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.
February 23, 2013 |
MUNICH, Germany - Wagner's "The Ring of Nibelung" is no picnic. The epic four-evening mythic drama is the macho challenge with which operas prove themselves. It practically did in Los Angeles Opera when the company finally got around to mounting this monumental if confrontational pillar of Western civilization in 2010. The "Ring" has been no picnic, that is until now. As audience members found their seats at the Bavarian State Opera's historic National Theater here last month for "Das Rheingold," the first opera in the cycle, some 100 exceptionally good-looking young people dressed in summer whites (it was snowing outside)
February 20, 2013 |
James Conlon is a born and bred New Yorker but sunny Los Angeles apparently agrees with him. The 62-year-old conductor has renewed his contract with the Los Angeles Opera for five more years, and will remain music director at least through the end of the 2017-18 season. The company made the announcement Wednesday evening at an event honoring Conlon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Conlon works closely at L.A. Opera with Plácido Domingo, the tenor who is the general director of the company.
February 7, 2013 |
Operatic tenor Jay Hunter Morris has withdrawn from Los Angeles Opera's upcoming production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman," which is scheduled to begin performances on March 9 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Morris, a Texan noted for his Wagnerian roles, has come down with "a severe case of gastroenteritis," according to the singer's agent. The illness is preventing Morris from participating in rehearsals for "Dutchman. " The tenor was to have played the role of Erik in Wagner's opera that was inspired by the legend of a ghost ship.
January 8, 2013 |
Los Angeles Opera will present the current touring revival of “Einstein on the Beach,” composed by Philip Glass and staged by Robert Wilson, as part of its 2013-14 season, the company is announcing on Tuesday. The company will present a special slate of programs devoted to the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten. The season will also include tenor Plácido Domingo in the company premiere of Jules Massenet 's “Thaïs” and a new staging of Donizetti's “Lucia di Lammermoor.” “Einstein” will have three performances Oct. 11-13 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
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.
December 5, 2012 |
Leaders at Los Angeles Opera are breathing a little easier now that a huge financial burden has been lifted from their shoulders. L.A. Opera is announcing Wednesday that it has fully repaid a $14 million emergency loan it received in 2009, a loan obtained with the help of Los Angeles County. With this step, the company is now looking forward, hoping to add more productions to future seasons and mix in more contemporary operas. The opera company repaid half of the principal in January in order to save money on interest payments.
November 19, 2012 |
Between 2004 and 2008, Los Angeles Opera was home to the most beautiful "Madame Butterfly" in America. But it was no doubt time to retire Robert Wilson's glowing, ascetic, stylized production, already 11 years old when it first arrived here from Paris and requiring enormous care to present properly. During that same period, San Francisco Opera mounted a more commonplace - and when it came to lighting and movement, sloppier - staging of Puccini's ever-present opera. This "Butterfly" has flown south.
November 17, 2012 |
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.
October 20, 2012 |
For the past 12 years, the public face of Los Angeles Opera has been Plácido Domingo, the famed tenor who serves as general director. But the person who manages the company on a daily basis - the person whose job is to oversee every aspect of daily operations, including ticket sales, season planning, the bottom line - is a much less recognizable and celebrated figure. Christopher Koelsch assumed the role of L.A. Opera's president and chief executive officer in September. The appointment, announced earlier this year, marks a career high for the 41-year-old Koelsch, who joined the company in 1997 and has steadily worked his way up the ladder.