Faces of the Opera

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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Seven MORE Black Musicians Dominating The Classical Music Game

We’re all about bookends here at LA Opera. And since we kicked off Black History Month with seven Black opera singers who are currently dominating the game, we thought we’d end in that way as well. The response to the original post was –in short—overwhelming (in a good way of, course.) And rightly so, because the amount of Black talent in opera is awe-inspiring and endless. So here’s another round of Black individuals who are dominating the game because there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.

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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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Seven Black Opera Singers Who Are Currently Dominating The Game

February is Black History Month and you better believe there is no shortage of Black individuals who have changed opera for the better. Last year, we rounded up six Black opera singers that changed the landscape of the art itself, so this year we’re spotlighting Black singers that are currently killing the opera game. And did we mention that they’ve all sang at LAO before? You can even catch a few of them in our upcoming production of The Clemency of Titus. Take a closer look below.

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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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Anna Schubert Discusses “p r i s m” and the Importance of Female-Driven Projects

Ellen Reid’s latest opera “p r i s m” tackles a very serious and significant subject that is especially relevant today. It tells the story of an ill girl, Bibi, and her doting mother, Lumee, who live locked away from the world. The libretto, written by Roxie Perkins, also explores the elasticity of memory after trauma, and the lengths one will go to to “feel better.”

Anna Schubert as Bibi in the world premiere of Ellen Reid's "p r i s m" (Photo: Larry Ho/LA Opera)

Anna Schubert as Bibi in the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s “p r i s m” (Photo: Larry Ho/LA Opera)

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Sasha Cooke on Playing Hansel: “He’s The Opposite of Everything I Do”

Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has made a name for herself in contemporary music, singing world premieres at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, such as English National Opera, San Francisco Opera and Santa Fe Opera. But the American mezzo returns to her standard operatic roots making her LA Opera debut this month as Hansel in Humperdinck’s charming yet spooky opera Hansel and Gretel.

Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (Photo: Dario Acosta)

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Baritone Theo Hoffman Discusses the Operas of Philip Glass

Every singer has a niche in which they feel most comfortable singing. Some thrive in early or baroque music, while others in the works of Italian masters like Verdi or Puccini. But for baritone Theo Hoffman, it’s the modern stylings of Philip Glass that he’s fallen into naturally, and have allowed him to shine in the past few seasons.

Baritone Theo Hoffman (Photo: Coral von Zumwalt)

Baritone Theo Hoffman (Photo: Coral von Zumwalt)

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LA Opera Artist-In-Residence Matthew Aucoin Receives 2018 MacArthur Fellowship

LA Opera Artist-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin was named as a 2018 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Thursday morning.

LA Opera Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin

LA Opera Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin

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Ana María Martínez Discusses Elisabeth de Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlo

Ana María Martínez is an artist that likes to draw outside of the lines. In her two decades as a professional singer, the repertoire she sings is an eclectic mix that ranges across multiple eras of opera. From roles like Carmen to Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Martínez’s breadth of work as a singer is enhanced by her superb acting skills.

Ana Maria Martinez as Elisabeth de Valois in LA Opera's 2018 production of "Don Carlo." (Photo: Cory Weaver / LA Opera)

Ana Maria Martinez as Elisabeth de Valois in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Don Carlo. (Photo: Cory Weaver / LA Opera)

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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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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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