Opera under the stars
Yes, it’s fall, but only in Los Angeles can you take advantage of the Southern California weather, grab a blanket and a picnic and experience opera under the stars. This Saturday, you can do just that – experience the grandeur of LA Opera’s production of Carmen as it is broadcast live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to Santa Monica Pier and Exposition Park. That’s opera – live – for free – and surrounded by families and friends.
While the idea of showing opera in three locations might sound simple, it takes an enormous number of people to pull it all together and bring it to life.
Preparing for the Simulcast
Preparations for Opera at the Beach and Opera in the Park began nearly nine months ago, when we secured the production team – Black & Tan – that will direct, live edit, and produce the broadcast.
In partnership with members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (who have generously supported these events for the last three years) we identified the venues. We’ve drawn huge crowds for the past three years in a row with simulcasts at the Santa Monica Pier, thanks to support from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, so that location was set in stone. We also had such success sharing opera with our broadcast at South Gate Park last year that we decided to continue expanding the program. Thanks to generous support from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, we’ve expanded the program and we will also be broadcasting to Exposition Park.
Building the Screen Takes An Army
Then we go to task on the nitty gritty production details – too many to list and count. Suffice it to say, it’s an army! The real fun begins the week of the show, when a team of people gets packing. We’ll load in all the equipment and build out two events at Exposition Park and Santa Monica. This all happens in 72 hours. On show day, there will be 30 team members from Black & Tan at the Dorothy Chandler ready to produce the video for the live broadcast.
A satellite and production truck will set up outside the theater filled with screens showing footage from all the eight cameras that are in the house. It looks exactly like what you see when your favorite morning news show cuts to the production room. During the show, director Mathew Diamond will determine which camera shots he wants and call them. This is a live edit for the audiences under the stars while the show is underway on the stage. Through the magic of technology and masterful editing, those watching from the park and by the beach will get a great taste of all that opera can be.
Meanwhile, at the pier and in the park, thousands of opera goers will gather to experience opera together. Their reaction to the show and their energy makes all the work that goes into producing the event incredibly rewarding.
LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.