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Pacific Opera Project Announces Covid-Themed Drive-In Fall 2020 Season In Camarillo

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Productions include COVID fan tutte on November 14, 15, and 22.

Pacific Opera Project Announces Covid-Themed Drive-In Fall 2020 Season In Camarillo

Pacific Opera Project (POP), "more valuable than ever to L.A. opera" (Los Angeles Times), today announces a newly revised fall season, featuring four operas reworked in signature POP style for current times and a drive-in format at Camarillo United Methodist Church in Ventura County.

Productions include COVID fan tutte on November 14, 15, and 22; the US premieres of Gluck's La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso on November 20 and 21; and La Boheme: AKA "The Hipsters" 2020 Edition on December 10, 12, and 13. All shows will be approximately two hours long and will be presented live within COVID guidelines. Live video will be projected above the stage with supertitles, and sound will be broadcast via FM radio to approximately 90 vehicles per performance. POP has temporarily relocated to Ventura County for performances, until LA County restrictions allow live performance. The venue is a short one hour drive from most points in Los Angeles and weekend shows have been scheduled just after sundown so attendees may travel up during the daylight and return home by 9:00pm.

POP Founder Artistic Director Josh Shaw says, "We saw an opportunity to do live performance, to give our artists work, to give our fans a show, and to prove that, as always, POP will do whatever it takes to make accessible, affordable, and entertaining opera. People say they want opera that is relevant - that it can and should speak to current events. Here we are in the midst of the most life changing event any of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. Should we act like it isn't happening? I don't think so. Should we wait five or ten years until the pandemic is more of a memory and we have some 'distance'? Why? There was a time when opera was regularly written about current events. Granting organizations and patrons consistently state that they want opera that is about our time, our situations. Well, here's a chance to make some opera about what is happening right now. Yes, it might be extra painful, but I think it will also be extra uplifting, extra humorous, extra cathartic - and I know for myself and many others on both sides of the curtain, it is extra needed right now."

On Saturday, November 14; Sunday, November 15; and Sunday, November 22 at 5:30pm, POP takes a mulligan on Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, with COVID fan tutte, a new production set in 2020 at a SoCal golf resort with new English libretto by Josh Shaw. POP's originally scheduled production of Cosi was canceled mid-rehearsal in March due to the pandemic. The updated plot follows two girls who are spending their quarantine at a SoCal golf resort and the local caddies have won their hearts. Don Alfonso, a rich, meddling member of the resort, is looking for some fun and instigates a bet with the boys to see if their girls are truly faithful. Despina, a waitress at the snack shack is there to assist Don Alfonso in the charade. The boys are furloughed rather than sent off to war and return in disguise to tempt their girlfriends. Personal protective equipment, facemasks, and social distancing will play a large part in the update, perhaps finally making the disguises and plot of Cosi fan tutte (almost) believable. To ensure maximum safety and compliance, the cast features three outstanding real-life couples - Jamie Chamberlin and Nathan Granner (Fiordiligi/Ferrando), Christina Pezzarossi and Colin Ramsey (Dorabella/Guglielmo), and Ariel Pisturino and E. Scott Levin (Despina and Don Alfonso) - who will quarantine together before the performances. Kyle Naig will conduct a socially distant orchestra from the harpsichord.

POP presents a double bill featuring the US premiere stagings of two rare, one-act Gluck operas, the aptly named La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso, on Friday, November 20 at 7:00pm and Saturday, November 21 at 5:30pm. Josh Shaw's discovery of a dramatic opera called La Corona led him to another of Gluck's one act comedies, Il Parnaso Confuso. Both were written for royal celebrations and for the same four Archduchesses, children of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa and sisters of Marie Antoinette. La Corona was never performed during Gluck's lifetime, as it was written for Francis I and rendered irrelevant by his death in 1765. The opera was resurrected in July 1987 when it received its world premiere at the City of London Festival for the bicentenary of Gluck's death. Loosely based on the Greek myth of Atalanta, four sisters argue over who gets to hunt a wild boar and prince Meleagro, who gets not the alto part but the highest soprano, comes along to supervise events. Il Parnaso Confuso was composed in 1765 for the four Archduchesses to sing at Habsburg Archduke Joseph's wedding. The opera follows three Muses - Euterpe (Music), Erato (Lyric Poetry), and Melpomene (Tragedy) - atop Mount Parnassus who are asked by Apollo to sing last minute at the wedding of the Emperor and are not prepared for the request. The double bill will feature Jessica Sandidge, Tiffany Ho, Meagan Martin, and Audrey Yoder, all in dual roles. Both operas will be sung in Italian with projected supertitles. Kyle Naig leads a period ensemble from the keyboard.

POP closes its unprecedented season with the final iteration of La Boheme: AKA "The Hipsters" 2020 Edition on Thursday, December 10 at 7:00pm; Saturday, December 12 at 5:30pm; and Sunday, December 13 at 5:30pm. In what has become a holiday tradition over six years of sold out performances, POP's signature take on Puccini's La Boheme has been even further updated to current day with Acts 1 and 2 occurring on December 24, 2019; Act 3 in April 2020; and Act 4 in November 2020. The artist, poet, philosopher, musician, and seamstress become a graphic designer, screenplay writer, English major, indie-rocker, and fashion designer dealing with the timeless issues of life, love, jealousy, overdue bills, and now, COVID-19. This production is the inspiration behind POP's signature logo, "Hipster Puccini." The opera is sung in Italian with projected "cleverly ironic" English titles, led by Music Director Parisa Zaeri, and directed by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw.

Performance Information
COVID fan tutte
Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 5:30pm
Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 5:30pm
Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 5:30pm
Tickets: $60 - $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.
More Information: www.pacificoperaproject.com/covidfantutte

La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso
Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
Friday, November 20, 2020 at 7:00pm
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:30pm
Tickets: $60 - $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.
More Information: www.pacificoperaproject.com/lacorona

La Boheme: AKA "The Hipsters" 2020 Edition
Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 7:00pm
Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 5:30pm
Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 5:30pm
Tickets: $60 - $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.
More Information: www.pacificoperaproject.com/hipsters2020

All tickets and programs will be virtual, for a contactless experience. There will be no intermission, but restrooms will be available. All state and county COVID guidelines will be strictly followed and enforced. Masks are required outside of cars. Concessions will not be offered, but picnicking in your car is encouraged.


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