PLÁCIDO DOMINGO ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD GENERAL DIRECTOR

JAMES CONLON ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD GENERAL DIRECTOR

CHRISTOPHER KOELSCH PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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Three Southern California college students were selected as the winners of LA Opera’s Rigoletto art contest.

Thanks to the generous support of GRoW @ Annenberg, a philanthropic initiative of the Annenberg Foundation, local college students were invited to create original artwork inspired by the company’s upcoming production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, which opens on May 12. Students from 18 different southern California colleges submitted a total of 53 entries in a competition to see their artwork appear on the Rigoletto program cover and displayed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The winning submissions of the 2018 LA Opera Poster Contest (From left: Benjamin Macias, First Place; Faith Angelie Dela Cruz, Second Place; Sean Devine Robinson, Third Place)

The winning submissions of the 2018 LA Opera Art Contest (From left: Benjamin Macias, first place; Faith Angelie Dela Cruz, second place; Sean Devine Robinson, third place)

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Fifty plus children are lined up onstage, holding hands and singing a victory march at the end of the children’s opera Brundibár as part of LA Opera’s Opera Camp. At the center, holding hands and singing with the same energy as the children, is Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger. Before her passing last month, she traveled around the world to attend nearly every performance of Brundibár. Her story has been an inspiration and a driving force behind Opera Camp.

Ela Weissberger onstage with Opera Camp students in 2013

Ela Weissberger onstage with Opera Camp participants in 2013.

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One of the aspects that make LA Opera productions so grand is the hardworking staff at our costume shop. Located between the Fashion District and Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, LA Opera’s Costume Shop not only houses pieces from our current productions, but also contains archived garments from shows throughout our 32-year history.

Mark Lamos’ opulent production of Verdi’s Rigoletto contains intricate and vividly colored costumes designed by Constance Hoffman. In anticipation for LA Opera’s upcoming production of this Verdi masterpiece, here is an exclusive look at what our costumers are working on as we prepare to open on May 12!

The titular character's costume pieces from LA Opera's upcoming production of Verdi's Rigoletto (Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

The titular character’s jester costume from LA Opera’s upcoming production of Verdi’s Rigoletto (Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

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LA Opera is no stranger to the impassioned operas of Giuseppe Verdi. In the last six seasons alone, the company has staged five operas written by the Italian composer, from popular favorites including La Traviata, Falstaff and Macbeth, to lesser-known works like The Two Foscari and Nabucco.

Another classic – Rigoletto – returns to the stage on May 12. Here are five things you may not know about LA Opera’s upcoming production of Rigoletto!

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

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

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LA Opera has a long history of presenting new and unfamiliar contemporary opera on its stage. It is within the company’s mission to “produce world-class opera that preserves, promotes, and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit, and artistic sensibility unique to Los Angeles”. Under the umbrella of the Contemporary Opera Initiative is Off Grand, a series of performances that take place in venues beyond the mainstage with a focus on experimental chamber work.

Thumbprint (2017); Photo: Larry Ho

LA Opera Off Grand and Beth Morrison Project’s production of Thumbprint (2017) (Photo: Larry Ho)

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Modern and contemporary work is not new to LA Opera audiences. Since its inception, the new and innovative have been an integral part of LA Opera’s history.

The New Yorker‘s Alex Ross recently said of LA Opera, “No American company of LA Opera’s size…is more committed to new and unusual work.”

Persona (Photo Credit: Lawrence K. Ho)

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As a non-profit dedicated to the greater good, LA Opera relies on the generous contributions of our donors to produce world-class opera.

When you make a charitable donation to LA Opera, you become a member of the Friends of LA Opera. Members enjoy exclusive benefits that help make their opera-going experience that much more memorable.

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Ever wondered how children get the “opera bug”? For 10 year-old Jesse McBride, it all started with a visit to his school by LA Opera. In 2017, LA Opera brought their Elementary In-School Opera program to Rockdale Elementary, where Jesse attended 4th grade. For 5 weeks, he and his classmates worked to learn their roles as the chorus in The Legend of Cannery Row, culminating in a performance for their fellow students and families.

Photo: Taso Papadakis

Photo: Taso Papadakis

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Timed to coincide with LA Opera’s production of Verdi’s classic Rigoletto, this concert program focuses on the emergence of Verdi, Italy’s quintessential composer, out of the bel canto greats that preceded him. This concert features LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists, with music and program arranged by LA Opera Artist-In-Residence Matthew Aucoin.

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John Neumeier’s haunting new production of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice has been been called “exquisite” (LA Times) and “an achingly beautiful dream of a show” (Chicago Tribune). But what does the public think? Check out what audiences are saying about LA Opera’s Orpheus and Eurydice!

Dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Orpheus and Eurydice." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Orpheus and Eurydice. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sing Carmen? LA Opera is presenting a free concert called Great Opera Choruses on Saturday, April 28th, where you can do just that!

Great Opera Choruses (2014); Photo: Jennifer Babcock

Grant Gershon conducting the audience at Great Opera Choruses (2014); Photo: Jennifer Babcock

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JUST ANNOUNCED:

Stephen Fry — English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, and film director — will join Maestro James Conlon for a conversation about the Orpheus & Eurydice myth throughout literature and music.

The conversation is free to anyone who attends the matinee performance on Sunday, March 25 and will take place directly after the performance.

If you need tickets for the performance, click here.

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On Friday, March 16, over 400 members of the Los Angeles community will come together to perform Jonah and the Whale.  The production will feature professional opera singers alongside community performers of all ages and experience levels.

The Community Opera provides an opportunity for people from all over Los Angeles to come together and create art. But it also provides an opportunity for families to get to know each other. And carve out a space to learn about themselves together.

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Families at rehearsal for Jonah and the Whale

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The following is a post from longtime supporter and Life Trustee, Alicia Garcia Clark. Along with her husband Ed Clark, they founded Hispanics for LA Opera and funded productions such as Florencia en el Amazonas, La Bohème, and Il Postino. Ed and Alicia Clark are so devoted to LA Opera that they have included the company in their estate plans.

Ed and Alicia G. Clark

Ed and Alicia G. Clark

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Joffrey dancer Victoria Jaiani knows a thing or two about ballet — she’s been training in the art since age 10. Since joining the Joffrey Ballet in 2003, she’s gone on to perform roles such as Giselle (Giselle), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Terpsichore (Apollo) and many more.

Though she’s well-seasoned in ballet, Jaiani is new to the world of opera. Currently appearing in Orpheus and Eurydice, she had the opportunity to answer our questions on working with opera singers, as well as her insight on the daily life of a ballerina.

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili , two dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, as Orpheus and Eurydice in the "Imaginery Ballet" that concludes LA Opera's 2018 production of "Orpheus and Eurydice." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili , two dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, as Orpheus and Eurydice in the “Imaginary Ballet” that concludes LA Opera’s 2018 production of Orpheus and Eurydice. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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On March 10, LA Opera premieres John Neumeier’s new staging of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice in partnership with The Joffrey Ballet. Coincidentally, the Joffrey also opens its production of Krzysztof Pastor’s “critically-acclaimed” re-telling of Romeo & Juliet the same week at The Music Center.

Fabrice Calmels and Jeraldine Mendoza, two dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Orpheus and Eurydice." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Fabrice Calmels and Jeraldine Mendoza, two dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Orpheus and Eurydice. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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For a lyric-coloratura soprano like Lisette Oropesa, it can be easy to be pigeonholed into the many mistreated ingenue roles that dominate the repertoire. But Oropesa has broken that mold. At only 34 years old, she already has a wide array of repertoire. From Baroque to bel canto to new music, she has sung it all.

This season, Oropesa returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage in two back-to-back roles. On March 10, she makes her role debut as Eurydice in John Neumeier’s new staging of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice. In May, she assumes the role of Gilda in the first three performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Lisette Oropesa as Eurydice (with Maxim Mironov, rear left, as Orpheus) in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Orpheus and Eurydice." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Lisette Oropesa as Eurydice (with Maxim Mironov, rear left, as Orpheus) in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Orpheus and Eurydice. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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“But Lot’s wife looked back as she lingered behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Genesis 19:17, Luke 17:32

“Then he turned to her. It was too soon; she was still in the cavern. He saw her in the dim light, and he held out his arms to clasp her; but on the instant she was gone.
The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology)

The act of looking back, with its rewards and perils, reveals, conceals, mystifies and clarifies. It can be a source of inspiration or of loss and regret. It is an inducement to creativity or a temptation to indulge our regressive tendencies.

James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

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The French version of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice) may have premiered in 1774, but John Neumeier’s take on this classical masterpiece takes a myriad of liberties to update the setting. 

On March 10, LA Opera continues its 2017/18 season with Gluck’s heartbreaking opera, in partnership with the Joffrey Ballet. Neumeier’s production has already been hailed as “achingly beautiful” (Chicago Tribune) and “brilliantly reimagined” (Opera News). Not sure of what to expect? Here are a few things you may not already know about LA Opera’s upcoming production of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Scenes from John Neumeier's production of "Orpheus and Eurydice" at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

Scenes from John Neumeier’s production of “Orpheus and Eurydice” at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

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