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LBO and MOLAA Present FRIDA KAHLO: PAIN AND PASSION, Sneak Peek

On June 9, 2017, Long Beach Opera (LBO) and the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) will present "Frida Kahlo: Pain and Passion," an evening celebrating the vibrant, colorful life of the renowned Mexican artist. The event will begin at 7:00 PM at the Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802.

In advance of the Southern California premiere of composer Robert Xavier Rodríguez' Frida, Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella (Frida Kahlo) and Venezuelan-American baritone Bernardo Bermudez (Diego Rivera) will perform selections from the opera.

Illuminating Kahlo's life and work will be noted lecturer Gregorio Luke. His extraordinary knowledge and engaging personality accompany selections from his expansive collection of professionally produced slides as he highlights how the artist's life inspired the opera.

Appearing via satellite, composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez will discuss with LBO's Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek the creation of Frida and LBO's unique outdoor staging of the opera.

Tickets to the event are $10 in advance at www.longbeachopera.org/tickets or 562-470-7464. They will also be available at the door on a space available basis. Parking will be free and the ticket cost can be used as a credit towards the purchase of opera tickets.

Laura Virella: Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella makes her company debut with Long Beach Opera in the title role of Frida, continuing to carve her place in modern opera after her recent success as Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw with MMF and DC Public Opera. Hailed as a "fabulous, powerful and excellent Carmen" (Festival de Santa Florentina), and an "impressive, fervent Octavian" (Stefaniensaal, Graz), her wide list of operatic roles includes Maddalena (Rigoletto), Frau Reich (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor), Cherubino, Dorabella, Prince Charmant, Hänsel, Desideria (The Saint of Bleecker Street), and more. www.lauravirella.com.

Bernardo Bermudez: Venezuelan-American lyric baritone Bernardo Bermudez' makes his LBO debut in the role of Diego Rivera. His other roles have included Figaro in IL Barbiere di Siviglia, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Silvio in Pagliacci, Escamillo in Carmen, Valentin in Faust, Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, the title role in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal Hernando in Luisa Fernanda, Schaunard in La Boheme, Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas. He participated as a voice fellow in Summer Festivals at The Music Academy of the West, as well as Opera North. Awards include Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition.

Gregorio Luke: Mr. Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture. He has presented over 1,000 lectures in museums and universities throughout Mexico, Europe and the United States in institutions such as the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and Universities such as Harvard, Columbia, UNAM and Georgetown, among others. He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, former Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C. In 1995, Luke was honored with the Irving Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of the Library of Congress. In 2005, The Ebell Club of Los Angeles honored him with a Life-time Achievement Award. In 2006, Luke received the El Angel Award by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and in 2007 he was recognized by CATE (California Association of Teacher's in English) for promoting literacy in public schools.

About Long Beach Opera's Frida production:

Performances of Frida will be at 8:00PM on June 17,18, 24, 25 at MOLAA) and on June 23 at Grand Performances, 350 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071. Additional information and opera tickets are available on LBO's website www.longbeachopera.org or by calling the company at 562-470-7464.

About Museum of Latin American Art:

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) was founded in 1996 in Long Beach, California and serves the greater Los Angeles area. MOLAA is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Since its inception, MOLAA has doubled in size and continues to expand its Permanent Collection, ranging from works by Rufino Tamayo and Roberto Matta to Carlos Cruz-Diez, Tania Bruguera and Ramiro Gomez Jr. With its physical expansion complete, MOLAA's focus is on strengthening its position as a multidisciplinary institution providing cross-cultural dialogue. MOLAA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00PM with extended evening hours until 9:00PM on Fridays.

About Long Beach Opera:

Long Beach Opera (LBO) is internationally known for its cutting-edge interpretations of unconventional repertoire. LBO creates immediate, inventive, and often boldly avant-garde productions for an adventurous audience and stands apart from most opera companies in the number of world, American, and West Coast premieres the company has staged. Founded in 1979, LBO is the oldest professional opera company in the Los Angeles/Orange County region with a performance history of more than 110 operas, ranging from the earliest works of the 17th century to operas of the 21st. LBO's ever?growing repertoire has provided stimulus for the subsequent founding of other local opera companies, catapulting Southern California into the spotlight as a major opera epicenter. LBO is a recognized and respected member of the U. S. cultural community, receiving funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Long Beach, along with generous support from individual donors, local businesses, public corporations and private foundations.

Long Beach Opera is supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach and, supported in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.


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