Monthly Archives: July 2015

Opera Sisters

Sisters have a special bond that cannot be compared to any other relationship. They can be your best friend from the start or even your special confidante when there’s something you’re bursting to talk about, but can’t seem to find the words. Sisters can also steer you in the direction of the arts. For Katie and Annie Lee, all this is true.

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from The White Bird of Poston. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from The White Bird of Poston. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

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3 Things I Learned Volunteering at LA Opera

Marcia De Vere

Marcia De Vere

1)    Teamwork is key. Everyone at the company collaborates to make our productions spectacular and employees are willing to go the extra mile for our art
2)    There are so many ways to see opera and so many new innovations.
3)    Details always matter. It’s been amazing to learn how much detail goes into the work of every department from specific costume trimmings to engaging the community with our marketing campaigns. I have greatly admired as well as shared my colleagues’ artistic enthusiasm for bringing compelling operas the stage.

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#WordWednesday: Buffo/Buffa

Buffo-a Pic

BUFFO or BUFFA (9 Scrabble points) – Italian – Have you ever had a good laugh at the opera and wondered how to describe it?

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Extreme Sports Opera

You ever been on a rollercoaster ride that’s lasted three decades? Jeff Kleeman has.

LA Opera Technical Director Jeff Kleeman

LA Opera Technical Director Jeff Kleeman

As the Technical Director for LA Opera, Jeff regularly clocks in 80 or a hundred hours a week, sometimes even more if you can fathom that. Grinning through that ZZ Top beard, he says, “It’s like a rollercoaster ride. Once you’re strapped in, you’re on for the full ride. Around these parts we call it extreme sports opera.”

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#MusicMonday: Streetcar Edition

When Renée Fleming starred as Blanche DuBois in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, she wowed audiences with her many showstopper arias.  Start your week off right by listening to the blues-inspired opera, particularly Blanche’s radiant Act III aria, “I Want Magic,” in which she reveals her innermost desires.

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#WordWednesday: Zarzuela

ZARZUELA (16 Scrabble points) – Spanish – This saucy term refers to a Spanish comedic opera, where characters can jump from spoken to sung scenes.

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From Zarzuela to Opera Camp

Jesus, Beatrice, and Diego in Zarzuela garb

Jesus, Beatrice, and Diego in Zarzuela garb

Jesus and Diego Lopez (17 and 10, respectively) wanted nothing to do with classical music. When their mother, Beatriz Zaragoza, played classical music in the car, the boys complained. This all changed when the family discovered LA Opera’s Zarzuela Project.

With the Community Opera Choruses Network, LA Opera engages people from around LA County (with a concentrated focus on East LA) to explore opera. The Zarzuela Project is a key component of this network. Led by a team of LA Opera teaching artists, the project accepts all ages and weekly rehearsals are held at Salesian High School in East LA. Fernandez’s students rehearse various Zarzuelas and perform them at partner venues around the community. It is a project that is very dear to LA Opera General Director Plácido Domingo, whose parents were both Zarzuela singers.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Radvanovsky in Tosca

Share The best on-stage moments occur when a singer can so perfectly capture the essence of a character through vocals and performance. Throughout her career, Sondra Radvanovsky has delivered many of these moments to audiences around the world. Radvanovsky played … Continue reading

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5 Classic Opera Cartoon Episodes

Patricia Barden as the title character in Carmen (2013); Photo: Robert Millard

Patricia Barden as the title character in Carmen (2013); Photo: Robert Millard

Imagine yourself at the opera for the first time. You’re sitting in the orchestra and the curtain rises to the sounds of the overture from Bizet’s Carmen. Suddenly, you realize that you’ve heard these notes before. But, where?

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#WordWednesday: Diva

DIVA (8 Scrabble points) – Italian- while its popularly used to describe someone’s attitude, in opera, diva refers to a woman of outsanding talent in the world of opera.

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Up Your Word Nerd Game with Opera Terms: #WordWednesday

Share Word Wednesday:  Learn new opera terms for your next Scrabble game!  Opera – the art form – draws from many different languages for its music and its terminology, making the language of opera rich with high scoring words. Because … Continue reading

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It’s Not Sleep Away Camp, It’s Opera Camp!

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from <em>The White Bird of Poston</em>. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from The White Bird of Poston. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

Today’s headlines are filled with stories of inequality, injustice and hate. Understanding our role in changing the world can be daunting. Through its annual Opera Camp program, LA Opera is teaching kids 9 – 17 how every action counts.

For the the past 15 years, LA Opera has hosted Opera Camp, a two-week immersive program where campers learn about opera – the artistry, the production, the skills – and prepares them to perform one. Every year, between 50 and 60 children and teens participate in the camp. … Continue reading

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7 LA Opera Stage Costumes You Could Totally Wear To Comic-Con

1. Armored soldiers from Aida — who’s to say these aren’t right out of Game of  Thrones or 300?

Aida (2005); Photo: Robert Millard

Aida (2005); Photo: Robert Millard

2. Any of the Pagliacci clowns — whether you’re dressing as a riff on the new Joker from next year’s Suicide Squad Batman spin-off, or a classic homage to Killer Klowns From Outer Space everyone (meaning no one) loves a creepy clown.

Georgie Gagnidze as Tonio in Pagliacci (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Georgie Gagnidze as Tonio in Pagliacci (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

3. One of the dancers in our 2007 production of Don Giovanni — just tell everyone you got a sneak peek at next season of American Horror Story and you’re good.

Don Giovanni (2007); Photo: Robert Millard

Don Giovanni (2007); Photo: Robert Millard

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