Monthly Archives: February 2018

Myth and Recovery, Music and Rebellion: A Note from Music Director James Conlon on Orpheus and Eurydice

“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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Five Things You May Not Know About LA Opera’s Orpheus and Eurydice

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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Six Questions for John Neumeier

John Neumeier is director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer and lighting designer for LA Opera’s new production of Orpheus and Eurydice (performed here in its 1774 French revision as Orphée et Eurydice). His staging comes to Los Angeles after performances earlier this season at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and it will be presented next season by a third co-producer, the Hamburg State Opera, featuring the Hamburg Ballet, where Mr. Neumeier is director and chief choreographer. During rehearsals for the Chicago performances, he spoke with Roger Pines, dramaturg of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Director and choreographer John Neumeier works with dancers from The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago (Photo: Andrew Cioffi)

Director and choreographer John Neumeier works with dancers from The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago (Photo: Andrew Cioffi)

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Erin Morley Talks Candide, #MeToo and The Pursuit of Happiness

Soprano Erin Morley takes her job as a performer very seriously. That’s why she spends so much time dissecting the roles she sings to get to their true grit. Even an operetta like Candide, which is seemingly whimsical and lighthearted, has plenty of dark themes at its core that are relatable in today’s society.

Erin Morley as Cunegonde in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Candide." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Erin Morley as Cunegonde in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Candide. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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6 Black Opera Singers Who Changed the Game

February is the month of many things; scrambling to find a decent gift for your significant other for Valentine’s Day, praising the heavens for that three-day weekend for Presidents’ Day and — of course — Black History Month. From Jesse Owens’ historic achievements at the 1936 Summer Olympics to Bessie Coleman’s accomplishment of becoming the first Black female pilot in 1922 — achievements by Black individuals throughout American history are abundant.

But what about the opera world? We’ve rounded up six (although there are plenty more!) opera singers who changed the landscape of the art!

Tenor George Shirley and soprano Leontyne Price rehearse for"Così fan tutte" (Photo Rights: RCA Victor Records)

Tenor George Shirley and soprano Leontyne Price rehearse for Così fan tutte (Photo Rights: RCA Victor Records)

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Five Things To Know Before You See ‘Jonah and the Whale’

On March 16 and 17, LA Opera Education Department mounts the return of Jonah and the Whale, an opera for audiences of all ages by composer Jack Perla and librettist Velina Hasu Houston. Following in the tradition of previous Cathedral Project productions, Jonah and the Whale features professional opera singers in the leading roles and members of the LA Opera Orchestra, performing along with a large group of community-based performers drawn from schools, churches, choirs and orchestras from every part of Los Angeles.

Interested in attending? Here for five elements of the upcoming production that make it worth seeing! You can purchase tickets by clicking here.

A scene from LA Opera Education Department's 2014 production of Jonah and the Whale (Photo: Robert Millard ©)

A scene from LA Opera’s 2014 production of Jonah and the Whale (Photo: Robert Millard)

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Did You Know? LA Opera Has a Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator!

Due to its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, LA Opera is recognized as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator

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Read What Audiences Are Saying About Candide!

On January 27, we opened the second half of our 2017/18 season with Leonard Bernstein’s comedic operetta Candide. Interested in attending and want to know what people thought? Read below to read just some of the many audience reactions from the show!

Kelsey Grammer as Voltaire and Jack Swanson as Candide in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Candide." (Photo: Ken Howard)

Kelsey Grammer as Voltaire and Jack Swanson as Candide in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Candide. (Photo: Ken Howard)

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