Tag Archives: 30th Anniversary

#LAO30Images Iconic Productions Day 1: Otello

“The theme [of Otello] is eternal and current: The Soldier, shoved into peacetime, proves to be defenseless and helpless in the face of the attacks of everyday life, the persecutions of injured vanity. In ancient tragedy, the heroes fell because of the gods. With Shakespeare and Verdi, it is the envy of men which destroys the outsider.” – Götz Friedrich, director of inaugural season opener, Otello.

The cast of Otello (1986); Photo Credit: Frederic Ohringer

The cast of Otello (1986); Photo Credit: Frederic Ohringer

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#tbt: Porgy and Bess

Mic Bell as Porgy in the 1987 production of Porgy and Bess

George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess was the closing production of LA Opera’s inaugural season.  It was seen as a highly influential production, created for Houston Grand Opera in 1976, that made the case for the work as a true opera, rather than a Broadway musical, and restored Gershwin’s complete original score. Director Jack O’Brien described the experience of working on the opera as “opening a treasure never seen,” because of the artistic community that formed to create the show. It was a triumphant season finale, conducted by John DeMain, with a magnificent cast that included Donnie Ray Albert and Carmen Balthrop, alternating in the title roles with Mic Bell and Henrietta Davis.

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