Author Archives: LA Opera Staff

Inside the Costume Shop: Candide

One of the aspects that make LA Opera productions so grand is the hardworking staff at our costume shop. Located in 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.

In anticipation of Candide, here is an exclusive look at what our costumers are working on as we prepare to open on Jan. 27.

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

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This Isn’t a Lesson, It’s Entertainment!: Introducing Young Audiences to Opera

When tenor Nathan Granner and mezzo-soprano Joanna Lynn-Jacobs step on stage for Saturday Mornings at the Opera it will be their first time performing with LA Opera. But it won’t be their first time performing together.  They have spent the last couple of years performing together as classmates at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. Both are excited to use their skills and training to share their love of opera with young audiences.

Tenor Nathan Granner and mezzo-soprano Joanna Lynn-Jacobs in Who Wants To Be an Opera Singer?

Tenor Nathan Granner and mezzo-soprano Joanna Lynn-Jacobs in Who Wants To Be an Opera Singer?

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Behind the Masterpiece: Everything You Need to Know About Candide

One of the greatest works in Western literature, Voltaire’s 1759 satirical novel Candide, or Optimism follows its eponymous hero on a whirlwind tour throughout much of the known world. Bernstein’s 1956 musicalization of the novel followed almost as many twists and turns on its journey from Broadway to the opera house.

On Jan. 27, we resume our 2017-18 season with Bernstein’s masterpiece. Before you go, here is everything you need to know about Candide.

A still from the original 1956 production of Bernstein's Candide. (From left to right: Max Adrian, Louis Edmonds, Barbara Cook and Robert Rounseville).

A still from the original 1956 production of Bernstein’s Candide. (From left to right: Max Adrian, Louis Edmonds, Barbara Cook and Robert Rounseville).

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Five Highlights from LA Opera’s Candide to Look Forward To

On Jan. 27, LA Opera returns for the second half of its 2017-18 season with Leonard Bernstein’s classic operetta Candide. With the premiere only weeks away, here are five highlights to look forward to in the lavish production.

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

A scene from Candide (2015); Photo: Karli Cadel / Glimmerglass Festival

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Holiday Caroling Generates an Astonishing Response from an ICU Patient

When the nurses at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center had their morning huddle in preparation for another day in the ICU, they knew it was going to be a special day. While their normal days involve treating patients in crisis, this day would include the annual visit from LA Opera’s Holiday Music Tour.

LA Opera artists sing at City of Hope Medical Center for the Hope for the Holidays concert

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Five Holiday Cocktails Based On Your Favorite Operas

The holidays are right around the corner and LA Opera wants to help you celebrate! In anticipation for the upcoming festivities, here is a list of five opera-themed cocktails to serve at your next holiday party!

LA Opera’s 2014 production of La Traviata (Photo: Craig T Mathew/LA Opera)

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Roundup: Re-Watch LA Opera’s Pre-Performance Lectures From 2017

Prior to every performance, LA Opera’s acclaimed Music Director Maestro James Conlon and other scholars of note hold an engaging and informative talk about the opera our audience is about to see. Generously sponsored by The Flora L. Thornton Foundation and The Opera League of Los Angeles, these talks are free of charge to those attending the performance and take place in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

As LA Opera looks forward to the new year, here’s a recap of our Pre-Show Talks for the beginning of our 2017-18 season!

LA Opera’s production of ‘Macbeth’ at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Photo Credit: Lawrence K. Ho)

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Alma Guzman Discusses Why She Gives to LA Opera

For Alma Guzman, Los Angeles would be a difficult city to live in were it not for LA Opera. She expresses, “It does something to you…it’s very healing…it just enriches my life.”Alma has loved opera from the time she was a child living in Vienna, where she was able to stand in the back of the theater for performances at the Staatsoper for five cents apiece. Her parents encouraged her passion for opera, her father himself having participated in a “Claque,” where he was granted free admission to operas so long as he applauded especially loudly for particular singers only.

Alma Guzman

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In-School Opera Teaches Important Lessons Both On and Off the Stage

Opera not only offers transcendence and expands imaginations, but can also educate the public on social issues. LA Opera’s Elementary and Secondary In-School Operas do just that. Students from all over Los Angeles County learned this themselves just a few weeks ago when they performed alongside LA Opera artists in the Secondary In-School Opera (SISO), The White Bird of Poston, composed by Eli Villanueva with libretto by Leslie Stevens. This opera explores themes of service and citizenship, as well as the issues of prejudice, racism and cultural differences.

Students perform in Eli Villanueva’s The White Bird of Poston

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Candide: An Operetta for Everyone

What can be said about composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein that hasn’t already been said before? As one of the most prolific figures of the 20th century, the virtuoso has been deemed as “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history” by The New York Times. However, for those deeply familiar with his life and work, he’s affectionately known simply as “Lenny.”

Plácido Domingo and Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1986)

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Five Highlights From The Second Half of Our 2017-18 Season

On Nov. 19, we wrapped up our last production of the year with Verdi’s Nabucco. Though we’ll be taking a brief hiatus from the stage until the new year, there is still much to be excited about in the second half of our season! With both company premieres and established revivals underway, there is something for everyone — especially if you have folks to shop for.

Can’t wait until January to get your opera fix? We can’t either. Here are five reasons to look forward to the rest of our season!

Photos by: Steve Cohn/Steve Cohn Photography

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Celebrating Plácido Domingo’s 50 Years in Los Angeles — With A Concert

Fifty years ago to the day— on November 17, 1967 — the fast-rising Spanish tenor on tour with the New York City Opera took to the stage of the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, to sing the title role in Alberto Ginastera’s Don Rodrigo. By the time the curtain came down, it was clear that Plácido Domingo was destined for stardom. But few could have predicted the profound and lasting impact that the young singer would make on the city’s cultural life.

On November 17 2017, LA Opera will celebrate its General Director with a star studded concert featuring artists from across the musical spectrum.

Placido Domingo on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Photo: Art Streiber)

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The Generations of Opera: Fostering a New Age of Opera Lovers

With Hollywood as LA Opera’s backyard, there is always something to do. In a place so saturated with both art and entertainment, you could live in the city for a lifetime and always find a new adventure. For children and adults, Los Angeles is a wonderland of entertainment opportunities, and world-class opera is one of them. At LA Opera, parents can expose their kids to unforgettable mainstage productions, as well as programs created especially for children.

Pagliacci (2015); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

The cast of Pagliacci (2015)

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Opera Meets Film: How Persona Moves From Screen To Stage, To The Screen Again

How do movies and opera relate? To some, a conclusive answer may not be obvious — each art differs exponentially in many aspects. But when you take away the blatant differences, such as the respective emphases on music and the spoken word, there are commonalities that bring the two together. What opera and film share, along with most all performing arts, is the attention to human emotion.

A scene from “Persona.” (Photo: Noah Stern Weber, courtesy of Beth Morrison Projects)

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La Belle et la Bête: Notes from Composer Philip Glass

Interested in going out this Halloween weekend but can’t figure out what to do? Join us at the Theatre at ACE Hotel for Cocteau/Glass’ La Belle et la Bête! Our Saturday and Tuesday shows include after-parties at the venue directly following the performance, including a special Costume Contest on the 31st.

Before you go, check out composer Philip Glass’ program notes on re-scoring the Cocteau classic, his relationship with the piece and more.

Philip Glass composed a new operatic soundtrack for Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle et la Bête.

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Paul and Marybelle Musco Matching Gift Challenge

Paul and Marybelle Musco; Photo: Steve Cohn

Paul and Marybelle Musco; Photo: Steve Cohn

Continuing their family tradition of encouraging support for LA Opera during the holidays, Paul and Marybelle Musco have announced a matching gift challenge.  Any donation received by December 31 will be matched $2 for every $1 donated up to $500,000.

For Paul and Marybelle Musco, supporting opera is an integral part of their lives. As a boy growing up in Rhode Island, Paul’s Italian immigrant parents were opera lovers and insisted that their children gather around the radio for the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. “I guess it was osmosis, because I came to love opera and it has stayed with me personally ever since,” he recalls.

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Meet Plácido Domingo and James Conlon — Macbeth DVD Signing

Share If you ever dreamt of meeting Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, your wish is our command! LA Opera will host a special signing of our Macbeth DVD with its star and conductor (who are also the star and conductor … Continue reading

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Nabucco: A Note from Music Director James Conlon

Nabucco is the first manifestation of Giuseppe Verdi’s genius. It was his third opera, and its immense success established him at 28 years of age as a powerful force in Italian theater and music. He was never, even posthumously, to lose that status. Even with rocky moments and the inevitable ups and downs of an artistic life, he was to become and remain Italy’s preeminent composer of the 19th century and arguably of its entire history. Though thoroughly Italian (sometimes obstinately so in the face of the foreign influences from the north of Europe), his music transcended its native land and its composer’s humble origins to install itself throughout the world.

LOS ANGELES, CA. Sep. 6, 2016. LA Opera’s production of ‘Macbeth’ at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Photo Credit: Lawrence K. Ho)

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Cast to Class Program Brings Javier Camarena to LA County School

When your teacher tells you that an internationally-renowned opera singer is coming for a visit, you many not even know who they are or even imagine what they could possibly have in common with you. For students whose schools are part of LA Opera’s Cast to Class program, that preconceived notion is quickly erased when someone like Javier Camarena steps through the door.

Tenor Javier Camarena visits a group of students at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

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Seven Opera-Themed Halloween Costumes for 2017

This Halloween, don’t settle for a costume that’s stale or subpar. Using LA Opera as your inspiration, find the perfect get-up that’ll both wow the crowd and allow you to stand out!

La Belle et La Bete

La Belle et La Bête

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