Program Notes

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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Matthew Aucoin On His Opera ‘Crossing’

Matthew Aucoin, LA Opera’s Artist in Residence, is the composer, librettist and conductor of Crossing. Below are his program notes for his upcoming concert performance of Crossing at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 25 & 26.

Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin in rehearsals for Crossing with tenor Brenton Ryan and baritone Rod Gilfry (Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin in rehearsals for Crossing with tenor Brenton Ryan, baritone Rod Gilfry and pianist Jeremy Frank. (Photo: Arya Roshanian/LA Opera)

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Matthew Aucoin on Rigoletto

Matthew Aucoin, LA Opera’s Artist in Residence, is the conductor of Rigoletto.

Rigoletto is a thunderbolt, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence—even for Verdi. It’s so familiar to opera audiences, however, that we might forget what an explosive, revolutionary piece it is, much the same way that overexposure to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has the tendency to blind us to that piece’s strangeness and messiness. Rigoletto crosses a threshold in operatic history; it contains a kind of quantum leap. It is here that Verdi, whose music had so far wrestled with two seemingly contradictory impulses—his gift for glorious, long-spun melodies in the mold of the bel canto tradition and a keen dramatic instinct that gave his music a rough-edged, distinctly un-bel canto quality—finally united these two tendencies.

Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin in rehearsals

Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin in rehearsals

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