July 9, 2012 |
In his latest movie "To Rome With Love," Woody Allen plays Jerry, a retired music executive and former opera director who travels to Italy to meet his daughter's fiancé. Upon his arrival in the Eternal City, Jerry encounters his future son-in-law's father, an undertaker who happens to have a perfect operatic voice - but only when he's singing in the shower. The chance discovery precipitates a series of comic set pieces, and prompts Jerry to rediscover his passion for the operatic art form.
June 20, 2010 |
At one time, Los Angeles was Weimar on the Pacific: Numerous German-speaking émigrés put their stamp on the city to which they'd fled. What with directors such as Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch, writers such as Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht, and assorted film composers and actors — many of whom gathered to express their love of German high culture and their hatred of fascism — it seemed at times that the Southland's intellectual life...
November 25, 2013 |
With its show-business staging of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as a cheekily animated silent movie, Los Angeles Opera on Saturday night got what it very much needs. That this will be a hit goes without saying. But what this once pioneering company really needs right now is a reason to be talked about again. So let's talk about Barrie Kosky, one of the hot directors on the international scene and, like most hot directors on the international scene, ignored in America. Not too many American opera companies dare hire directors who put buckets of excrement onstage, as Kosky did in a recent German production of Janácek's "From the House of the Dead.
June 4, 2000
Mark Swed's May 21 articles on Peter Hemmings and Los Angeles Opera provided well-merited coverage of a man and an institution that have changed the cultural landscape of Southern California. One aspect that Swed touched on but did not praise sufficiently is the company's commitment to developing young local artists. This is a mission Los Angeles Opera shares with the Opera Buffs Inc., which provides scholarships and performance opportunity to young singers in Southern California. Swed suggests that other companies have "stronger personalities" than Los Angeles Opera.
March 4, 2013 |
This is the time to start a discussion of "Aida. " A view of ancient Egypt from the perspective of the 19th century - Verdi was commissioned to write the opera as part of the celebrations of the opening of the Suez Canal - "Aida" forecasts a Middle East we recognize today, one in which religious fundamentalism, militarism and popular uprisings are dangerously incompatible. Opera Santa Barbara didn't have to stretch operatic truth terribly far to pluck images of Arab Spring on Sunday afternoon, for the second of the two performances of its apt new production of "Aida" at the Granada Theater.
April 8, 2013 |
Kent Nagano's tenure at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra appears uncertain following reports that the American conductor will depart the orchestra when his current contract as music director expires in 2016. But the orchestra's management has vigorously denied the reports. A report this month from Montreal's La Presse stated that Nagano's contract with the orchestra won't be renewed beyond 2016. The report, written by Claude Gingras, cites sources saying that Zarin Mehta is helping the orchestra find Nagano's successor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2010 |
Flora Laney Thornton, a longtime Los Angeles philanthropist and patron of the arts who was the namesake of USC's School of Music, has died. She was 96. Thornton died Friday of pulmonary disease at her home in Holmby Hills, her family said. A Kansas native who arrived in Los Angeles in 1948 with her first husband, Litton Industries co-founder Charles B. "Tex" Thornton, she was a major donor to numerous Southern California institutions, from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
December 12, 2012 |
Plácido Domingo will perform in a special concert in Los Angeles next summer devoted to zarzuela and other Latin American music. The June 7 concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion will be organized by Los Angeles Opera and feature a variety of young singers. L.A. Opera said Domingo will sing on stage and conduct the company's orchestra. Soloists will include soprano Janai Brugger, a recent Operalia winner and an alumna of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program; tenor Joshua Guerrero, a first-year member of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program; and by soprano María Eugenia Antúnez. The concert will be followed by the 15th annual Plácido Domingo Award presentation to soprano Ailyn Pérez.