Long Beach Opera Presents Glass' IN THE PENAL COLONY This Spring

Long Beach Opera (LBO) premieres Philip Glass' In the Penal Colony in collaboration with California Repertory Company (CalRep) April 25 (sold out), 26, 27 (sold out), at 7:30 PM; April 28 (sold out), at 2:30 PM; May 2, 3, 4, at 7:30 PM; and May 5 (sold out), at 2:30PM at the CSULB Studio Theater, 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90815. Performed in English.

This SoCal Premiere weaves together Philip Glass' adaptation of Franz Kafka's short story with interviews by 'Rising Scholars', a group of formerly incarcerated students. By adding these authentic accounts, Director Jeff Janisheski will bring this story to the here and now with references to the U.S. prison system. When discussing his inspirations, he said, the more I read about the U.S. prison system the more disturbing it is. Philip Glass on the opera: "What fascinates me in this story is the moral inversion that takes place I think of my pocket operas as neutron bombs small, but packing a terrific punch. Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek said, We always look for stories that make us explore the world around us, known and unknown.

In the Penal Colony: An explorer visits an island where blind conformity has no rational connection between crime and punishment. Witness the internal conflict of the innocent bystander: to act or to do nothing.

Director Jeff Janisheski collaborates with Danila Korogodsky (set designer), Martha Carter (lighting designer), and Lily Bartenstein (video designer). The production will be conducted by LBO's Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek. The cast features LBO favorites Doug Jones (Opera National de Paris, Salzburg Festival, Grand Theatre of Geneva, Netherlands Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden) and Zeffin Quinn Hollis (Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera) and an ensemble of actors from the CalRep Company: Ariana Carter, Isidro Cortes, Mayra De Leon, Kimberly English, Madison Lewis, Matthew Limas, Mark Oliver and John Pizzini.

Composer Philip Glass states, The Officer, having started as all-powerful, becomes the victim, and he takes on the role with a kind of joy. He's done everything he can to convince the Visitor of the virtue of the Machine, and, when he fails, he realizes it's over and the only The Visitor makes the right judgment, but we can't admire him because he does this by refusing to be engaged at all. He suffers no inconvenience, whereas we end up warming to the Officer more because he sacrifices everything for his principles. Kafka, I think, is suggesting that the mere fact of our human incarnation is enough to make us guilty. One of the attractive things about the story for me as a composer is its formality. The Visitor gets away, but, by avoiding judgment, actually fails. The Officer, in a strange way, redeems himself. It's a perfectly calibrated outcome, like a trap for a hummingbird. As for the music, I've restricted myself to a string quartet because that is the medium that in the West has always been associated with introspection and intimacy. I've added just one double bass to lend an extra gravity and darkness."

The creative team also includes sound design by Bob Christian, make-up by Jamie Quinn, and costumes by Vee Delgado.

Tickets for In the Penal Colony range from $49 to $150, and can be purchased either by calling the LBO Box Office at 562.470.SING (7464) ext. 1 or by going online to LongBeachOpera.org/Tickets. For information, please visit www.LongBeachOpera.org

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