LA Phil to Present West Coast Premiere of Unsuk Chin's ALICE IN WONDERLAND This Weekend
The ground-breaking, fully-staged opera, written by composer Unsuk Chin and librettist David Henry Hwang, offers a new remix of the Lewis Carroll story. Under the guidance of director/designer/video artist Netia Jones and with visual material derived from the illustrations of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas gonzo-artist Ralph Steadman, Alice in Wonderland offers the audience a collision of styles and influences set on a black and white chessboard floor and featuring the orchestra as part of the set. Jones combines Steadman's illustrations with live action, interactive animated projections that inhabit the scene alongside the performers, eye-popping costumes and choreography to bring to life Chin's brilliant take on the Carroll fantasy.
Conductor Susanna Mälkki leads the LA Phil in Alice in Wonderland. The cast includes soprano Rachele Gilmore as Alice and other performers listed below. The performance also features members of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.
Alice in Wonderland is part of the LA Phil's new in/SIGHT series, which features concerts enhanced with video installations, and in some cases, additional artistic elements for a complete and immersive experience. The remaining in/SIGHT presentation in the 2014/15 season is: Beryl Korot and Steve Reich's Three Tales performed by Ensemble Signal, led by their music director Brad Lubman (May 29, 2015).
As a much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki has a versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony and chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses across the world. She has recently been appointed Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, effective from the 2016/17 season. The 2014/15 season marks Mälkki's second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, which includes a gala opera evening with soprano Karita Mattila, Sibelius' Tapiola and Mahler's Symphony No. 9. Later in the season she conducts Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 with Natalia Gutman and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. Also in the 2014/15 season Mälkki debuts with the Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York Philharmonic orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and La Fenice. In addition, she returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.
Described by The Observer newspaper as "the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today" Netia Jones is a director, designer and film-maker in opera, theatre and classical music. A "leading pioneer in integrating film and video into live music performances" (Times), she is the Director of Lightmap, a mixed media creative studio working in the UK, Europe and the U.S.
Recent projects include Curlew River with Ian Bostridge for Lincoln Center, CalPerformances, Carolina Performing Arts, and the Barbican London, Feldman's Words and Music for Happy Days International Beckett Festival in Ireland, and Kurtág's Kafka Fragments for The Royal Opera House. Future projects include a new production of Atthis by Georg Frederich Haas for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, Les Illuminations with Daniel Harding for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a new staged production of Hans Zender's orchestral interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise with Ian Bostridge at the Barbican Theatre.
Ralph Steadman began his career as a cartoonist satirizing the British social and political scene of the 60s. In the 1970s, responding to what he called "the screaming lifestyle of America" he teamed up with Hunter S. Thompson which resulted in his iconic drawings for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and collaborations ranging from The Kentucky Derby to The Curse of Lono. Many of his drawings were to be seen in Rolling Stone magazine and he produced his book of collected impressions of America in 1974. Steadman's work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, from Punch and Private Eye in the early years to the New Statesman, The New Yorker and the Independent. Steadman has illustrated children's books, books of poetry with his friend, Adrian Mitchell, made sculptures and limited edition prints. He has designed theatre costumes and sets, produced graphics for television and film and designed stamps.
Unsuk CHIN 's Alice in Wonderland (staged with video)
West Coast premiere
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
SUSANNA MÄLKKI, conductor
NETIA JONES, director, costume and set design
RALPH STEADMAN, illustrations
NETIA JONES/LIGHTMAP, projection design
MARK MCCULLOUGH, lighting design
JEMIMA PENNY, costume realization
PEGGY HICKEY, choreographer
RACHELE GILMORE, soprano, Alice
MARIE ARNET, soprano, Chesire Cat
DIETRICH HENSCHEL, baritone, Mad Hatter
ANDREW WATTS, countertenor, White Rabbit/Badger/March Hare
CHRISTOPHER LEMMINGS, tenor, Mouse/Dormouse/Invisible Man
JENNI BANK, mezzo-soprano, Duchess
JANE HENSCHEL, mezzo-soprano, Queen of Hearts
STEPHEN RICHARDSON, bass, King of Hearts/Old Man 2/Crab
NICHOLAS BROWNLEE, bass, Old Man 1/Eaglet/Fish-Footman/Off-Stage Voice
LACEY JO BENTER, mezzo-soprano, Two/Owl
RAFAEL MORAS, tenor, Pat/Cook
KIHUN YOON, baritone, Five/Executioner/Duck
ANDREW CRAIG BROWN, bass-baritone, Dodo/Frog-Footman/Seven
DAVID FINCH, Bill/Mock Turtle
JULIAN BERTET, tenor, Young Boy
CHRIS BONOMO, FRANCISCO CARDENA, CESAR CIPRIANO, EROS MENDOZA, JEE TEO, and JOHN TODD, Supernumeraries
MEMBERS OF THE LOS ANGELES OPERA CHORUS
Grant Gershon, chorus director
LOS ANGELES CHILDREN'S CHORUS
Anne Tomlinson, artistic director
Michael Vitale, stage manager
Jean-Michaël Lavoie, assistant conductor
Vanessa Dionne, makeup design
Taylor Ruge, assistant director
John Todd, assistant choreographer
Nikki Hyde, assistant stage manager
Lindsay Lowy, assistant stage manager
Ian Winters, video technical consultant
Emma Keaveny-Roys, UK costume assistant
Richard Valitutto, rehearsal pianist
Performances take place on Friday, February 27, 2015, at 8 PM and Saturday, February 28, 2015, at 8 PM at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. Single tickets for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2014/15 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall are currently available. To purchase, visit LAPhil.com, the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. To order by phone with credit card, please call the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office at 323.850.2000, or Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. For more information, please call 323.850.2000.The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres -- orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop -- at two of L.A.'s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (LAPhil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (HollywoodBowl.com). The LA Phil's season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.