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LA Opera Revives After Hours Recital Series With BLACK LOVE

Curated by Artist in Residence Russell Thomas.

LA Opera Revives After Hours Recital Series With BLACK LOVE

LA Opera will present the first episode of its newly revived After Hours recital series with a program entitled "Black Love" on Saturday, February 13, at 5pm (PST).

The first After Hours recital curated by Russell Thomas in his new role as LA Opera's Artist in Residence, the program will feature love songs by several renowned African American composers: H. Leslie Adams, Margaret Bonds, H.T. Burleigh, James H. East, Undine Smith Moore and William Grant Still.

"These great American composers of song should be as widely performed and as well known as Schubert, Schumann and Strauss. This recital honors them and their contributions to classical music," said Mr. Thomas. "I wanted to feature music that celebrates the loves, joys, passions and desires of the extraordinary men and women who wrote them."

The recital will feature sopranos Alaysha Fox and Tiffany Townsend (who are both members of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program), tenor Ashley Faatoalia and pianist Leonard Hayes.

The recital will stream on LA Opera's Facebook and YouTube channel. For viewing information, visit LAOpera.org/AfterHours.

This recital and future After Hours performances in coming months are presented as part of the company's On Now platform of online programming. After Hours recitals will return for in-person audiences in the Founders Room once LA Opera's productions resume at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Meet the Performers

Soprano Tiffany Townsend made her 2020 LA Opera debut in the leading role of Léontine in Joseph Bologne's The Anonymous Lover. She is a member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. Recent appearances elsewhere include Princess Ninette in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges with Opera Philadelphia and a 2020 concert with Long Beach Opera. In 2019, she appeared in Rene Orth's Empty the House, a co-production with the Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia. She holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School and Millsaps College.

Soprano Alaysha Fox has appeared with LA Opera in Stefano Landi's The Death of Orpheus and as Dorothée in Joseph Boulogne's The Anonymous Lover. She is a member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. She was recently seen as the First Maiden in Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen with the LA Philharmonic. Previous credits include Camelot with Lincoln Center Theater and Kathleen Battle's Underground Railroad recital. An alumna of the Chautauqua Opera and Opera Saratoga young artist programs, she holds bachelor and master degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

Tenor Ashley Faatoalia is a sought-after vocalist for new works and experimental projects. Recent engagements include the Long Beach Opera world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Central Park Five by Anthony Davis, the Crab Man in Porgy and Bess with Seattle Opera, several appearances with The Industry including Marco Polo in the world premiere of Christopher Cerrone's Emmy Award-winning Invisible Cities, and John Cage's Europeras with the LA Phil New Music Group. He studied at Chapman University.

Leonard Hayes, a concert pianist based in Los Angeles, is a doctoral student at the USC Thornton School of Music. Previously, he served as the Head of Piano Studies (2016-20) and Assistant Director of Music Conservatory (2019-20) at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Dallas Bach Society and the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion at the National Conference and Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP).

LA Opera was the first major American Opera Company to create a platform for original new online programming to bring opera to audiences during the coronavirus crisis. As the company awaits its cue to return to the stage with world-class productions in theaters, it is offering a variety of digital content including newly commissioned performances, live recitals, opera broadcasts and learning opportunities via its On Now digital offerings, which have accumulated over 795,000 views since its launch on March 17, 2020.


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