Yes, it’s fall, but only in Los Angeles can you take advantage of the southern California weather, grab a blanket and a picnic and experience opera under the stars. This Thursday, you can do just that – experience the grandeur of LA Opera’s production of Macbeth as it is broadcast live to Santa Monica Pier and South Gate Park. That’s opera – live – for free – and surrounded by families and friends.
While the idea of showing opera in three locations might sound simple, it takes an enormous number of people to pull it all together and bring it to life.
Preparations for Opera at the Beach and Opera in the Park began nearly nine months ago when we secured the production team – Black & Tan – that will direct, live edit, and produce the broadcast.
In partnership with members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (who have generously supported these events for the last three years) we identified the venues. We would have had a riot had we moved from the Santa Monica Pier, so that location was set in stone, thanks to support from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. But we all agreed, more communities should experience this production. So this year, with the support from Supervisor Hilda Solis, we’ve expanded the program and we will also be broadcasting to South Gate Park – the heart of the South Gate community.
Then we go to task on the nitty gritty production details – too many to list and count. Suffice it to say, it’s an army! The real fun begins the week of the show, when a team of people gets packing. We’ll load in all the equipment and build out two events in South Gate and Santa Monica – all in 72 hours. (Check out our video of last year’s build out at Santa Monica Pier below).
On show day, there will be 30 team members from Black & Tan at the Dorothy Chandler ready to produce the video for the live broadcast. A satellite and production truck will set up outside the theater filled with screens showing footage from all the eight cameras that are in the house. It looks exactly like what you see when your favorite morning news show cuts to the production room. During the show, director Mathew Diamond will determine which camera shot he wants and call it – live edit for the audiences under the stars while the show is underway on the stage. Threw the magic of technology and masterful editing, those watching from the park and by the beach will get a great taste of all that opera can be.
Meanwhile, at the pier and in the park, thousands of opera goers will gather to experience opera together with picnics, blankets and fresh air. Their reaction to the show and their energy makes all the work that goes into producing the event – taking a blank canvas and building something great and unexpected – incredibly rewarding.