La Mirada Theatre to Present L.A. Opera's THE MAGIC DREAM, 2/17

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts continues its 2012-13 Programs for Young Audiences series with LA Opera's The Magic Dream, an original adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute. This 50-minute, high-energy introduction to opera is recommended for audiences ages 5 and up. Performances are Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

This lighthearted show is a wildly imaginative and engaging celebration of Mozart's, The Magic Flute. Young Pam grew up listening to The Magic Flute with her grandparents, but never understood what was happening in the story. Pam invites us to explore the opera in her creatively, re-imagined version in which she has cast her friends as the colorful characters of The Magic Flute. Together, they learn that music and your own imagination can take you anywhere. The Magic Dream was created by Lee Holdridge and Richard Sparks and directed by Eli Villaneuva.

Lee Holdridge (Composer) born in Haiti, spent his early years in Costa Rica, and began music studies on the violin at age ten. At 15, he moved to Boston to study composition with Henry Lasker, and later moved to New York to continue music studies and begin his career as a composer. He came to the attention of Neil Diamond who brought him to Los Angeles to write album arrangements. A string of gold and platinum hits followed, which led to their collaboration on the film score for Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Since then, Mr. Holdridge has scored numerous films including Splash, Big Business, Mr. Mom, Micki & Maude, 16 Days Of Glory, Mustang Country,The Beastmaster, Jeremy, Sylvester, A Tiger's Tale, Old Gringo and El Pueblo Del Sol. Television work includes Moonlighting, Beauty and the Beast, the eight-hour remake of East of Eden, The Tenth Man, Dreamer of Oz, One Against the Wind and The Story Lady. More recently, he scored Unlikely Heroes, the Oscar-winning Into The Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, The Mists of Avalon and the Emmy-nominated American Family. His extensive repertoire of concert works includes The Golden Land, the Jefferson Tribute, his Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra, his suite from the opera Lazarus and his Beloved, the orchestral suite Scenes Of Summer and numerous other orchestral works. He received six Emmys and both Emmy and Grammy nominations for the title song for Moonlighting, co-written with Al Jarreau. He composed the one-act operas The Prospector, The Magic Dream, Tanis in America and Journey to Córdoba, all commissioned by LA Opera's Education and Community Programs department. The world premiere of Mr. Holdridge and Mr. Sparks's most recent collaboration, Dulce Rosa, will be a part of LA Opera's new "Off Grand" project at the Broad Stage this spring.

Richard Sparks (Librettist) began his writing partnership with Lee Holdridge with LA Opera's Journey to Córdoba. The Prospector and The Magic Dream followed, and were joined recently by their fourth in the series, Tanis in America. All these were operas of an hour or less, for LA Opera's Education and Community Programs. They are currently working on a full-length, major new opera, based on a short story by Isabel Allende. With Mr. Holdridge, Mr. Sparks wrote songs for the film The Secret of N.I.M.H. 2 and, in collaboration with Brian May of Queen, they created an opera for puppets in the film The Adventures of Pinocchio. Other works with Mr. Holdridge include The Golden Land, a millennial commission for the California Symphony; and Concierto Para Mendez, a musical celebration of the remarkable life of trumpet virtuoso, Rafael Mendez (LA Opera). Mr. Sparks has translated, adapted and directed several classics of the opera repertoire, including Il Seraglio for the Washington Symphony; a new libretto for LA Opera's most recent Hansel and Gretel; and, for Los Angeles' El Dorado Opera, a new production of Don Giovanni in both Italian and a new Spanish translation (a world premiere). Born in England, Mr. Sparks and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1992. His original plays and adaptations/translations have been staged all over the UK, from the West End to the Welsh National Theatre, and at the Chichester and Edinburgh festivals. He has created or written for a dozen TV series in three continents. Mr. Sparks is the author of several books, including the biography of his father-in-law, the music producer Milton Okun (John Denver; Peter, Paul and Mary; Plácido Domingo and many others). The world premiere of Mr. Sparks and Mr. Holdridge's most recent collaboration, Dulce Rosa, will be a part of LA Opera's new "Off Grand" project at the Broad Stage this spring.

Eli Villanueva (Director) has earned outstanding credentials as a performer, and has
become a respected name as a stage director and published composer. He has appeared internationally in leading baritone roles including Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème, and Falke in Die Fledermaus with such noted companies as the San Francisco Opera Center, LA Opera, and for the Cultural Arts Festival in Cortona, Italy. In addition to directing the acclaimed productions of Noye's Fludde and The Festival Play of Daniel at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles in previous seasons for LA Opera, he created an English translation as well as a new orchestration for The Festival Play of Daniel. With Maestro James Conlon conducting, these events combined a community cast and orchestra of nearly 500 as well as professional artists from LA Opera. This April at the Cathedral, he will be directing the revival of Britten's Noye's Fludde in celebration of the composer's 100 birthday. Presently, Mr. Villanueva is the resident stage director for LA Opera's Education and Community Programs Department. For their In-School Opera programs, he teaches and directs more than 1,500 students annually in original productions. These one act operas include his very popular compositions, Figaro's American Adventure and The Marriage of Figueroa, working with his brother Leroy Villanueva as librettist. Mr. Villanueva's compositions are praised for their appeal to audiences and performers alike. In addition, compositions ranging from solo vocal to choral works to popular handbell songs, can be found through publishing companies like Fred Bock Music and Laurendale Associates. Mr. Villanueva has appeared as guest stage director for universities throughout Southern California.

LA Opera began producing opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center of Los Angeles County in 1986. The Company currently performs six to eight operas a year, as well as several operas for students, such as The Prospector, which tour Los Angeles area schools.

La Mirada Theatre's Programs for Young Audiences is designed to give children exposure to a diverse mix of national and international touring stage acts while enriching their lives. The season will continue with ArtsPower's The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle on March 3, 2013, American Family Theater's Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2013 and will finish with Fred Garbo's Inflatable Theater Company on May 19, 2013.

All seats are $8 for children and $12 for adults. Subscriptions for all four shows are $24 for children and $36 for adults. Tickets are available online at or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. The theatre is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada, CA. Parking is free. Wheelchair access and Hearing Assist devices available.

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