Author Archives: LA Opera Staff

Maestro James Conlon on Don Carlo

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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Call for Entries – Artists and Designers – You’re Invited!

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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Five Questions for Bass Morris Robinson

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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Migran Agadzhanyan, former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist, Wins Second Prize at Operalia

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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LA Opera 90012: Inspiring a Love of Opera

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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An Inside Look at LA Opera’s Professional Development Day

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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Summertime At The Opera: What Are We Up To? — Part III

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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Why I Give: Jeffrey Sobel On Why He Supports LA Opera

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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The Arts Economy in Los Angeles

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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Three Things You May Not Know About Opera Camp!

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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Summertime At The Opera: What Are We Up To? — Part II

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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Check Out Our 2018/19 Family Programs!

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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Summertime At The Opera: What Are We Up To? — Part I

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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Honoring Tenor Andy Ramirez

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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Opera Under the Stars – Get Ready for LA Opera’s Simulcast

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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Get To Know LA Opera’s Summer 2018 Interns!

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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Love Our Annual Simulcast? Thank LA County.

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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Opera By The Numbers: How We’ve Reached New Audiences Through Education and Community Programs!

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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Opera Meets Literature: Usher House/The Canterville Ghost

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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Five Things You May Not Already Know About Scare Pair: Usher House/The Canterville Ghost

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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