Great Opera & Film Choruses Concerts To Celebrate Current Cinematic Scores & Opera Classics
Thousands of movie lovers have seen the acclaimed films Us, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and Captain Marvel in recent weeks. In May the Los Angeles Master Chorale gives fans the chance to hear them, performing music by composers Michael Abels, John Powell, and Pinar Toprak in a concert celebrating film scores and opera ensemble writing called Great Opera & Film Choruses at Walt Disney Concert Hall. There will be two performances; Saturday, May 4 at 2 PM and Sunday, May 5 at 7 PM with many of the Los Angeles-based film composers expected to be in attendance.
Abels and Toprak will join conductor Grant Gershon, the Master Chorale's Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, Artistic Consultant Edie Lehmann Boddicker, and Classical KUSC's Alan Chapman for a ListenUp! pre-concert talk an hour before each concert. The talks are free to attend for ticketholders. Concert tickets are available by phone 213-972-7282, online at lamasterchorale.org, or in-person at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office Monday - Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM.
The Master Chorale's Great Opera & Film Choruses concerts showcase the talents of the professional ensemble whose singers are frequently engaged to sing on film and television soundtracks. Many of the singers also perform as opera choristers with LA Opera and as opera soloists around the country. Great Opera & Film Choruses will feature the full vocal force of the 100-member Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra.
THE FILM CHORUSES
· The first live performances of "The Last Jedi" from Star Wars: The Last Jedi by John Williams in a special arrangement created for the Master Chorale. Gershon and 64 members of the Master Chorale were featured on the soundtrack for the film, recording with Williams and his orchestra in April 2017 at Sony Pictures Studios.
· The U.S. premiere of Suite from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World by John Powell. (The world premiere was performed in Prague in February.) Powell's soundtrack for the third installment of the trilogy reached over 7,500,000 plays in six weeks after being released.
· "Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga" from Get Out and Anthem from Us by Michael Abels. Abels, who is the co-founder of the Composers Diversity Initiative, recently spoke to NPR's Morning Edition about working with director Jordan Peele on these scores.
· "Ice Dance" from Edward Scissorhands and the Main Theme from Alice in Wonderland by Danny Elfman. Performances of Elfman's scores for Tim Burton's films have become popular live concert events worldwide.
· "Proud Corazón" from Coco and "Dove's Loophole" from TAG by Germaine Franco. "Proud Corazón" will feature soloist 12-year-old Angel Garcia whose performance of Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are in Spanish on America's Got Talent in 2018 has been viewed over half a million times on YouTube.
· Suite from Star Trek by Michael Giacchino.
· "Papa Mama Loca Pipa" from Despicable Me 3 and "Clouds Lifted" from Smallfoot by Heitor Pereira.
· The Main Theme from Captain Marvel by Pinar Toprak. Toprak has been widely celebrated as the first female composer to score a Marvel movie.
Gershon says the breadth of compositional talent is exhilarating: "So often concerts focused on film scores can be exercises in nostalgia, but this program demonstrates the vitality, diversity, and extraordinary talent that is found in the film world right now. It is a thrill for me and the Master Chorale to present live performances of the choruses from these works, further showcasing the remarkable talents of these composers. I am especially thrilled that Michael Abels and Pinar Toprak, who are both riding such huge waves of success with Us and Captain Marvel, can join us for our ListenUp! talks, giving audiences a special opportunity to learn more about their craft."
He says the concerts provide an opportunity to celebrate the music in its own right and, as such, the concert performances will not feature film clips.
Gershon acknowledged the invaluable assistance the Master Chorale has received from noted vocal contractor Edie Lehmann Boddicker as an artistic consultant for the concerts: "Edie's expertise and connections undoubtedly took this concert to an entirely new level of relevance and excitement. She not only opened doors for us with composers who are nothing short of legendary, but she also was a true partner in shaping the film section of this concert program."
THE OPERA CHORUSES
As the title suggests, Great Opera & Film Choruses is not limited to scores from the silver screen, but also features popular ensemble pieces from the opera stage:
· "Va pensiero" from Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi.
· Bell Chorus from Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo.
· Pilgrims' Chorus and Finale from Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner.
· Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini.
· Funeral Chorus from Akhnaten by Philip Glass.
Many of the Master Chorale singers are members of the LA Opera Chorus and Gershon also holds the position of Resident Conductor for LA Opera. He made his acclaimed debut with the company with La Traviata in 2009 and has subsequently conducted Il Postino, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Florencia en el Amazonas, Wonderful Town, The Tales of Hoffmann, and The Pearl Fishers. Last year he conducted the celebrated West Coast premiere of Philip Glass' Satyagraha, the Los Angeles Times declaring: "Gershon, who is the real hero of this Satyagraha, makes Glass' trademark repetitions sizzle while at the same time creating broad lyric arches."
In 2017 Gershon made his San Francisco Opera debut conducting the world premiere of John Adams' Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars. In March he made his Dutch National Opera debut conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Girls of the Golden West. He also frequently conducts the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap Opera. Opera productions he conducts are universally lauded for the excellence of the choruses.
"There can be no doubt that some of the most exciting choral music is found in opera. The best opera composers know that the chorus is an integral part of the score, driving the action and providing some of the most thrilling moments on the opera stage," says Gershon. "With this selection, we aim to provide some of those thrills while shining the spotlight on the remarkable talent it takes to achieve ensemble excellence. When you are part of the chorus, it is not about the individual voice but the collective whole, and I believe the Master Chorale singers are the best in the world at achieving great moments together on stage."
SEASON WRAP PARTY SUNDAY, MAY 5 - 9:30 - 11 PM
Concertgoers are invited to join the singers of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon, concert soloists, and the film composers attending the Sunday night concert for a post-concert Season Wrap Party in BP Hall located within Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The event celebrates the culmination of the Master Chorale's 2018-19 concert season and includes:
· a champagne toast with desserts from Patina
· live music and dancing with Latin-guitar-world-fusion band Incendio
Tickets are $75 per person and available from the box office or online.
Note: Season Wrap Party tickets do not include concert admission.