Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Feature: ONLINE OPERA VIRTUAL TOUR SEPT 19-26 at Home Computer Screens

Article Pixel

Opera Around the World from LA to Helsinki to Yokohama

BWW Feature: ONLINE OPERA VIRTUAL TOUR SEPT 19-26 at Home Computer ScreensFor the newest of LA Opera's "Living Room Recitals," soprano Alaysha Fox, a grand finalist in the 2019 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, partners with pianist, vocal coach, and conductor Brendon Shapiro. They offer the following program:

"The year's at the spring" (Amy Beach)

"Ah, love, but a day" (Amy Beach

"The Jungle Flower" (H.T. Burleigh)

"Worth While" (H.T. Burleigh)

"My true love hath my heart" (Jake Heggie) also featuring Taylor Raven, mezzo-soprano, and Korynne Bolt, cello

"Animal Passion" (Jake Heggie)

"Still hurting" from The Last Five Years (Jason Robert Brown)

"I'm not afraid of anything" from Songs for a New World (Jason Robert Brown)

"Losing my mind" from Follies (Stephen Sondheim)

"No one is alone" from Into the Woods (Stephen Sondheim)

"Living Room Recitals" offers all of our past recitals, so readers can watch them at a convenient time. "From the Vault" has audio streams of past productions. Readers can find "Conlon's Corner," "Opera Happy Hours" and "Il TRIVIAtore" under "Learn at Home." Most importantly, "Opera Family Time" presents content for parents to enjoy with their little ones.

Magic Opera Flying Carpet Virtual Tour members leave their luggage in the cabin before mounting our bus to the Ebell Club in Highland Park for Pacific Opera Project's performance of Francesco Cavalli's 1651 opera, La Calisto. Operas at the Ebell are played to patrons seated at small round tables containing wine and finger foods. At-home watchers have Manon-la Chat's permission to raid their refrigerators so long as some of the treats go to feline opera lovers!

La Calisto, presented by Pacific Opera Project, directed by Josh Shaw, is from 2014

Leaving Los Angeles, we fly over the North Pole to Helsinki, Finland where we have dinner reservations at a restaurant well known for its fresh fish. One of the desserts on their menu is Runeberg Torte, a small circular rum cake topped with icing and jam. The cake is named after Finland's national poet Johan Runeberg, who wrote the lyrics to the Finnish national anthem. Runeberg fancied these cakes that are most often sold from New Year's Day to Runeberg Day, February 5. Ours is delicious paired with Finnish light-roasted drip coffee.

Helsinki's modern Opera House, located on the coast of Töölönlahti Bay, is the perfect setting for Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. The sea fog and the atmosphere of the myth seems to surround patrons even before they take their seats.

The Finnish National Opera cast includes Camilla Nylund, Tuomas Katajala, Johan Reuter, Gregory Frank with the Finnish National Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by John Fiore. The production is directed by Kasper Holten.

Dresden, Germany, feels positively summery after Helsinki. The sun is shining and those intricately knit Scandinavian sweaters come off. Manon and I share a weisswurst from a food cart in the nearby park. Tour members have reservations for a special sauerbraten dinner at a restaurant near the theater. The chef takes a leg of beef and soaks it in a marinade of herb vinegar, malt beer, bay leaves, and spices for several days. He browns it in clarified butter before putting it in the oven for two hours. He serves the tender meat with red cabbage, dumplings, and gravy. For the concert of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, we take a bus to the Semperoper, located near the Elbe River in the historic center of Dresden.

The opera was bombed into ruins in 1945. After Russian occupation and other difficulties, the Semperoper reopened in 1985, on the anniversary of the bombing. The Dresden 2010 Beethoven Missa Solemnis stars Christian Thielemann conducting Krassimira Stoyanova, Elīna Garanča, Michael Schade, Franz-Josef Selig, and the Staatsoper Chor with the Staatskapelle of Dresden.

From Dresden we're off to Brussels and some early Mozart. In Brussels, it's cool, dark, and rainy. We opt for restaurants that offer comfort foods like stews. Belgian cuisine includes many hearty stews and creamy soups. One of Belgium's most famous dishes, carbonnade flamande, consisting of tender beef simmering in a rich Belgian beer sauce, is our choice for the evening.

Mozart was 16 years old when he composed Lucio Silla which was a moderate success at its premiere in Milan. Two hundred and forty-eight years later, set in modern dress, it is considerably more successful in Brussels. Directed by Tobias Kratzer, the cast for Mozart's Lucio Silla at La Monnaie includes: Anna Bonitatibus, Lenneke Ruiten, and Jeremy Ovenden with the Monnaie Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antonello Manacorda.



Now we have a short flight to Milan. Manon helps me with the scarf I'm attempting to knit while we fly. At Milan, we will see a 2001 La Scala Otello in which Riccardo Muti conducts Barbara Frittoli, Placido Domingo, and Leo Nucci. Since its "Choose your own restaurant night," Manon and I dine in the Magic Opera Flying Carpet cabin. We all meet at the theater.



We have a long flight from Milan to Salt lake City, so here is some light entertainment.

The Quarantine Of The Valkyries is presented by Sing for Hope.

Arriving in Salt Lake close to dinner time, we head to the Hogan Restaurant for their special tacos and all the good stuff that goes with them. We will see a 2018 production of Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi at Utah Opera. Tara Faircloth directs, Timothy Myers conducts, and Wayne Tigges sings the title role.



After the show we return to the Magic Opera Flying Carpet and when all is in place we "set sail" for the night flight over the pole to Yokohama.

For our first dinner in Japan we reserved places at the historic Baikotei Restaurant well in advance so we could enjoy their authentic Hayashi rice dish. Hayashi rice consists of beef, onion, spices, herbs, and rice. Its pungent thick brown sauce is made with home cooked tomatoes and red wine. For dessert, we enjoyed fried goma dango or rice cakes stuffed with sweet red bean paste and rolled in sesame seeds.

At the enormous Yokohama Arena, the Three Tenors, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, sing a 2002 concert with the Super World Orchestra conducted by Janos Acs.


"Musica Proibita" ("Prohibited Music") by Gastaldon (Carreras)

"Ch'ella mi creda" ("That she believes me") La Fanciulla Del West by Puccini (Domingo)

"Recondita Armonia" ("Remembered harmonies") Tosca by Puccini (Pavarotti)

"Vurria" ("I would like") by Rendine (Carreras)

"No puede Ser" ("It cannot be") La Tabernera Del Puerto by Sorrozabal (Domingo)

"Mattinata" ("Morning") by Leoncavallo (Pavarotti)

"Solamente Una Vez" ("Only one time") by Lara

"Maria Mari" by Di Capua

"Parlami d'amore Mariu" ("Speak to me of love Mariu")

"Manhã de Carnaval" ("Carnival morning") Black Orpheus by Luis Bonfá

"Ti Voglio Tanto Bene" ("I want you so much") by De Curtis

"E' la Solita Storia" ("It's the same old story") L'Arlesiana by Cilea (Carreras)

"E Lucevan Le Stelle" ("The stars were shining") Tosca by Puccini ] (Domingo)

"Nessun Dorma" ("No one shall sleep") Turandot by Puccini ] (Pavarotti)

Medley - (The 3 Tenors)

"Passione" by Valente

"Yesterday" by Paul McCartney

"Wien, Wien, Nur Du Allein" ("Vienna, only you alone") by Sieczyński

"O Marenariello" by Gambardella

"Guriwoon Geum Gang San" by Choi Young Sup

"Anima é Core" ("Soul and Heart") by D'Esposito

"Tooku E Ikitai and li hi Tabidachi"

Encores - (The 3 Tenors)

"Granada" by Lara

"Brindisi" La Traviata by Verdi ]

"O Sole Mio" ("O my sun") by Di Capua ]


Tired from all the travel and change of time zones, I return to the Magic Opera Flying Carpet ready for sleep but Manon, who has not been allowed out of the cabin in Japan, says "You owe me a walk, at least." She submits to her harness and leash and off we go into the Yokohama night. About five minutes later, a passing alley cat meowed something like, "You look stupid letting your human walk you like a dog." Manon then led the way back to the cabin. She slept in her chair until morning when we took off for Los Angeles.

Photo of Alaysha Fox by LA Opera

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories   Shows

From This Author Maria Nockin