When James Conlon became LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director in 2006, one of the first initiatives he brought to the company was the Cathedral Project. A partnership between LA Opera and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Cathedral Project brings community singers and musicians together with LA Opera artists to present an opera to the public. For over a decade, it has been a key feature of the company’s community engagement and an opera that performers, teaching artists, and audience members look forward to each year. Conlon, who conducts these performances every year, is “thrilled that Los Angeles families have responded to community productions with so much enthusiasm and appreciation.”
The company has performed George Frideric Handel’s Judas Maccabeus (2008), The Festival Play of Daniel (2010, 2012, 2016) and the world premiere of Jack Perla’s Jonah and the Whale (2014) at the Cathedral. Eli Villanueva has directed most of these productions. Apart from being a celebrated baritone, stage director, and composer, Villanueva has a great passion for teaching and thrives when working with performers of all ages (his direction of the company’s annual Opera Camp is masterful). Together with Conlon, Villanueva draws the most color, beauty, and story out of the music as possible. The two have spent ten years staging some of the most artistic and soul-fulfilling productions that our community is grateful to see.
“A lot of the young people and a lot of the adults involved have never been to the opera. After the Cathedral Project, some of those people start coming to the opera. That makes me very happy,” said Conlon on the rewards of performing at the Cathedral.
On May 6, the company will revive its production of Benjamin Britten’s Noah’s Flood. This one-act, children’s opera recounts the story of Noah’s ark and is intended to be staged in a church.
The performances are free – a gift to the Los Angeles community.
Check back here on March 20 to reserve your free tickets to Noah’s Flood.LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.