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ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2012 | By James C. Taylor
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - But what he really wants to do is conduct … For the next three weeks Eric Owens is playing the supporting role of Sharpless in Los Angeles Opera's "Madame Butterfly," but at age 42, the Philadelphia-born singer has earned a leading position that few can claim: Right now Owens is the voice of the Metropolitan Opera. Literally, his deep bass-baritone is the voice-over on the Met's television commercials and promos this season, and figuratively, Owens is arguably the company's standout performer over the last two seasons.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 13, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
There is an anecdote about Einstein from when he taught at Caltech in the early 1930s. One day, pianist and Beethoven specialist Artur Schnabel came to visit the famed physicist, who was an avid amateur violinist, and they read through a Beethoven violin sonata. It didn't go well. Fumbling a tricky rhythm, Einstein got lost, and Schnabel exclaimed in frustration, "Albert, you can't count!" I have no idea how true this is (there are variants of the story), but what matters is that 80 years later, Einstein counted at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and it was a momentous event.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2011 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
When Ildebrando D'Arcangelo storms the stage in Mozart's "Così fan Tutte" at Los Angeles Opera, the bass-baritone singer projects a swaggering confidence and dangerous sex appeal that act like a powerful audience magnet. But please don't call him a bari-hunk. The 41-year-old D'Arcangelo, who is one of six members of the "Così" ensemble cast, has garnered fans around the world as much for his voice as for his model looks — tall, dark and handsome in an earthy way. Yet the singer appears uneasy with references to his status as a bari-hunk — the group of opera stars known for their pecs and neck size, as well as their deep, sonorous voices.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2011 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
The rising Southern California-bred soprano Angel Blue is having a smashing Vienna debut ? except for an ugly encounter with a racist cab driver outside a Starbucks in the Austrian capital. Blue, who has sung several roles for Los Angeles Opera, where she trained in its Domingo-Thornton Young Artist program, was on break from rehearsals for Benjamin Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia" and needed a ride back to the venerable Theater an der Wien opera house. She hopped in a white Mercedes cab, according to the Viennese weekly magazine News, only to hear the driver snarl, "I don't drive black women.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 2012 | By David Ng
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2012 | By David Ng
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.
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