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Long Beach Opera Announces Alexander Gedeon as New Minister Of Culture

The young director will be producing and starring in a new video podcast called Towards a New Opera!

Long Beach Opera Announces Alexander Gedeon as New Minister Of Culture

Long Beach Opera is adding new artistic staff member Alexander Gedeon to the team to serve in a newly created position: Minister of Culture. Additionally, the young director will be producing and starring in a new video podcast called Towards a New Opera!, creating 21 episodes in 2021 which will explore the nexus of contemporary opera and contemporary culture.

As Long Beach Opera's Minister of Culture, Mr. Gedeon will be tasked with working as a member of the production team on LBO's 2021 operas, developing projects for future seasons with an emphasis on cultural inclusion, researching and creating more opportunities for increased diversity in creative design teams, and producing and performing in his original podcast.

Towards a New Opera! is a new video podcast produced and hosted by director and performer Alexander Gedeon, intended to engage discussion with diverse artists on the expanding possibilities of new American opera. What does a new opera look and sound like if classical music is not treated as a culturally 'superior' form? How can conceptual artists from outside the field be engaged in the 'public dreaming' of new approaches? Each episode becomes a 'message in a bottle' - with the dream of awakening new connections across vast cultural seas.

Mr. Gedeon first worked with Long Beach Opera as the Assistant Director for the now Pulitzer Prize winning opera The Central Park Five and has since gone on to direct The Creative in Me, a new short opera for young people featuring Black composers commissioned by LBO in 2020. Mr. Gedeon has worked regularly with Yuval Sharon on projects including Europeras at the LA Phil, Twilight Gods at Michigan Opera Theater and Comet/Poppea this season at LBO. Alexander's opera directorial work has been described as "provocative, visually stunning", "artistically fascinating and thought provoking" (San Diego Union-Tribune) and "a perfect, 'experimental' approach to opera, for open-minded aficionados, and those new to the artform." (Times of San Diego)

Executive Director Jennifer Rivera stated "LBO is thrilled to add Alexander to our team. He is a multi-talented artist across many disciplines, and we are eager to support and nurture his talent as a director in the opera field, as well as relying on his knowledge, expertise and passion to create a more inclusive, culturally relevant organization."

Mr. Gedeon stated, "LBO has been trailblazing the right trails since the 1980s, so this feels very auspicious to me. I'd like to play a role in influencing the new opera scene over the next decade and I think I've landed in the right place."

His position begins this month, and his first podcast episode will be released on January 28, 2021.

Alexander Gedeon is a stage director, songwriter and performer working primarily in the field of contemporary opera, born and based in Los Angeles. His creative work has spanned the divide from pop to classical, and has been called "provocative, visually stunning" and "a perfect, experimental approach to opera" (San Diego UT, Times SD).

Prior to committing to opera, Alexander created Trick & the Heartstrings, a New York punk-funk trio, for which he composed music and created a live show the London NME called "a supertight howl of righteous rhythm and blues with jaw-dropping pop twists." His subsequent music project, Yellow Alex - a six piece choreographed disco ensemble - garnered years' worth of radio airplay on LA's KCRW, and placements on ABC-TV and the iTunes Worldwide playlist. After pivoting to opera, Alexander AD'd the David Lang premiere of anatomy theater (LA Opera) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning premiere of Anthony Davis's Central Park Five (Long Beach Opera). He made his directorial debut with La tragédie de Carmen at San Diego Opera in 2017 and served as associate director for John Cage's Europeras 1 & 2 (LA Phil), directed by Yuval Sharon. Recent credits also include directing and pantomiming in Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage at (REDCAT).

Alexander is Long Beach Opera's newly appointed Minister of Culture, where he currently develops projects for forthcoming seasons, as well as the video podcast Towards a New Opera! He is also the co-creator and director of Sanctuaries, a chamber opera about gentrification and the erasure of the Black community in Portland, Oregon - premiering in September 2021 (MAP Fund winner). Alexander is excited to continue his collaboration with Sharon this year, associate-directing and pantomiming in Comet/Poppea, featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; as well as assisting on the acclaimed parking garage production Twilight: Gods (Chicago Lyric Opera). Alexander is a graduate of NYU's Experimental Theater Wing and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

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, it 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 evera??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.

For the 2021 season, Yuval Sharon, described by The New York Times as opera's "disrupter in residence," will serve as the company's Interim Artistic Advisor; Sharon has curated the 2021 season and continues to work with the company to adapt the season in the face of the pandemic.

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