Author Archives: LA Opera Staff

Q&A: Elizabeth DeShong on her first Mozart role in “The Clemency of Titus”

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong sings her first Mozart role in LA Opera’s The Clemency of Titus. She gave us her thoughts on the character Sesto, a Roman patrician who is caught between his love love for another and his loyalty to Emperor Titus (you know, the ultimate “pals before gals” dilemma).

Elizabeth DeShong as Sesto in LA Opera's 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Elizabeth DeShong as Sesto in LA Opera’s 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

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How We Built Rome in “The Clemency of Titus”

Our new production of The Clemency of Titus features some pretty realistic stage effects. Like setting the entire stage on fire (yeah, you read that right). It took a team of 100 more than a year to create these state-of-the-art effects, and the results are mind-blowing.

Through a series of three behind-the-scenes videos, take a look at how we created stage magic in The Clemency of Titus. Can you guess how many sheets of gold leaf are meticulously applied onto the stage walls? The numbers may surprise you.

A scene from LA Opera's 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s 2019 production of The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

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Why Opera Camp? Hear From Our Experts.

Are you between the ages of 9-17 years old, and looking to get on stage and have fun this summer? We have a spot for you at Opera Camp just for you! The three-week intensive is back, where you rehearse and perform an opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Whether you’ve mastered your first Mozart piece, or you’ve never sung a note, you’ll find your voice here.

Why should you join Opera Camp? We could tell you…But instead we asked the experts. Keep reading to find out what former Opera Campers have to say about why they love Opera Camp.

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Q&A: Russell Thomas on Emperor Titus, Mozart and more

Russell Thomas has dazzled LA Opera audiences as Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca and Pollione in Norma. And now the superstar tenor is back to headline The Clemency of TitusWe caught up with Russell just in time for opening night (on March 2) — our own Titus gave us the skinny on this opera and why tenors have a bone to pick with Mozart.

Tenor Russell Thomas as Titus in The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

Tenor Russell Thomas as Titus in The Clemency of Titus (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

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Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day—But Mtsensk Was

LA Opera may be a young company—but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some legends lurking around the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion halls. where an LA Opera staff member doesn’t just tell them all the best parts of LA Opera’s past, present, and future—they show them, too (you can join at anytime). But this story was too good not to share. So, cast your mind back to a long, long time ago—the year 2001.

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

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You’re a Winner, Baby! Take a Look at LA Opera’s ‘Titus’ Art Contest Winners

About 50 up-and-coming artists from Southern California colleges entered LA Opera’s annual College Art Contest for The Clemency of Titus, and we’ve now chosen our three winners.

LA Opera's College Art Contest Winners for 'The Clemency of Titus'

LA Opera’s College Art Contest Winners for ‘The Clemency of Titus’ (From Left to Right: Designs by Jesslyn Bundy, Dalia Marin and Alyssa Damore)

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15 Unique Ways to Sample Opera Next Season

Have you heard the news yet? LA Opera has officially announced its 2019/20 season. And boy is it a good one. From world premieres to company favorites — not to mention the 154th role debut for Plácido Domingo — the 34th season has something for everyone. Don’t believe us? Scroll down for some of the most exciting highlights from LA Opera’s 19/20 season!

Komische Oper Berlin's 2019 production of La Boheme (Photo: Iko Freese)

Komische Oper Berlin’s 2019 production of La Bohème (Photo: Iko Freese)

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This is LAOperady — Our 19/20 Season Guessing Game!

The titles of the operas that will grace our stage (or stages really, since we bring opera all around Los Angeles) for the 2019/20 Season will be officially announced on Jan. 27. That may seem ages away, but we’re bringing you a little game to help pass the time. We’re calling it, “LAOperady,” borrowing a page out of the book from America’s favorite trivia show, Jeopardy! The winner of our little trivia game will score two VIP tickets to one 19/20 opera of your choice.*

Kicking off Jan. 20 on Facebook and Instagram (if you’re not following us yet, hurry and do it now), we’ll be posting a trivia question each day, with the full reveal of the operas that comprise the 19/20 season on Sunday, Jan. 27.

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Inside the Costume Shop: The Clemency of Titus

One of the best parts of a brand-new production is that everything is made from the ground up — and LA Opera’s The Clemency of Titus is no exception.

There’s still some time before the show opens on March 2, but the team at the costume shop is already at work creating these fresh new garments. From hand-painted details to the thousands of flowers used for headbands and accessories, costume designer Mattie Ullrich’s pieces are so ornate, they’re already perfect for an Empress.

Take an exclusive first-look at The Clemency of Titus costumes below!

(Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

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The ‘Magic’ of Opera: Soprano Jasmine Mangal Talks “The Magic Dream”

Thousands of students are about to experience the magic of opera for the first time. What can they expect? To start, there is Mozart’s exquisite music, a soprano singing stratospheric high notes and even an evil villain dressed as a hot dog.

Welcome to The Magic Dream, LA Opera’s retelling of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The production is currently touring performing arts venues around Los Angeles and introduces kids to the magic of opera (and laughter).

We caught up with Jasmine Mangal, an LA Opera Teaching Artist performing in The Magic Dream, on which it’s like to be living her dream as a singer.

LA Opera Teaching Artists rehearse for The Magic Dream.

Jasmine Mangal (center) and LA Opera Teaching Artists rehearse for The Magic Dream.

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Miah Im Discusses Her Life as Head of Music Staff at LA Opera

As LA Opera’s Head of Music Staff, Miah Im wears many hats during the course of any given day. This fall, she was the associate conductor for Satyagraha and a rehearsal pianist for Hansel and Gretel.

Miah Im, Head of Music Staff at LA Opera

Miah Im, Head of Music Staff at LA Opera

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

**DEADLINE EXTENDED to MONDAY, DECEMBER 17**

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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LA Opera: By The Numbers

LA Opera wouldn’t exist without its supporters. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with ticket sales covering only about 40% of our budget, donors make it possible to present world-class opera in Los Angeles. But how exactly are charitable dollars used?

A breakdown of the role your donation plays in bringing our stage to life.

A breakdown of the role your donation plays in bringing our stage to life.

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Read What Audiences Are Saying About Hansel and Gretel!

Last week, LA Opera had its opening night of Humperdinck’s beloved opera Hansel and GretelHailed by LA Times as “a fantasy world audiences will be happy to join” and “a visual treat for the young and a delectable musical entree for adults.” by Broadway World, critics are enchanted by this fantastical production.

But what does the public think? Scroll down to read some audience reactions to LA Opera’s Hansel and Gretel!

Susan Graham (center) as the Witch, with Sasha Cooke (Hansel) and Liv Redpath (Gretel) in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Hansel & Gretel" (photo ©Cory Weaver)

Susan Graham (center) as the Witch, with Sasha Cooke (Hansel) and Liv Redpath (Gretel) in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Hansel and Gretel. (Photo: ©Cory Weaver)

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The Measure of Operatic Success

Give a ten-year-old math student a tape measure and she might grow up to become the next great set designer. LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement Department knows that a lifelong fascination with the arts can take root one inch, one shoe box or one classroom at a time.

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James Conlon on Hansel and Gretel: “[It’s] not a children’s opera!

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is not a children’s opera! Yes, you can bring your children to it, and they will love it—as I did when I was 12 years old—but that doesn’t mean it is only for children.

Liv Redpath (Gretel) and Sasha Cooke (Hansel) in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Hansel & Gretel" (photo ©Karen Almond)

Liv Redpath (Gretel) and Sasha Cooke (Hansel) in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Hansel and Gretel (photo ©Karen Almond)

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From the Classroom to the Stage: Local Teens Perform in an Opera They Helped Create

Over the past two years, 50 adventuresome students from Zoo Magnet High School helped create a new opera. Next week, they will perform the show for the first time. Inspired by the creative process and the adrenaline rush of performing, these teens—even the ones who originally may have resisted the idea of enjoying opera—are now embracing their power as artists and storytellers.

Students perform in The Wreck of the Miranda

Students perform in The Wreck of the Miranda

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Five Highlights From LA Opera’s Hansel and Gretel!

On Nov. 17, Doug Fitch’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel returns to the LA Opera stage for the first time since 2006. From the mythical forest creatures that grace the stage, to an iconic role debut from Susan Graham, the spooky adventures of Hansel and Gretel come to life in this fantastical production. Before you go, here are some highlights to get you excited!

A scene from LA Opera's 2006 production of Hansel and Gretel (Photo: Robert Millard )

A scene from LA Opera’s 2006 production of Hansel and Gretel (Photo: Robert Millard )

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Composer Joby Talbot on Re-Scoring ‘Vampyr’

Joby Talbot is a composer for concert, stage and screen. His re-scoring of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr makes its world premiere on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. at the Theatre at ACE Hotel. Below are his notes and thoughts on Dreyer’s thrilling masterpiece.

A still from Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1932 film "Vampyr."

A still from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 film Vampyr.

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Read What Audiences Are Saying About Satyagraha!

Last week, LA Opera opened it’s production of Philip Glass’ quintessential Satyagraha to rave reviews. Phelim McDermott’s fantastical production has already been hailed as “exquisite …[Satyagraha] is better still and a landmark for the company” (LA Times) and “a rich visual spectacle” (Broadway World).

Though the critics have been enthusiastic, what do audiences think? Read below for some audience reactions to LA Opera’s Satyagraha!

Sean Panikkar (center, in white) as Gandhi with the men of the LA Opera Chorus in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Satyagraha." (Photo: Cory Weaver)

Sean Panikkar (center, in white) as Gandhi with the men of the LA Opera Chorus in LA Opera’s 2018 production of “Satyagraha.” (Photo: Cory Weaver)

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