PLÁCIDO DOMINGO ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD GENERAL DIRECTOR

JAMES CONLON ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD GENERAL DIRECTOR

CHRISTOPHER KOELSCH PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Blog

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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Soprano Summer Hassan graduated from LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist program last year, but she’s kept in touch with us since she’s departed from Los Angeles. Fresh off-the-heels of her performances as Virginia Otis in LA Opera’s recent production of Gordon Getty’s Scare Pair: Usher House/The Canterville Ghost, Hassan is heading back home to Philadelphia before embarking on one of the most exciting endeavors of her career: competing in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition.

Summer Hassan; Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

Summer Hassan; Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

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Summer always means new faces when we welcome our interns at LA Opera. Curious to know what it means to spend the summer at the opera? Hint: it’s more than just singing all day.

Learn more about our interns below!

LA Opera's 2018 Summer Interns

LA Opera’s 2018 Summer Interns

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LA Opera’s Simulcast is one of our newest and most expansive programs, sharing the first opera of the season with thousands of Angelenos — in three diverse geographic locations and all at the same time.

Through the generous commitment of Los Angeles County and the Board of Supervisors, LA Opera will continue its simulcasts on Sept. 22, 2018 with Verdi’s Don Carlo, live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and live broadcasts at El Cariso Community Regional Park in Sylmar and at the Santa Monica Pier.

Opera at the Park in Exposition Park (2017)

Opera at the Park in Exposition Park (2017)

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Ever wonder where your favorite LA Opera artists go when the season is over? Well, they travel the world! From Santa Fe to Salzburg, these singers have a busy summer ahead performing on stages around the globe. Read below to see where some of them are traveling before returning to Los Angeles!

Placido Domingo (left) and James Conlon (third from left) confer at a rehearsal for "Nabucco," joined by assistant conductor Louis Loraseb and Mr. Conlon's musical assistant, Ignazio Terrasi (photo: Ken Howard)

Placido Domingo (left) and James Conlon (third from left) confer at a rehearsal for “Nabucco,” joined by assistant conductor Louis Loraseb and Mr. Conlon’s musical assistant, Ignazio Terrasi (photo: Ken Howard)

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It’s no secret that we’re passionate about opera. Here at LA Opera, we want as many people as possible to experience this remarkable art form. We invite scores of school children into free performances and provide specially priced tickets for community groups at every mainstage performance.  We also travel to schools and teach children to perform an opera for their community.

Baritone Cedric Berry at KUSC’s playground pop-up (Photo: Tony Roman)

Baritone Cedric Berry at KUSC’s playground pop-up (Photo: Tony Roman)

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If you keep on the pulse of arts and entertainment (and of course you do, you’re on the LA Opera blog 😉) we’re sure you’ve noticed an influx of horror movies hit the theatres, scary TV shows on the small screen and a few spooky events crop up around the Los Angeles area. Why has the horror genre seen such a resurgence, and a summer one at that?! We like to think it has something to do the fact that horror is one of the only genres that elicits a physical response — a cold sweat, a yelp, a scream, a cry for help in the middle of the night when you’ve thought you’ve just seen a ghost.

Sure, you could go to the beach and dine al fresco all summer long, but really — this is California and you can do that all year long, so why not do something a bit out of the ordinary and get your spook on this summer? Here are five creepy things to do in LA this summer.

Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in "Usher House" (photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in “Usher House” (photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

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Opera and literature have long been paired together. The early operas of Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Handel were primarily, if not exclusively, based on tales derived from Greek mythology. As opera expanded outside of the royal court and into the public following the classical period in the mid-18th century, so did the story lines — librettists and composers began finding inspiration outside of mythology, but still within the written word.

On June 22, LA Opera stages the LA premiere of Gordon Getty’s double-bill Usher House and The Canterville Ghost. Labelled quirkily as the “Scare Pair,” both operas take inspiration from 19th century works of literature.

Dominic Armstrong (front) as Edgar Allen Poe, with Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in "Usher House" (Photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

Dominic Armstrong (front) as Edgar Allen Poe, with Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in “Usher House” (Photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

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LA Opera is just a few days from the Los Angeles premiere of Gordon Getty’s Scare Pair: Usher House/The Canterville Ghost. This Off Grand presentation is the last production of the 2017/18 season. In anticipation for the performances, here are five things you may not already know about the production!

Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in "Usher House" (photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

Keith Phares as Roderick Usher and Jamielyn Duggan as Madeline Usher in “Usher House” (photo: Steven Pisano / Center for Contemporary Opera)

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Through the combined efforts of community venues and LA Opera, the public has access to opera throughout Los Angeles County, with recitals tailored to each individual community. Performances take place at a variety of spaces including libraries, museums, hospitals, community centers, senior centers and outdoor venues.

Read about LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia’s experience singing at a previous concert at City of Hope, in anticipation of an upcoming concert on June 15.

LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia

LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia

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