Long Beach Opera's Ungala DREAM VARIATION Begins February 15 At The California African American Museum
Long Beach Opera continues its popular new series of fundraisers called "UnGalas" on February 15th with Dream Variation at the California African American Museum in L.A. The celebration features performances of works by composers of African descent throughout history, performed by some of opera's most exciting Black artists of today, followed by pairings of upscale comfort foods and fine wines.Beginning as early as 1745 with Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and continuing through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries with composers like Margaret Bonds, Anthony Davis, William Grant Still, and Moses Hogan, Dream Variation will present from this body of glorious output, as LBO celebrates and uplifts Black musical culture in a dynamic evening led by Director of Engagement and Equity, Dr. Derrell Acon. Performers will include soprano Tiffany Townsend; mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis; tenor Nathan Granner; bass-baritone Derrell Acon; pianist Leonard Hayes; KRÖMA Quartet; neo-funk band Zaya and Company; and rap artist MC Supernatural. The program will explore the expression of the Black experience from musicians in other centuries compared with those of today by pairing classical pieces with poetry, hip-hop, and soul selections from this century that reflect similar themes and emotional content. Following the program, attendees will enjoy a live set of soul and R&B tunes by local singer/songwriter Isaiah Walker.
Catering will be provided by the famous L.A.-based creole restaurant Harold and Belle's. Background Long Beach Opera's brand new series of fundraisers entitled "UnGalas" began earlier this season with the Divalicious Drag-off, which paired opera singers with drag queens for a thrilling competition held at Hamburger Mary's in Long Beach, followed by Sirens of the Sea, which presented operatic sirens with an exquisite pairing of five star cuisine at the Queensview Steakhouse. The UnGala series will conclude with Dream Variation, which will continue LBO's commitment to featuring underrepresented composers and performers of color, following last year's world premiere of The Central Park Five and The Community Conversation Series. The 2020 LBO Season continues in March with the LA premiere of The Lighthouse, music and libretto by Peter Maxwell Davies, in the Pacific Visions Theater at the Long Beach Aquarium, followed by the US premiere of Billy The Kid, music by Gavin Bryars at the Long Beach Sunnyside Cemetery in May. The season culminates with a reprise of Frida, with music by Robert X. Rodriguez, at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach in June. LBO recently announced that upon the departure of longtime Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek in June of 2020, Yuval Sharon, described by the New York Times as "opera's disrupter in residence," will serve as the company's Interim Artistic Advisor. Sharon will curate the 2021 season, including selecting the operas, productions, and artistic teams. He will also participate as director for one of the season productions. The 2021 season will be announced in April. 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.
Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased either by calling the LBO Box Office at 562.470.SING (7464) or by going online to LongBeachOpera.org/ungalas