Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Regional Opera Company of the Week: Los Angeles Opera

Los Angeles Opera has been a tour de force since its inaugural production of Verdi's Otello starring Plácido Domingo in October 1986. Both Founding General Director Peter Hemminds and subsequently after Plácido Domingo the company has grown in 25 short years to be the United States' fourth largest opera company. The LA Opera is known for embracing the spirit and artistic nature of Los Angeles in producing world-class opera that preserves, promotes and advances the art of opera for the greater public.

The Company has taken significant steps forward due to the collaboration and later direction of Plácido Domingo. Domingo started as the Company's Artistic Consultant from 1984 through 1998 when he was named the Artistic Director Designate. The 2001/02 season was his first fully planned season with the Company which included eight Company premieres. Soon after that, in May 2003, Plácido Domingo was named the General Director for the LA Opera. In addition to serving as General Director, Domingo has sung more then 130 performances and has also conducted well over 70 performances of both operas and concert works. Just this week, LA Opera was one of 13 Companies to receive an inaugural Building Opera Audiences grant from OPERA America.

While the current iterations of the Company began in 1986, the Company actually traces back to 1948, when a company known as the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera performed Rigoletto in a church in Beverly Hills. After several decades of productions, the company moved locations and recreated itself as the Music Center Opera Association which primarily arranged for other companies to bring productions to LA. The company even arranged for the New York City Opera to bring productions to the Center every fall for 18 years. In 1984, the Association hired Peter Hemmings as the Founding General Director with the task of creating a new opera company that would again present its own productions. Thus formed what is known today as Los Angeles Opera.


With Opera Seasons coming to a close, the LA Opera has one more new production in the season line up for you to enjoy. The season was packed with six brand new productions to LA including The Two Forcari, Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly and Cinderella. The company will finish out the season with a production of Tosca from May 18- June 8. Be sure not to miss this must see new production.

Puccini's Tosca

May 18-June 8

A fiery prima donna is forced to play a role she never imagined when she becomes trapped between her allegiance to her rebel lover and the scheming of a treacherous police chief who will stop at nothing in his lust for her. The explosive triangle comes to a hair-raising conclusion in one of opera's bloodiest, most intense dramas.

One of the most popular of all operas, Tosca is a passionate tale set to some of Puccini's most openly beautiful and passionate music.

Conducted by Plácido Domingo.

For more information about the Company or to purchase tickets for the upcoming Tosca visit

Related Articles View More Opera Stories

From This Author Scott Frost

Scott Frost is a Production and Stage Manager and a Freelance Costume Designer. In addition to being a theatrical manager and designer he currently works (read more...)