boost to our modern dance and international theater scene and stimulated the creation of Los Angeles Opera. Then there was director Robert Wilson's "the CIVIL warS: a tree is best measured when it is down," the centerpiece of the festival. It was meant to be the grandest of grand operas and proved the Olympics' great letdown.
August 20, 2012 |
Classical music fans in Southern California have known for several years that Andreas Mitisek works minor miracles on a shoestring at Long Beach Opera. With limited financial resources, he has maintained the small company's reputation as a risk-taker, embracing experimental and unconventional works that major opera houses tend to ignore. Mitisek is among the 25 people named this month by Opera News as part of its "Next Wave" cover story. The venerated monthly, published by New York's Metropolitan Opera Guild, chose 25 individuals the editors believe "are poised to break out and become major forces in the field in the coming decade.
June 20, 2012 |
This spring, opera in Los Angeles has been winning praise for its daring and diversity. A boldly abstract version of "Don Giovanni" staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. An edgy multimedia opera, "Crescent City," presented by The Industry. Coming up: Benjamin Britten's "Curlew River," by the innovative music group Jacaranda, and a new chamber opera, "The Face," by two USC scholars. This operatic blossoming has been good for local audiences, but it has raised awkward questions and touched a sensitive nerve in the city's arts community.