Long Beach Opera Presents KING ARTHUR

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Long Beach Opera presents a new production of Purcell's King Arthur --- a collaboration with Chicano provocateurs Culture Clash and the authentic sounds of LA 's premiere Baroque orchestra MUSICA ANGELICA -- in January 2020 for only three performances at Long Beach's Beverly O'Neill Theatre. Performances are Sunday January 12, Saturday January 18 and Sunday, January 19.

In this world premiere of LBO's re-imagination of the work, with adaptation and direction by Andreas Mitisek in collaboration with Culture Clash, King Arthur returns as a superhero who fights a mysterious, strange and unnatural force that is attacking Earth and threatening life as we know it. Will he be able to save humanity? How will he stand up against a race of alien shape shifters who desire to conquer the galaxy?

King Arthur's experience as a knight - with the aid of Purcell's most adventurous music -- comes in handy as he rescues his beloved princess. Featuring the authentic sounds of Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, with music direction by Concert Master Ilia Korol.

Purcell based his King Arthur on the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot -- although Merlin does make an appearance. It is a Restoration spectacular, including such otherworldly characters as Cupid and Venus plus references to the Germanic gods of the Saxons, Woden, Thor, and Freya.

The tale as told here centers on Arthur's endeavors to recover his fiancée, the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, who has been abducted by his archenemy, the Saxon King Oswald of Kent. King Arthur contains some of Purcell's most lyrical music, complete with some of the most adventurous harmonies of his day.

For millennia, superheroes have battled supernatural forces and returned home "from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man," as the mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote. Heroes and heroines embark on perilous quests in search of lost loved ones, the secret of immortality, earthly paradise or simply great riches.

Many of these stories have elements in common, including clashes with monsters, battles with the elements, interventions by the gods, and tests of moral character, mental cunning and physical strength. These tales have been expressed in songs, literature, art and dance for thousands of years, and are still being reinterpreted today in books, comic strips, interactive games and adventure films.

For the audience, these stories don't show us how to acquire superpowers, but how to be the heroes of our own lives - by choosing altruism over the pursuit of wealth and power.

This production reunites the artistic team from LBO's production of Purcell's Fairy Queen (2017): Andreas Mitisek (Adaptation / Stage Director / Production Design), Culture Clash, and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.

Tickets for King Arthur range from $49 to $150, and can be purchased either by calling the LBO Box Office at 562.470.SING (7464) ext. 1 or by going online to LongBeachOpera.org/Tickets. For information, please visit www.LongBeachOpera.org.

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