LA Opera Announces 2013-2014 Season

LA Opera Announces 2013-2014 Season

LA Opera announces the 2013-2014 season, including Bizet's Carmen, Verdi's Falstaff, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Britten's Billy Budd, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Massenet's Thaïs, L.A. premiere of Wilson/Glass collaboration Einstein on the Beach.

James Conlon will conduct four productions; Plácido Domingo, Patrick Fournillier and Grant Gershon also will conduct Season also to include Audra McDonald in concert, Dmitri Hvorostovsky in recital, and world premiere of Alexander Prior's Jonah and the Whale
LA Opera to host Britten 100/LA: A Celebration honoring the Benjamin Britten centenary
(Los Angeles, CA) - Plácido Domingo, General Director of LA Opera, announced the details of the Company's 2013/14 Season today. The season will include seven productions at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, including the Company premiere of Massenet's Thaïs and the highly anticipated first performances in Los Angeles of the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson collaboration Einstein on the Beach. Mr. Domingo will conduct the season-opening production of Carmen and he will also perform the role of Athanaël in Thaïs. James Conlon, LA Opera's Music Director, will conduct four mainstage productions as well as the world premiere of Alexander Prior's community opera Jonah and the Whale at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. According to Christopher Koelsch, President and CEO of LA Opera, the season will include 42 performances presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as well as four LA Opera Off Grand performances taking place in other venues. The season opens on September 21, 2013, and will run through June 7, 2014.

The season opens with a revival of Georges Bizet's Carmen (Sep. 21 ? Oct. 6, 2013). Plácido Domingo will conduct four of the seven performances, with Resident Conductor Grant Gershon conducting three performances. The popular production, staged by Spanish director Emilio Sagi, has previously been seen in Los Angeles in 2004 and 2008. The title role will be performed by Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, who made her LA Opera debut in 2009 as Andronico in Tamerlano and who recently performed Erda in the Metropolitan Opera's new Ring cycle. Tenor Brandon Jovanovich (Good Hope in The Birds, 2009; Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, 2012) returns as Don José, with baritone DWayne Croft (Don Giovanni, 1999; Germont in La Traviata, 2006) as Escamillo. Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze (The Elixir of Love, 2009; The Turk in Italy, 2011; Roméo et Juliette, 2011) sings the role of Micaëla, the first of two leading roles she will perform with LA Opera in the season.

Opera companies around the globe will commemorate the 200th birthday of composer Giuseppe Verdi in 2013. LA Opera celebrates the greatest of Italian opera composers with his final, comic masterpiece, Falstaff (Nov. 9 ? Dec. 1, 2013), conducted by James Conlon. Director Lee Blakeley will make his LA Opera debut reimagining a production last presented in 2005, with new designs by Adrian Linford. Italian baritone Roberto Frontali (Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, 2005) sings the role of Shakespeare's beloved rogue, Sir John Falstaff. The cast also includes Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio (Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, 2003) as Alice Ford. The cast also includes several singers making their Company debuts, including Italian baritone Marco Caria as Ford, Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova as Nannetta and Argentinean tenor Juan Francesco Gatell as Fenton. The cast will also feature two mezzo-soprano alumnae of LA Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program: Ronnita Nicole Miller (Florence Pike in Albert Herring, 2012; Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, 2010) as Dame Quickly and Erica Brookhyser (Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, 2008; Waltraute in Die Walküre, 2009 and 2010) as Meg Page.

Another of LA Opera's iconic productions, Mozart's The Magic Flute (Nov. 23 ? Dec. 15, 2013) returns to the repertoire conducted by James Conlon, in the colorful Peter Hall production designed by Gerald Scarfe. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee makes his LA Opera debut as Tamino opposite the Pamina of Janai Brugger (Musetta in La Bohème, 2012; Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program alumna). Hungarian coloratura soprano Erika Miklósa will make her Company debut as the Queen of the Night, and bass Morris Robinson (Fasolt in Das Rheingold, 2009 and 2010) reprises his performance as Sarastro, his LA Opera debut role in 2009. As Papageno, Russian baritone Rodion Pogossov will make his first LA Opera appearance.

Throughout 2013, the Benjamin Britten centenary will be observed worldwide. Locally, Britten 100/LA: A Celebration will bring together a number of Los Angeles artists and institutions in a countywide collaboration featuring performances, conferences and exhibitions by a host of organizations. LA Opera will conclude the initiative in 2014 with Britten's Billy Budd (Feb. 22 - March 16, 2014) conducted by James Conlon in a revival of the Francesca Zambello production last seen in Los Angeles in 2000. Baritone Liam Bonner (Sid in Albert Herring, 2012) returns to make his role debut as Billy, and tenor Richard Croft (The Shaper in Grendel, 2006) returns as Captain Vere. Bass Greer Grimsley makes his LA Opera debut as the sinister John Claggart. The cast also includes British baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore in his Company debut as Mr. Redburn and Australian bass Daniel Sumegi (Colline in La Bohème, 2004; Monterone in Rigoletto, 2010) as Mr. Flint. The great bass Samuel Ramey (Méphistophélès in Faust, 2000; Bluebeard in Duke Bluebeard's Castle, 2002; the four Tales of Hoffmann villains, 2002; Méphistophélès in The Damnation of Faust, 2003) returns as Dansker.

Russian coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova returns to LA Opera in the title role of a new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (March 15 - April 6, 2014) her first appearance with the Company since her 2009 debut as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, 2008; Ferrando in Così fan tutte, 2011) will return as Edgardo. The production, new to Los Angeles, will also feature baritone Stephen Powell (Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, 2008; Germont in La Traviata, 2009) as Enrico and bass James Creswell (Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, 2011; Daland in The Flying Dutchman, 2013) as Raimondo. James Conlon will conduct.

LA Opera's season concludes with the Company premiere of Jules Massenet's Thaïs (May 17 - June 7, 2014), starring soprano Nino Machaidze in the title role and Plácido Domingo as Athanaël, a baritone role that he has recently performed to great acclaim in Seville and Valencia. Tenor Paul Groves (Faust in The Damnation of Faust, 2003; Fritz in The Grand Duchess, 2005) returns as Nicias. The production, directed by Nicola Raab, will be conducted by Patrick Fournillier in his Company debut.

LA Opera's season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion will also include a concert by soprano Audra McDonald on October 26, 2013. Ms. McDonald made her LA Opera debut in 2007 starring as Jenny in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The season will also include a recital by Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky on May 22, 2014. Mr. Hvorostovsky has previously appeared in recital with LA Opera in 2004 and 2011, as well as in a 2006 concert.

As a special addition to the season, LA Opera presents a rare revival of a groundbreaking 1976 collaboration by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. Universally hailed as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, Einstein on the Beach breaks all rules of conventional opera. Non-narrative in form, the work uses a series of powerful recurrent images as its main dramatic device, shown in juxtaposition with abstract dance sequences created by Lucinda Childs. The Los Angeles performances will be the final North American stop of the production's international tour. Presented in collaboration with the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA (CAP UCLA), Einstein on the Beach features the Philip Glass Ensemble, the Lucinda Childs Dance Company and violinist Jennifer Koh. There will be three performances of Einstein on the Beach at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (October 11, 12 and 13, 2013).

The Off Grand initiative was developed to bring LA Opera performances to a wider geographical area, to increase audience diversity and to expand on traditional ideas of the operatic experience by experimenting with performance spaces, creative artists new to the genre and a variety of musical styles. Off Grand performances for the 2013/2014 season include the world premiere of Jonah and the Whale by composer Alexander Prior and librettist Velina Hasu Houston, a community opera for families that will be conducted by James Conlon and performed at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on March 21 and 22, 2014. LA Opera will also partner with Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts to present two concert performances at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa: Falstaff on November 26, 2013, and Thaïs on May 22, 2014.


Throughout 2013, the centenary of English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) will be observed around the world by musicians and institutions of every kind. James Conlon, whose lifelong admiration of Britten's genius is reflected in his personal three-year performance cycle of the composer's works in the United States and Europe, will helm LA Opera's participation in Britten 100/LA: A Celebration, a countywide festival presented in collaboration with a host of local organizations. The festivities will begin with a free-of-charge Inaugural Event on February 23 featuring Mr. Conlon presenting, in the form of his customary pre-performance talks, an overview of the legacy of the composer. This will include an emphasis on Britten's personal history in Los Angeles and of the celebration itself and will be held in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall. Festival highlights include the War Requiem conducted by Mr. Conlon, featuring the Colburn Orchestra in collaboration with musicians from USC Thornton and the USC Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. This central event will unite musical institutions across Southern California including choristers from CSU-Long Beach, CSU-Fullerton, Chapman University, the New Zealand Youth Choir and the Los AngeLes Children's Chorus. It will be performed twice, at Walt Disney Concert Hall presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Other highlights include an all-day birthday celebration of Britten's birth date on November 22, 2013, culminating in a performance of the Cantata Misericordium, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and Rejoice in the Lamb at St. James' Church; LA Opera's community performances of Noye's Fludde at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels; performances of A Ceremony of Carols by the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall, by the National Children's Chorus at the Broad Stage, and by the Los AngeLes Children's Chorus at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica; a season-long series of concerts as well as the church parable Curlew River, presented by Jacaranda; The Rape of Lucretia performed by the Colburn Orchestra with singers from LA Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, conducted by Mr. Conlon; a concert of choral works by the Pacific Chorale; concerts presented in LACMA's "Sundays Live" series; programs with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts; performances of sacred works by local church choirs; and a conference on Britten and literature presented at UCLA. The festivities will continue well into 2014, culminating in LA Opera's spring production of Billy Budd. Visit www.Britten100LA.org for updated details and associated events.

A number of audience development programs continue to enable a broader spectrum of the Los Angeles community to experience LA Opera performances. These include the Community Circle, a seating initiative in which at least 200 seats are set aside at every performance for students, senior centers and underserved groups to attend at minimal (or no) cost. For more information, please visit www.LAOpera.com/community. The Domingo Family Program features ticket packages with discounts for children so that families can experience family-friendly performances of Falstaff and The Magic Flute together. For more information, visit www.LAOpera.com/tickets/packages.

Subscription tickets for the 2013/14 Season are now available. For further information, please visit LA Opera's website at www.LAOpera.com or call LA Opera's Box Office at 213.972.8001. Unless specifically stated otherwise, performances take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or e-mail wehelpyou@laopera.com.