Faces of the Opera

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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Joshua Guerrero On His Rise to Stardom

Tenor Joshua Guerrero has lived more lives in his 30s than most people do in 80 years. He spent his early years split between two cities, worked a plethora of jobs in different fields before he eventually pursued opera as his main career. The former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist has since sung at opera houses all over the world, including English National Opera, The Glyndebourne Festival and, most recently, Santa Fe Opera. Though his innate talent and hard work has led him to where he is today, he credits much of his success to his time at LA Opera.

Former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Joshua Guerrero (Photo: Gabriel Guzman)

Former Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Joshua Guerrero (Photo: Gabriel Guzman)

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Ben Bliss, Domingo-Colburn-Stein YAP Alum, Discussing His Blossoming Career

No singer’s path to stardom is a straight line some experience twists and turns in life that eventually lead them to the stage. They may even have their sights set on a completely different career, but possess a natural talent that is so potent they’ll have no choice but to pursue for a career in opera. This was exactly the case for tenor Ben Bliss.

Tenor Ben Bliss (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Tenor Ben Bliss (Photo: Dario Acosta)

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Six Questions With Soprano Summer Hassan

Soprano Summer Hassan graduated from LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist program last year, but she’s kept in touch with us since she’s departed from Los Angeles. Fresh off-the-heels of her performances as Virginia Otis in LA Opera’s recent production of Gordon Getty’s Scare Pair: Usher House/The Canterville Ghost, Hassan is heading back home to Philadelphia before embarking on one of the most exciting endeavors of her career: competing in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition.

Summer Hassan; Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

Summer Hassan; Photo: Kristin Hoebermann

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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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Where Will Your Favorite LA Opera Artists Be This Summer?

Ever wonder where your favorite LA Opera artists go when the season is over? Well, they travel the world! From Santa Fe to Salzburg, these singers have a busy summer ahead performing on stages around the globe. Read below to see where some of them are traveling before returning to Los Angeles!

Placido Domingo (left) and James Conlon (third from left) confer at a rehearsal for "Nabucco," joined by assistant conductor Louis Loraseb and Mr. Conlon's musical assistant, Ignazio Terrasi (photo: Ken Howard)

Placido Domingo (left) and James Conlon (third from left) confer at a rehearsal for “Nabucco,” joined by assistant conductor Louis Loraseb and Mr. Conlon’s musical assistant, Ignazio Terrasi (photo: Ken Howard)

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Introducing the 2018/19 Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists!

Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, announced today that he has chosen the performers who will join LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program in the 2018/19 season. The artists were chosen from 650 applicants, 200 live auditions and, ultimately, 28 final candidates.

The 2018/19 Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists

The 2018/19 Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists

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Ginger Costa-Jackson Discusses Maddalena in LA Opera’s Rigoletto

When arriving for her interview a few weeks ago on an unusually rainy day in Los Angeles, mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson is all smiles. She’s just happy to be in the city, regardless of the weather.

“The apartment that I’m staying at has a rooftop and I can see the Hollywood sign,” said Costa-Jackson. “On my days off, I’ve been laying out and tanning, but I guess not today.”

Ginger Costa-Jackson in rehearsals for LA Opera's Rigoletto with The Duke (cover) Joshua Wheeker

Ginger Costa-Jackson in rehearsals for LA Opera’s Rigoletto with Joshua Wheeker, who covers the role of the Duke of Mantua. (Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

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Staff Profiles: Getting to Know Production Stage Manager Chelsea Antrim

Stage Managers have some of the most important jobs in opera. Unlike other types of performing arts, such as musical theater, stage managers in the opera cue almost everything from paging artists to the stage, to entrances, to sound cues and special effects, stage managers pretty much run the show. It’s an enormous responsibility, one that Chelsea Antrim, Production Stage Manager at LA Opera, feels prepared for every performance.

Chelsea Antrim (fourth from right) with Garth Brooks (center) at the Plácido Domingo 50th Anniversary Concert (Photo: Steve Cohn)

Production Stage Manager Chelsea Antrim (fourth from right) with Garth Brooks (center) at the Plácido Domingo 50th Anniversary Concert
(Photo: Steve Cohn)

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Audra McDonald: An Artist Who Transcends Genre

Audra McDonald is an artist that transcends all genres. From the stage to television to the movie screen, there isn’t much she hasn’t already done. And with an Emmy Award, two Grammy Awards and a record-setting six Tony Awards, it’s safe to say she’s already established herself as an icon.

Broadway legend Audra McDonald

Broadway legend Audra McDonald

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From the Opera Stage to a Recital Tour: Getting to Know Young Artist Taylor Raven

Although mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven has only been a member of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program for a year, she’s already made her company debut as the  Vanderdendur in Candide. As the treacherous ship captain who double crosses Candide, she chewed up the stage. Later this month, she appears with Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin and the other Domingo-Colburn-Stein YAPs on-tour in “Verdi: Bel Canto and Beyond.”

Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Taylor Raven (center) as the Venderdendur in LA Opera's 2018 production of Candide (Photo: Ken Howard)

Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Taylor Raven (center) as the Vanderdendur in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Candide (Photo: Ken Howard)

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Six Questions for Victoria Jaiani of the Joffrey Ballet

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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Lisette Oropesa Talks Eurydice, Gilda and Strong Female Characters

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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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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Four Questions with ‘Candide’ Director Francesca Zambello

Renowned director Francesca Zambello brings her fanciful production of Candide to Los Angeles for the first time. First seen at the Glimmerglass Festival in 2015, with subsequent performances in Bordeaux and Toulouse, Zambello’s staging has been praised by Opera Today as “likely the best of all possible Candides.” And though the production is new to the company, Zambello is no stranger to Los Angeles: this is her seventh production with LA Opera.

American director Francesca Zambello

American director Francesca Zambello

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Liv Redpath Discusses How the Humanities Influenced Her Artistry

Soprano Liv Redpath may have her sights set on a singing career, but opera isn’t her only passion. This member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program is keen on maintaining a myriad of interests beyond the stage, most notably her love of literature.

Soprano Liv Redpath

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Amanda Crider Discusses Her Journey as Alma in ‘Persona’

Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider loves performing contemporary works. That’s probably why she holds operas such as Persona close to her heart. In the two years since she premiered the piece, her own life experiences have added grit to her understanding of the troubled nurse Alma, and she looks forward to elevating her interpretation in Los Angeles.

Amanda Crider as Alma and Lacey Dorn as Elisabet in a scene from LA Opera’s 2017 production of “Persona.” (Photo: Larry Ho)

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