What’s In Store For 2017/18

LA Opera’s 2017/2018 season opens September 9

Our 2016/17 season may have come to an end, but 2017/18 is just around the corner. Next season has something for everyone from the classic gems to the avant-garde. Get to know the season below and don’t forget to buy your tickets early for the best seats.

CARMEN (September 9-October 1)

Ana María Martínez as Carmen; Photo: Lynn Lane, courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Ana María Martínez as the title character in Carmen; Photo: Lynn Lane, courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

On September 9, we open with Georges Bizet’s Carmen. Ana María Martínez stars as opera’s most famous femme fatale. Nobody—not even a lover—can tame Carmen, who bursts into life onstage with an intoxicating whirl of thrilling choreography, vivid orchestrations and heart-stopping drama. Bizet’s unforgettable score is an endless parade of one great melody after the other, from the languid allure of Carmen’s sensual songs to the macho boasts of the dashing bullfighter.

THE PEARL FISHERS (October 7-28)

A scene from The Metropolitan Opera's production of The Pearl Fishers (2015); Photo: Ken Howard

A scene from The Metropolitan Opera’s production of The Pearl Fishers (2015); Photo: Ken Howard

A beautifully detailed staging, complete with stunning special effects, brings a rare and exotic story to life. Soprano Nino Machaidze, one of LA Opera’s favorite leading ladies, returns as a veiled priestess with a hidden past, pursued by two lifelong friends and romantic rivals. The complicated triangle pushes forbidden love into a final struggle for life and death, until a nearly forgotten secret saves the day.  Internationally acclaimed tenor Javier Camarena makes his company debut as Nadir.

The ravishing score, an early treasure by the composer of Carmen, features a rapturous duet for the two rivals that has become one of opera’s all-time greatest hits.

NABUCCO (October 14-November 19)

A scene from Washington National Opera's Nabucco (2012); Photo: Scott Suchman

A scene from Washington National Opera’s Nabucco (2012); Photo: Scott Suchman

As an aging king descends into madness, his bloodthirsty daughter begins a reign of terror, leaving a defenseless populace to battle for freedom from their oppressors. A monumental opera that made Verdi a national hero, Nabucco boasts a bold score that goes straight to the heart, highlighted by the immortal chorus of the Hebrew slaves.

In Thaddeus Strassberger’s production, the towering biblical drama is exquisitely presented as it might have been staged at its 1842 premiere at Milan’s fabled Teatro alla Scala. Plácido Domingo continues his astonishing exploration of the Verdi baritone repertory with his portrayal of the title role, with one of today’s brightest stars, Liudmyla Monastyrska, making her company debut as the king’s terrifying daughter, Abigaille.

LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE (October 28-31)

La Belle et La Bete

La Belle et La Bête

A familiar fairy tale takes on a broader and deeper subject—the transformative power of love and art. Jean Cocteau’s stunningly beautiful 1946 cinematic masterpiece is recast with an enchanting new soundtrack by Philip Glass. The modern maestro works his own magic around the shimmering spectacle by replacing the film’s original music and dialogue with nothing less than a classical opera, performed by live singers synchronized with the actors in the film.

Three special presentations at the spectacularly restored Theatre at Ace Hotel will feature four vocalists performing along with the Philip Glass Ensemble, conducted by Michael Riesman.

PERSONA (November 9-12)

A scene from Persona (2015); Photo: Noah Stern Weber / Beth Morrison Projects

A scene from Persona (2015); Photo: Noah Stern Weber / Beth Morrison Projects

Based on Ingmar Bergman’s classic film, Persona is a provocative and artistically complex depiction of human frailty, cruelty and identity. In an isolated summer house, a young nurse becomes caretaker of a stage actress who has suddenly lost the ability to speak. The deepening layers of their unsettling relationship unfold in a taut psychological drama, revealed through a unique aural landscape and a richly layered production.

PLÁCIDO DOMINGO 50th Anniversary Concert (November 17)

Plácido Domingo during his 40th Anniversary Concert; Photo: Robert Millard

Plácido Domingo during his 40th Anniversary Concert; Photo: Robert Millard

On November 17, 1967, a young tenor on tour in Los Angeles with the New York City Opera took to the stage of the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In the five decades since that remarkable debut, Plácido Domingo has made a profound impact on the cultural life of Los Angeles—as a singer, conductor and champion of the arts. James Conlon conducts the LA Opera Orchestra and a legion of special guest artists in a gala musical celebration of Domingo’s incomparable artistic legacy.

CANDIDE (January 27-February 18)

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

Kelsey Grammer stars in Bernstein’s round-the-world romp! Free-wheeling and funny, satirical and soaring, Candide takes the audience on a whirlwind tour of human folly and foolishness. Brimming with youthful innocence, Candide is certain that he lives in the best of all possible worlds. But an unrelenting series of ridiculously unfortunate events makes him question everything he has been taught.

ORPHEUS & EURYDICE (March 10-25)

In a timeless story drawn from mythology, Orpheus descends into the underworld to retrieve his lost Eurydice. But first he must tame the Furies and face Love’s challenge. Gluck’s groundbreaking opera, which bridges the musical worlds of Handel and Mozart with its ornate vocal lines and flowing melodies, forever changed the face of opera with its bold emphasis on dramatic clarity and emotional strength.

Director, choreographer and designer John Neumeier, a living legend in the dance world, creates a new production that showcases the virtuoso dancers of the Joffrey Ballet.

RIGOLETTO (May 12-June 3)

George Gagnidze as the title character in Rigoletto (2010); Photo: Robert Millard

George Gagnidze as the title character in Rigoletto (2010); Photo: Robert Millard

It’s more than just a cornerstone of opera repertoire; it’s also one of the most heartfelt of all stage works. Rigoletto is the unforgettable tale of a father’s rage, a daughter’s shame and a self-centered ruler who thinks he can get away with anything. Several of Verdi’s best-known tunes accentuate this timeless tragedy of sacrifice, betrayal and revenge.

Two Italian baritones share the title role of the court jester pushed to the emotional brink: the legendary Leo Nucci and charismatic powerhouse Ambrogio Maestri.

AUDRA McDONALD IN CONCERT (May 20)

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

Unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress, Audra McDonald—winner of an Emmy Award, two Grammy Awards and a record-setting six Tony Awards—returns to LA Opera in a not-to-be-missed concert. The Broadway legend brings her luminous soprano voice to an intimate evening of favorite show tunes, classic songs and original pieces written especially for her.

CROSSING (May 26)

Inspired by poet Walt Whitman’s experiences tending to wounded soldiers during the Civil War, this haunting, compassionate work by Matthew Aucoin, LA Opera’s Artist in Residence, explores the connections that come between us and pull us apart. As Whitman listens to wounded veterans share their memories and messages, he forges a bond with an enigmatic young soldier. Their encounter forces him to examine his own role as writer and poet. Intricately scored for chamber orchestra, with beautifully detailed choruses, Crossing shines in a special concert performance, featuring Rod Gilfry as Whitman and conducted by Aucoin himself.

USHER HOUSE/THE CANTERVILLE GHOST (June 22-24)

Ready for a spooky night out? The Broad Stage transforms into two different haunted houses in a double bill of operas by Gordon Getty. Writer Edgar Allen Poe takes the stage himself as the main character of Usher House, an unsettling chiller that has all the classic elements of Gothic horror: a high-strung recluse, a beautiful madwoman and a sinister doctor, all hidden away in a crumbling manor house full of secrets. The Canterville Ghost puts a deft comic spin on Oscar Wilde’s witty tale, in which the 300-year-old ghost of an English nobleman fails to impress his newest audience, a family of Americans who simply refuse to be frightened. 

To learn more about and purchase tickets for the 2017/18 season, click here.

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