Pacific Opera Project Announces 2024-2025 Season

Productions Include the LA Premiere of Rusalka, Don Bucefalo at LA's Italian Social Club The Garibaldina, the US Premiere of La scuola de' gelosi and more.

By: Mar. 21, 2024
Pacific Opera Project Announces 2024-2025 Season
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Pacific Opera Project has announced its 2024-2025 season of performances, marking a season of growth and expansion with pop-up performances and events around Los Angeles as well as in POP's new headquarters, POP HQ, AKA "The POPera Shop" in Highland Park, which continues to host POP's inaugural Artist Recital Series and educational programs.

POP's season features a new English translation and the LA premiere of Dvořák's Rusalka (July 11-20); the first US performance of Antonio Cagnoni's Don Bucefalo since 1867 (November 2 - 10); the US premiere of Salieri's La scuola de' gelosi (January 10-19); and a co-production of H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Las Vegas (June 6-22).

"I'm incredibly proud of the range and diversity of the 2024-2025 Season," said POP's Artistic Director, Josh Shaw. "When other companies are relying on the old standbys to fill seats, we're leaning into unknown, but interesting repertoire with three LA premieres, including one US premiere. And we are taking our audiences to the new and to favorite eclectic venues for site-specific, or at least "site-inspired" productions. At POP, it's always more than just a performance."

The 2024-2025 season opens with Rusalka, performed for the first time in Los Angeles, at one of LA's best outdoor venues, Descanso Gardens on Friday, July 12, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 14, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 19, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sun, July 21, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. Rusalka, the inspiration for The Little Mermaid, will be sung in a new English translation by Josh Shaw and Grant Preisser. Josh Shaw directs and Alexandra Enyart conducts.

In November POP performs Antonio Cagnoni's Don Bucefalo for the first time in the US since 1867 at The Garibaldina, the oldest Italian society in America. POP's Don Bucefalo will be a site specific production, moving the action of this slapstick comedy by a student of Donizetti, to the late 1960s. Set in the venue itself, The Garibaldina Club is one of LA's hottest retro spots and has recently been profiled multiple times in the LA Times. This production will offer table and regular seating. Pasta, dessert, wine, and a full bar will be offered. POP favorite, Kyle Naig returns to conduct and arrange the opera. Josh Shaw will direct. Performances take place on Saturday, November 2, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 3, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.; Friday, November 8, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m.

POP kicks off the new year with the US premiere production of Antonio Salieri's La scuola de' gelosi. POP's colorful period production of this comedy of errors features some of the best of Salieri's music and a plot similar to Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Complete with table seating, food, and wine La scuola will be presented on the elaborate proscenium set originally built for POP's 2023 production of Ercole su'l Termodonte on Friday, January 10, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 11, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, January 12, 2025 at 3:00 p.m.; Friday, January 17, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 18, 2025 at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 19, 2025 at 3:00 p.m. at The Highland Park Ebell Club. Kyle Naig will lead from the harpsichord and Josh Shaw directs.

The season closes with a large co-production of H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Las Vegas performed with table seating and picnicking in the middle of a Victorian village at the Heritage Square Museum Lawn on Friday, June 13, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 14, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, June 15, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 20, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 21, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 22, 2025 at 7:30 p.m. The production will open in Las Vegas on June 6 and 8, before traveling to Los Angeles. Opera Las Vegas Music Director, Josh Horsch, returns to POP to conduct, and Josh Shaw will direct this lively, outdoor production.

This month POP celebrates the one-year anniversary of its POP HQ, AKA "The POPera Shop," which has become a sought-after rehearsal space used by LA Opera Connects, Beth Morrison Projects, Long Beach Opera, Partch Ensemble, and WildUp! in recent months. POP HQ continues to be the headquarters for POP's Artist Recital Series and many of POP's educational programs.

POP's inaugural Artist Recital Series - launched in October 2023 - continues through July 2024 featuring the talents of POP artists at POP HQ in Highland Park. The recitals range from classical duets and romantic arias to madrigals with the Adoro Music Ensemble, Japanese songs, and songs of Black expression. The eclectic lineup of innovative recitals serves to introduce opera to newcomers in a more intimate setting while expanding the soundscape for seasoned opera-goers. "One of the best things about Pacific Opera Project is how it brings opera to the public. It's not just about evening gowns and opera glasses." (Downtown Los Angeles)

In the summer, The POPera Shop will host POPeretta!, a summer program for 3rd-12th graders who will learn how to activate their voices through opera by learning the basic elements of opera, writing and designing their very own opera scenes, costumes, and sets, and having the opportunity to direct a professional POP opera singer in the lead role. The program culminates in a POPeretta! Performance Showcase on Saturday, August 3, 2024 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at The POPera Shop. POPs wide range of year-long digital and in-school educational programming includes My First Opera for kids in grades K-12 and Opera Explorers for kids in grades K-5.

Performance Information

Rusalka

Descanso Gardens | 1418 Descanso Dr | La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

Friday, July 12, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Don Bucefalo

The Garibaldina | 4533 N Figueroa St | Los Angeles, CA 90065

Saturday, November 2, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 3, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, November 8, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 10 at 3:00 p.m.

La scuola de' gelosi

Highland Park The Ebell Club | 131 S Ave 57 | Los Angeles, CA 90042

Friday, January 10, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 11, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 12, 2025 at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, January 17, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 18, 2025 at 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 19, 2025 at 3:00 p.m.

H.M.S. Pinafore

Heritage Square Museum Lawn | 3800 Homer Street | Los Angeles, CA 90031-1530

Friday, June 13, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 14, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 15, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 20, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 21, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 22, 2025 at 7:30 p.m.

Season Tickets:

Season ticket packages will go on sale to POP patrons March 20, and to the general public in early April

About Pacific Opera Project

Founded in 2011, Los Angeles's Pacific Opera Project (POP) is dedicated to providing quality opera that is accessible, affordable, and entertaining in order to build a broader audience for the art form. LA Magazine writes "If you think you hate opera, you've probably never seen a Pacific Opera Project show." POP's regularly sold out performances take place in a wide variety of venues, from outdoors, to small clubs, big amphitheaters, and warehouses. LA Weekly named POP the "Best Opera Company in Los Angeles" in 2018, writing "making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing to young audiences is easier said than done. It's also something every opera company in the country is trying desperately to do... [Pacific Opera Project] is not trying desperately to be hip. It just is." In 2020, POP was awarded The American Prize in Opera Performance.

POP has presented more than 40 innovative new productions to date, including revolutionary drive-in productions of COVID fan tutte and the US staged premieres of two Gluck operas in November 2020, about which Opera Magazine wrote "Despite this plague year of postponements, POP has refused to bow to the pandemic or its restrictions...There is surely no opera company in this Covid-ravaged country with a better average for 2020." Other critically acclaimed productions include Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio set as an episode of Star Trek; a "fan-tastic" (LA Daily News) Harajuku-themed Mikado; a Dick Tracy Don Giovanni; a Magic Flute inspired by 1990s video games, called "one of the freshest takes on Mozart's 1791 classic I have come across" (Operawire); and many more. POP's signature take on Puccini's La bohème, "AKA The Hipsters," set in modern day Los Angeles, has become a holiday tradition, returning year after year to sold-out audiences and called "riotous" (LA Weekly) and "an undeniably fun night at the theater that should not be missed" (Stage Raw). POP gave the world premiere of Brooke deRosa's The Monkey's Paw in 2017.

POP has been dedicated to reaching young audiences with performance and education since its inception, regularly performing for school-aged groups in family-friendly productions, including having a presence in 15 Title 1 schools. POP also partners with Bob Baker Marionette Theater, local YMCAs, and the Burbank Boys and Girls Club. During the COVID-19 pandemic, POP created interactive Education Packs appropriate for kindergarten to eighth grade students to accompany videos of POP's productions of The Magic Flute and Madama Butterfly.

In 2019, POP presented its most ambitious project to date: the first ever true-to-story bilingual Madama Butterfly performed in LA's Little Tokyo. A co-production with Houston's Opera in the Heights, the production featured a new libretto written by POP's Founding Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Opera in the Heights Artistic Director Eiki Isomura, presenting Puccini's story as if it actually happened and attempting to answer the question: "How would Butterfly and Pinkerton communicate?" All Japanese roles were sung in Japanese by Japanese-American artists and all American roles were sung in English. San Francisco Classical Voice described the production as "on a visual scale beyond anything it has taken on before - a sumptuously costumed, fully staged, bilingual co-production... Pacific Opera Project deserves a great deal of credit for making this concept into a reality... innovative, creative, and immensely successful."

POP presented the 2018 West Coast premiere of Giacomo Rossini's rarely performed 1816 opera, La gazzetta "The Newspaper." The first performances in the US were given in Boston at the New England Conservatory in 2013, and POP's production was only the second in North America. Opera Today raved about the premiere, writing "Director Josh Shaw has invested the proceedings with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions. Shaw has set the show in 1960's Paris, with eye-popping set elements and brilliant uses of color which add to the manic feel... Mr. Shaw has fashioned a take-no-prisoners approach to the staging, which was rife with clever touches... Pacific Opera Project has evidently hit on a winning formula for a night out, serving up food, drink and an operatic discovery in equal measure."

Learn more at www.pacificoperaproject.com.




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