BWW Feature: LOS ANGELES OPERA at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion And Online
Los Angeles Opera's Current Plans for the Near Future in the Light of the Covid 19 Pandemic
Recently, Los Angeles Opera has had to announce the cancellation of the final performance of Roberto Devereux on the main stage as well as both performances of Angel's Bone, which was to have been presented in partnership with Beth Morrison Projects at the Broad Stage. At present, the governor's closure order for Los Angeles remains in place through April 19, and the opera has not yet canceled additional performances. Noting that they are vigilantly watching for updates that would affect the remaining May and June performances, the company is still holding out hope. The priority is, of course, the safety of patrons and company members, so they're taking it one day at a time.
LAO announced its 2020/2021 season last January, and it is most definitely something that patrons can all look forward to as they come out of these dark times. When things get back to normal, people will all be starving for in-person, community gatherings. The ones that deliver beautiful music and art in one place will be outstanding choices. The star power of Angel Blue, Gregory Kunde, Renee Fleming, Issachah Savage, Roberto Abbado, and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, the unique repertoire with five productions new to Los Angeles, as well as the creative teams LAO has gathered including such artists as Stefan Herheim, Francesca Zambello, and RETNA ,will help pull the city and the company out of the darkness of this crisis.
Projects Currently Underway
There is much to talk about. Many are holding out hope to hear James Conlon at the helm of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande in May. In the meantime, opera lovers can listen to his podcasts about it on the website. https://www.laopera.org/discover/blog/james-conlon-pelleas-101/ Hollywood film director, James Gray, will be joining the company in June for a new production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), with costumes designed by Christian Lacroix. And right now LAO is working hard to keep its patrons, and music fans in general, entertained with all kinds of opera content online.
LAO Offers Streaming
The company has dedicated an entire portion of its site to online content at home: www.laopera.org/LAOatHome. Every weekday, there is a specific piece of entertainment that can include anything from livestream recitals in the living rooms of artists, and full-length operas, to sing-a-longs for kids, and Opera 101 happy hours. LAO will be posting the schedule on the site. Also, From the Vault will offer full-length operas, starting on Monday, March 30, with LAO's 2017 audio recording of Carmen.
Photo of Pelléas et Mélisande at Scottish Opera by Richard Campbell.
A Look Back on Some Recent Productions
From Nino Sanikidze, Head Coach for the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera. In addition to her duties with the YAP, she often serves on the LAO Music staff as pianist and prompter, working closely with Music Director James Conlon.
"Everything we have done this season at LAO has been wonderful in its own special way: La Bohème and The Magic Flute are both examples of the wonderfully inspiring collaboration of LAO with brilliant Barry Kosky. They have been personally special for me because of current and former Young Artists onstage, backstage and in the pit. It is an immense source of joy and pride to be able to showcase our talented resident artists in such important productions."
"I absolutely loved every aspect of Eurydice-music, story and production. We all have lived with this piece for quite some time and for it to have emerged with such unbelievable success was a major achievement. My congratulations to everyone who created, prepared, and performed it."
"I prompted performances of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux and as is always the case, that makes me slightly biased toward it-but to be fair it really is a wonderful opera which foreshadows Verdi's beloved masterpieces. With an absolute dream cast for bel canto, it was truly as perfect as it gets and the production was appropriately epic."
Upcoming Productions to which We Can Look Forward
"I am very much looking forward to Pelléas et Mélisande and Le Nozze di Figaro. I love our previous production of Nozze but I'm excited to see what this new production will bring."
"As for next season-needless to say, the epic Verdi's Aida and Il Trovatore along with Wagner's Tannhäuser will be beyond thrilling. Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek's Breaking the Waves is a hugely important piece in contemporary opera repertoire and I am very proud that we will be performing it on our main stage."
"Both Rossini's La Cenerentola and Mozart's Don Giovanni will be new productions for me. I have enjoyed what we presented in past seasons very much, but as always, something new is intriguing and exciting.
My most favorite part of working on a production-besides the music and the drama-is the opportunity to work with colleagues who have become friends. Quite a few of them will be coming to LA to direct, conduct, design, play, and sing in each and every production we have coming up-just the thought of this makes me very happy!"