Iconic Productions: The Ghosts of Versailles

The Ghosts of Versailles exemplifies LA Opera’s ongoing commitment to the most important operas of our time.”

Plácido Domingo

The west coast premiere of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles in February 2015 was one of the most exciting – and iconic – productions to grace the LA Opera stage in recent seasons. Originally staged by the Metropolitan Opera in 1991, The Ghosts of Versailles is an opera-within-an-opera that counterpoises the fiction of Mozart and Beaumarchais (author of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro) with the Reign of Terror to create a richly multilayered meditation on the need for, and costs of personal and social change.

Trapped in the spirit world, the ghost of Marie Antoinette bitterly reflects on her final suffering. Her favorite playwright tries to entertain the melancholy queen with the continuing adventures of his beloved characters from The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. But sneaky Figaro refuses to play by the script, breaking free from the opera-within-the-opera in a surprise bid for a better life. The opera turns history on its head as love attempts to alter the course of destiny.

This new production directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak (who will return to direct next season’s Macbeth) was extravagantly scaled and truly fit Corigliano’s grandiose vision for his opera. It also saw the return of Patricia Racette and Patti LuPone to LA Opera as Marie Antoinette and Samira, respectively.

A recording of The Ghosts of Versailles will be available in April. Pre-Order your copy here.

For information about and tickets to our current season, click here. To find out more about of 16/17 season, check out our website.


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