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21C Welcomes Los Angeles Opera, Now Celebrating 30th Anniversary Season

21C Media Group is delighted to announce that it is now collaborating with Los Angeles Opera on press and public relations, in the company’s 30th anniversary season. Despite its youth, L.A. Opera has already “become the fourth most trafficked opera house in the country” (Barrons), and one that “stands out as a newly important force in American opera” (Los Angeles Times). Under the combined leadership of Eli and Edythe Broad General Director Plácido Domingo, Richard Seaver Music Director James Conlon, and President and CEO Christopher Koelsch, the organization produces world-class opera that preserves, promotes, and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit, and artistic sensibility unique to its native city. Having achieved substantial growth over the past financial year, Koelsch is more than justified in noting: “We’re in incredibly good shape and creating a new model of what an opera company can be.

Koelsch was named President and CEO of L.A. Opera in 2012, having first joined the company in 1997. Since then, he has produced more than 32 new productions, including five world premieres, and has served as producer for seven television recordings of the company’s work, including the two-time Grammy Award-winning Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Among the new initiatives he has introduced is “Off Grand”; now entering its fourth season, this innovative series complements the company’s mainstage offerings with smaller-scale, edgier, more experimental fare, designed for new and younger audiences. Koelsch explains:

“The L.A. Opera is dedicated to advancing the dynamic power of opera, while making the art form accessible to all. We are in constant communication with our diverse L.A. community to reflect their unique artistic sensibilities, and some of our Off Grand projects have attracted audiences where 40 percent have never seen an opera before. It’s a thrilling time to be working in opera in L.A.”

Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal recently concluded: “These projects push the boundaries of what opera is. … [It’s] an exciting harbinger for the future of opera.

The 30th anniversary season: upcoming highlights
Los Angeles Opera’s 30th anniversary season celebrates its commitment to creative diversity, juxtaposing benchmark productions of time-honored classics with an important contemporary addition to the repertoire and bold, cutting-edge premieres that push opera to its limits – all while continuing to showcase today’s foremost singers.

The Magic Flute at Los Angeles Opera  (photo: Robert Millard/L.A. Opera)

The Magic Flute at Los Angeles Opera (photo: Robert Millard/L.A. Opera)















The company’s six mainstage events are bookended by a pair of original productions that pay tribute to its unique ties to the film industry. In the season-launching double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci, Plácido Domingo stars as Gianni Schicchi in the hit staging of Puccini’s comedy that marked Woody Allen’s operatic debut, before taking the podium for Zeffirelli’s legendary treatment of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with Ana María Martínez as Nedda (Sep 12–Oct 3). Following the success of last season’s live simulcast of La Traviata, the double bill’s closing night will beam live in high-definition video to Santa Monica Pier, in a return of L.A. Opera’s popular “Opera at the Beach” series. The mainstage season concludes when Gustavo Dudamel makes his hotly anticipated company debut leading select performances of Puccini’s La Bohème, in the company’s original staging by Herbert Ross, famed for such Hollywood hits as Footloose and Steel Magnolias (May 14–June 12). James Conlon conducts four major mainstage productions: the Los Angeles premiere of Jake Heggie’s epic adaptation of Melville’s Moby-Dick, with Jay Hunter Morris in a reprise of his star turn as Captain Ahab (Oct 31–Nov 28); Bellini’s Norma, headlined by Angela Meade – “easily the most talked-about soprano of her generation” (Opera News) – opposite the Adalgisa of mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, winner of this year’s Richard Tucker Award (Nov 21–Dec 13); Lee Blakeley’s acclaimed treatment of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, for which Martínez returns to revisit her signature portrayal of the title role (March 12–April 3); and Barrie Kosky’s playfully subversive take on Mozart’s The Magic Flute, which the New York Times hailed as “an ideal marriage of Weimar and Hollywood” (Feb 13–March 6).

Angela Meade in Bellini’s Norma (photo: Scott Suchman/Washington National Opera)

Angela Meade in Bellini’s Norma (photo: Scott Suchman/Washington National Opera)

















Further demonstrating the company’s commitment to the revitalization of opera, Los Angeles Opera expands its portfolio with two trailblazing contemporary creations in the “Off Grand” series, as part of a multiyear partnership with Beth Morrison Productions and REDCAT, the alternative performance space inside the Disney Hall complex. The west coast premiere of Song from the Uproar – a multimedia opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek that combines live music with original film – stars Abigail Fischer, as at its New York debut, when the New York Times declared: “In the emotional efficacy and irresistible magnetism of Ms. Fischer’s performance and in the electric surge of Ms. Mazzoli’s score you felt the joy, risk and limitless potential of free spirits unbound” (Oct 8–11). Next up is the world premiere of Anatomy Theater by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang and visual artist Mark Dion. Drawing on actual 18th-century texts, Lang’s new opera traces the astonishing progression of an English murderess from confession to execution and, ultimately, public dissection before a paying audience of fascinated onlookers, drawing the Los Angeles Opera’s season to a grisly yet glorious close (June 16–19).

Also under the auspices of “Off Grand,” the company once again tips its hat to its Hollywood connections, offering Halloween screenings of the legendary 1931 Bela Lugosi movie, Dracula, with live performances of Philip Glass’s original, hypnotic 1998 instrumental score given by the inimitable Kronos Quartet and the preeminent composer himself at the gorgeously restored Theatre at Ace Hotel, a 1927 Spanish Gothic movie palace in the heart of downtown L.A. (Oct 29–31).

To round out the 2015-16 lineup, Los Angeles Opera celebrates the beauty of the human voice. Bass-baritone Erwin Schrott performs songs from his native South America (Dec 12), and superstars Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming – heralded as the “King of Opera” and the “People’s Diva” – join forces for a one-night-only program of favorite arias and duets, exclusive to subscribers, with James Conlon leading the LA Opera Orchestra at the company’s historic 30th Anniversary Concert (March 18).

Click here to see a preview of the Los Angeles Opera’s 2015-16 season.

High-resolution promotional photos may be downloaded here.


Los Angeles Opera: 2015-16 season


Sep 12, 17, 20, 24, 27; Oct 3
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi / Leoncavallo: Pagliacci
(An original LA Opera production)

Gianni Schicchi: Plácido Domingo
Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi): Arturo Chacón-Cruz
Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi): Andriana Chuchman*
Zita (Gianni Schicchi): Meredith Arwady*
Gherardo (Gianni Schicchi): Greg Fedderly
Nella (Gianni Schicchi): Stacey Tappan
Simone (Gianni Schicchi): Craig Colclough
La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi): Peabody Southwell
Betto di Signa (Gianni Schicchi): Philip Cokorinos
Marco (Gianni Schicchi): Liam Bonner
Maestro Spinellocio (Gianni Schicchi): E. Scott Levin
Ser Amantio di Nicolao (Gianni Schicchi): Kihun Yoon+
Pinellino (Gianni Schicchi): Daniel Armstrong++
Guccio (Gianni Schicchi): Gabriel Vamvulescu
Canio (Pagliacci): Marco Berti
Canio (Pagliacci) on October 3: Yusif Eyvazov*
Nedda (Pagliacci): Ana María Martínez
Tonio (Pagliacci): George Gagnidze
Beppe (Pagliacci): Brenton Ryan+

Conductor (Gianni Schicchi): Grant Gershon
Director (Gianni Schicchi): Woody Allen
Set and Costume Designer (Gianni Schicchi): Santo Loquasto
Conductor (Pagliacci): Plácido Domingo
Director / Set Designer (Pagliacci): Franco Zeffirelli
Costume Designer (Pagliacci): Raimonda Gaetani
Lighting Designer: York Kennedy
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member
++ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alumnus

Oct 8, 9, 10, 11
Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek: Song from the Uproar
(West Coast premiere)

Isabelle Eberhardt: Abigail Fischer*
Soprano 1: Celine Mogielnicki*
Soprano 2: Amelia Watkins*
Mezzo: Kate Maroney
Tenor: Tomás Cruz

Composer / Co-Librettist: Missy Mazzoli*
Co-Librettist: Royce Vavrek
Director: Gia Forakis*
Conductor: Steven Osgood*
Creative Producer: Beth Morrison
Instrumental Ensemble: NOW Ensemble
Scenic Design: Zane Pihlstrom*
Lighting Design: Scott Bolman*
Costume Design: Alixandra Gage Englund*
Video Design: Stephen Taylor*
Co-Video Design: S. Katy Tucker
* LA Opera debut artist

Oct 29, 30, 31
Philip Glass and The Kronos Quartet perform live to Dracula (1931)
Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles

Keyboards: Philip Glass
Instrumental Ensemble: Kronos Quartet*
* LA Opera debut artist

Oct 31; Nov 7, 15, 19, 22, 28
Jake Heggie: Moby-Dick

Captain Ahab: Jay Hunter Morris
Greenhorn: Joshua Guerrero++
Starbuck, first mate: Morgan Smith
Queequeg, a harpooner: Musa Ngqungwana*
Pip, cabin boy: Jacqueline Echols*
Stubb, second mate: Malcolm MacKenzie
Flask, third mate: Matthew O’Neill
Captain Gardiner: Nicholas Brownlee+

Composer: Jake Heggie*
Librettist: Gene Scheer*
Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Leonard Foglia*
Set Designer: Robert Brill*
Costume Designer: Jane Greenwood
Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift*
Original Lighting Design: Donald Holder
Projection Designer: Elaine J. McCarthy*
Movement Director and Choreographer: Keturah Stickann*
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member
++ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alumnus

Nov 21, 29; Dec 2, 5, 10, 13
Bellini: Norma

Norma: Angela Meade
Adalgisa: Jamie Barton*
Pollione: Russell Thomas*
Oroveso: Morris Robinson
Clotilde: Lacey Jo Benter+
Flavio: Rafael Moras+


Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Anne Bogart
Scenery Design: Neil Patel*
Costume Design: James Schuette*
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Barney O’Hanlon
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member

Dec 12
Bass-baritone Erwin Schrott performs songs from his native South America

Feb 13, 20, 24, 28; March 2, 6
Mozart: The Magic Flute

Tamino: Ben Bliss+
Pamina: Marita Sølberg*
Papageno: Jonathan Michie
The Queen of the Night: So Young Park+
The Queen of the Night (Feb 24): Christina Poulitsi*
Sarastro: Wilhelm Schwinghammer*
Monostatos: Brenton Ryan+
First Lady: Stacey Tappan
Second Lady: Summer Hassan+
Third Lady: Peabody Southwell
The Speake:r Nicholas Brownlee+
Papagena: Vanessa Becerra+
First Armored Man: Frederick Ballentine+

Conductor: James Conlon
Production: Suzanne Andrade
Production: Barrie Kosky
Animation Design: Paul Barritt
Concept: 1927 (Suzanne Andrade and Paul Barritt) and Barrie Kosky
Set and Costume Design: Esther Bialas
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member

March 12, 20, 23, 26, 31; April 3
Puccini’s Madame Butterfly

Cio-Cio San: Ana María Martínez
B.F. Pinkerton: Stefano Secco
Suzuki: Milena Kitic
Sharpless: Kihun Yoon+
Goro: Keith Jameson
Prince Yamadori: Daniel Armstrong++
The Bonze: Nicholas Brownlee+
Kate Pinkerton: Lacey Jo Benter+

Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Lee Blakeley
Scenery Design: Jean-Marc Puissant*
Costume Design: Brigitte Reiffenstuel*
Lighting Design: Rick Fisher
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member
++ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alumnus

March 18
30th Anniversary Concert with James Conlon, Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming

May 14, 19, 22, 25, 28; June 5, 10, 12
Puccini: La Bohème
(An original LA Opera production)

Mimi: Nino Machaidze
Mimi (May 19, 25): Olga Busuioc*
Rodolfo (May 14, June 5, 10, 12): Mario Chang*
Rodolfo (May 19, 22, 25, 28): Abdellah Lasri*
Musetta (May 14, 28, June 5, 10, 12): Janai Brugger++
Musetta (May 19, 22, 25): Amanda Woodbury
Marcello: Giorgio Caoduro
Schaunard: Kihun Yoon+
Colline: Nicholas Brownlee+
Benoit / Alcindoro: Philip Cokorinos

Conductor: Speranza Scappucci*
Conductor (June 10 and 12): Gustavo Dudamel*
Production: Herbert Ross
Director: Peter Kazaras*
Set Designer: Gerard Howland
Costume Designer: Peter J. Hall
Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler
* LA Opera debut artist
+ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program member
++ Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program alumnus

June 16, 17, 18, 19
David Lang and Mark Dion: Anatomy Theater
(World premiere)

Composer / Co-Librettist: David Lang*
Co-Librettist / Set Design: Mark Dion*
Production: Ridge Theater*
Director: Bob McGrath*
Filmmaker: Bill Morrison*
Projection Design: Laurie Olinder*
Lighting Design: Christopher Kuhl
Costume Design: Alixandra Gage Englund
Conductor: Christopher Rountree*
Creative Producer: Beth Morrison
Instrumental Ensemble: wild Up*
* LA Opera debut artist

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© 21C Media Group, September 2015

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