PLÁCIDO DOMINGO ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD GENERAL DIRECTOR

JAMES CONLON RICHARD SEAVER MUSIC DIRECTOR

CHRISTOPHER KOELSCH SEBASTIAN PAUL AND MARYBELLE MUSCO PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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Maestro James Conlon returns to the orchestra pit at LA Opera for Verdi’s Don Carlo on Sept. 22. Read his notes and thoughts on Verdi’s masterpiece as he prepares for the performance!

Maestro James Conlon with Bass Ferruccio Furlanetto during LA Opera's 2006 production of Don Carlo (Photo: Robert Millard)

Maestro James Conlon with Bass Ferruccio Furlanetto during LA Opera’s 2006 production of Don Carlo (Photo: Robert Millard)

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LA Opera is hosting a contest for currently enrolled college students in Southern California!

You are invited to submit artwork for LA Opera’s spring production of Mozart’s The Clemency of Titus! The winning submission will be featured on the cover of the show’s performance program and displayed at the home of LA Opera, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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In less than two weeks, Angelenos will enjoy the epic tale of Don Carlo live as we take the magic of LA Opera from the stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to audiences at the Santa Monica Pier and El Cariso Community Park in Sylmar. 

Audiences enjoying LA Opera's free, live simulcast of Bizet's Carmen at Exposition Park in 2017 (Photo: Forest Casey)

Audiences enjoying LA Opera’s free, live simulcast of Bizet’s Carmen at Exposition Park in 2017 (Photo: Forest Casey)

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Morris Robinson left a potential career in football to pursue his dream of becoming a singer, making a name for himself with his resonant bass voice, towering stature and commanding stage presence. His appearances as the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo and as Parsi Rustomji in Satyagraha mark his seventh and eighth roles in Los Angeles, after previous performances here in Rigoletto, Nabucco and The Abduction from the Seraglio, to name a few.

LA Opera chatted with Robinson recently about his upcoming roles at LA Opera and his previous path to football stardom.

Bass Morris Robinson

Bass Morris Robinson

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On Sept. 22, LA Opera opens its 2018-19 season with Verdi’s timeless classic Don Carlo. With rich orchestrations, thundering choruses and an endless flow of rapturous melodies, one of Verdi’s grandest and greatest works is an enthralling tale of morality and mortality.

Rehearsals are already well underway for the performance, and the artists and staff are busy preparing for opening night. Here are seven facts about LA Opera’s upcoming revival of Don Carlo to look forward to!

A scene from LA Opera's production of "Don Carlo." (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s production of Don Carlo. (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

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Forty young singers representing 24 nations competed at this year’s edition of Operalia, the international vocal competition founded by Plácido Domingo and sponsored by Rolex. The winners were announced after the Sept. 1 finals, which took place at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon.

Migran Agadzhanyan, former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist

Migran Agadzhanyan, former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist

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Tenor Joshua Guerrero has lived more lives in his 30s than most people do in 80 years. He spent his early years split between two cities, worked a plethora of jobs in different fields before he eventually pursued opera as his main career. The former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist has since sung at opera houses all over the world, including English National Opera, The Glyndebourne Festival and, most recently, Santa Fe Opera. Though his innate talent and hard work has led him to where he is today, he credits much of his success to his time at LA Opera.

Former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Joshua Guerrero (Photo: Gabriel Guzman)

Former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Joshua Guerrero (Photo: Gabriel Guzman)

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Opera is larger than life. It’s full of dramatic stories told through extraordinary music. The stage is populated by fascinating characters brought to life by beautiful voices. While the stage is transformed into a different world, the audience finds themselves transformed as well — their laughter, tears, gasps and applause are a vital part of an opera performance.

LA Opera’s 2006 production of “Hansel and Gretel.” (Photo: Robert Millard)

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Our 2018/19 season is a little less than a month away and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is buzzing with excitement; the set is loading in, the corridors are once again filled with opera singing, and we took our regular trip to the costume shop to show you how they’re coming along. Our costumers are putting the finishing touches on the costumes that you’ll see on the stage come Sept. 22.

Arya Roshanian/LA Opera

Arya Roshanian/LA Opera

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No singer’s path to stardom is a straight line some experience twists and turns in life that eventually lead them to the stage. They may even have their sights set on a completely different career, but possess a natural talent that is so potent they’ll have no choice but to pursue for a career in opera. This was exactly the case for tenor Ben Bliss.

Tenor Ben Bliss (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Tenor Ben Bliss (Photo: Dario Acosta)

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Giving Opera “Campers” the tools to engage in their communities is one of the important missions of LA Opera’s Opera Camp, an annual three-week intensive where youth from all around Los Angeles gather to sing, dance and learn how to tackle deeper social issues using the power of music and acting. Last week, we enjoyed the culminating performances of our 2018 session with The White Bird of Poston and The Prospector. Though we spent ample time teaching the kids about opera, we also took the time to teach our LA Opera Teaching Artists as well.

LA Opera Teaching Artists participating in Opera Camp's Professional Development Day on July 23

LA Opera Teaching Artists participating in Opera Camp’s Professional Development Day on July 23

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Though there’s nothing on our main stage, the summer months provide our team the crucial time for planning and prep that the season simply doesn’t always allow. Over the last few weeks, we’ve shared about each department’s summer prep activities in anticipation of our season opening with Verdi’s Don Carlo on Sept. 22. We’ve already gone to almost every department at LA Opera asking what each team does while the stage is dark during the summer. In this final installment of our series, learn about what our Costume and Development departments worked on over the summer!

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LA Opera Supporter Jeffrey Sobel was introduced to opera, he says, through the “loving foresight of my parents, who always believed that early and consistent exposure to the arts would enrich my experience of life.”

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Los Angeles is thriving with culture, diversity and talent. People come to the City of Angels from all over the world to chase their dreams. Whether they come to life on the stage, on the screen, or on the walls of a gallery, where would all these dream chasers be without the integral arts and cultural institutions that bring art to fruition? These organizations play a quintessential role as some of the most vital promoters of community engagement and creators of economic prosperity within the region.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Robert Millard/LA Opera (©) Copyright 2003 by Robert Millard)

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Robert Millard/LA Opera
(©) Copyright 2003 by Robert Millard)

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Every summer, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion fills up with students ages 9-17 for LA Opera’s Opera Camp. This year, the program has expanded and we have over 70 campers learning everything there is to know about opera. Over the next three weeks, they will present TWO fully-staged operas for friends, family and the community.

Eli Villanueva, Resident Stage Director for LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement, with kids from Opera Camp 2018.

Eli Villanueva, Resident Stage Director for LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement, with kids from Opera Camp 2018.

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A few weeks ago, we talked about what our staff is up to during the breezy summer months at LA Opera. With the stage dark until September, the team is hard at work getting things in order for the 2018/19 season.

LA Opera's 2015 production of Pagliacci (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera)

LA Opera’s 2015 production of Pagliacci (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera)

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At LA Opera, we believe that a person is never too young or too old for great stories set to gorgeous music. Thanks to our Education and Community Engagement programs, we are able to offer an array of family programs that make opera performances accessible to all ages. Take a look below at the family programs we have planned for the 2018/19 season as we strive to create your family’s greatest memories!

Elementary In-School Opera

Elementary In-School Opera

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Summer is a peaceful time on the LA Opera stage — but though the stage is quiet, the offices remain abuzz! With the house empty for the next two and a half months, we use this time wisely to prepare for next season’s productions.

A scene from William Friedkin 2004 production of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at LA Opera

A scene from William Friedkin 2004 production of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at LA Opera

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All of us at LA Opera are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of tenor Andres (Andy) Ramirez. Andy has been a part of the LAO family since he was 11 years old, when he sang in the 2001 production of Puccini’s Tosca as a member of the LA Children’s Chorus. He participated in one of the first Opera Camps and continued his musical education at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). He was 28 years old.

Tenor Andy Ramirez

Tenor Andy Ramirez

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Mark Your Calendars. We’re presenting a free, live simulcast of Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Plácido Domingo and conducted by James Conlon, will be broadcast live in high-definition from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to the big screen at El Cariso Community Regional Park in Sylmar and at Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

Opera at the Beach (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Opera at the Beach (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

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See past articles → LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.