Tag Archives: Bravo

In the Pit: David Washburn

David Washburn

David Washburn

The story of how David Washburn found the trumpet has become a family legend.

David’s father, an engineering professor, played cornet. He eventually gave that cornet to a friend. One evening, while the Washburns were visiting this friend, someone brought out the cornet. Little David gave it a go. After one lesson, his father’s friend exclaimed: “You’d better get him a trumpet!”

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on In the Pit: David Washburn

Beyond Boundaries: An Interview with Christopher Koelsch

Christopher Koelsch; Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Christopher Koelsch; Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera’s President and Chief Executive Officer, is either astonishingly modest or tremendously reverential to those who have gone before him… or both.

Mr. Koelsch is this year’s recipient of the Opera League’s Peter Hemmings Award – given to individuals “who have made significant contributions to the development of opera in the greater Los Angeles area.” He speaks of the achievements of LA Opera in his four years at the helm as little more than the naturalension of ideas and programs put forth by his predecessors – and by “the incredible team we have here.”

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Beyond Boundaries: An Interview with Christopher Koelsch

A Volunteer For All Seasons

Alma Guzman

Alma Guzman

Alma Guzman has three great passions in life: volunteering, photography and travel.

Her Opera League volunteerism dates back to the League’s very inception almost thirty years ago. Since her retirement, she has been able to volunteer a whopping 450 plus hours a year. This coming season, she will serve on the Opera League board of directors for the third time. The League, and by extension LA Opera, benefit greatly from Alma’s huge contribution of time, as have over 40 citywide organizations where she has volunteered since 1973.

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A Volunteer For All Seasons

Kihun Yoon: The Seoul of the Young Artist Program

Kihun Yoon

Kihun Yoon

Imagine being invited by a world-renowned opera legend to move to a country where you don’t speak the language.

Would you hesitate? Or embrace the opportunity?

This is how the powerful and sonorous baritone Kihun Yoon, a native of Seoul, South Korea, answers the question.

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Kihun Yoon: The Seoul of the Young Artist Program

Like and Share: Meet LA Opera’s Social Media Dynamic Duo

Amisha Patankar and Karen Bacellar at Opera at the Beach (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Amisha Patankar and Karen Bacellar at Opera at the Beach (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

If an organization is to stay relevant in this wireless, hyperlinked, hashtagged world, social media is key. Thankfully, LA Opera nipped the relevancy problem in the bud last summer when it “Liked” Karen Bacellar and Amisha Patankar.

“I manage LA Opera’s content,” Karen says. “That includes the blog. I would say I write and edit the vast majority of the articles for the blog, and that nine times out of ten, they are determined by upcoming operas. After articles are published, I work with Amisha to promote the content through social media.”

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Like and Share: Meet LA Opera’s Social Media Dynamic Duo

In the Pit: Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

“Of all the things I do, playing with the LA Opera Orchestra is my favorite. I want to keep doing it as long as I can. I wish the opera did more productions because I love being there.”

In 1987 he joined the LA Chamber Orchestra as 2nd horn and began performing with LA Opera. Soon he discovered that he really enjoyed opera music and welcomed the opportunity to become 1st horn with the new LA Opera Orchestra.

In the 30 years since, Steve has performed in the studio orchestras of over a thousand movies and TV shows, and recorded with famous vocal personalities. Musical theater experience includes this summer’s revival of The Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages. He plays chamber music with Camerata Pacifica, participates in a woodwind quintet, and plays occasionally with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the California Philharmonic Orchestra and Muse/ique.

… Continue reading

Posted in Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on In the Pit: Steven Becknell, 1st Horn, LA Opera Orchestra

In the Pit: John Walz, Principal Cellist, LA Opera Orchestra

John Walz, Principal Cellist LA Opera

John Walz, Principal Cellist LA Opera

Born and raised in Pasadena, John Walz felt he was always wired for music, attending concerts as a youngster with his music teacher mother. He began cello at 10 in public school, and the next year began studying with Eleonore Schoenfeld and performing in chamber groups. This early training forced him to play and listen at the same time, a skill that has served him well as principal cellist for the LA Opera Orchestra.

John began his professional life when he met Pierre Fournier, the great French cellist, who invited him to study with him in Geneva. During these two years, John was introduced to many legendary players and performed in great halls in Europe, launching his career.

… Continue reading

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Faces of the Opera | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on In the Pit: John Walz, Principal Cellist, LA Opera Orchestra