Tag Archives: acting

Opera Camp Encourages Children and Teens to Express Themselves through Music and Drama

Opera Camp 2017

Opera Camp 2017

UPDATE: Maestro James Conlon will be conducting both performances of Brundibár.

One of our beloved Opera Camp’s teaching artists, Judy Johnson, started performing at the age of eight. She sang in church, studied voice in high school and college, and then worked as an actress in Los Angeles. In 2014, she loved her life as an actress, but realized something was missing. After a life spent performing, Johnson wanted to give back to her community in another way.

That desire combined with her love of opera led her to become an LA Opera teaching artist.

Her first role with LA Opera was as Assistant Director for last year’s Opera Camp production of Then I Stood Up. Her enthusiasm for the work and her passion for teaching our campers shines through.
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The Macbeth Witches Are Not Your Ordinary Witches

The witches; Photo: Karen Almond

The witches; Photo: Karen Almond

Macbeth is a comedy if you’re a witch and a tragedy if you’re anyone else.”

The dancing witches in Macbeth are not your pointy hat, black-wearing, broom-flying witches. As the agents that drive the story, they are onstage virtually the entire time, lurking during every sinister choice that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make in the opera. They move props. They haunt all of the characters and bring them to the darkest moments of their lives. We spoke with the nine women who play the witches about how they bring their hellish characters to life.

It all started at the audition.

While most dance auditions involve an incredible amount of specific movement and counting, the auditions for Macbeth were all about becoming witches.

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Directing Norma


“My dream is to become a little old lady opera director.”

– Anne Bogart

Norma is arguably Vincenzo Bellini’s masterpiece. It’s a vocal fireworks of an opera, where singers utilize every tactic in their vocal range to express the deepest of emotions: love. Director Anne Bogart and designer Neil Patel understand this implicitly. Their Norma is a version that removes the frippery, “the spectacle of the mis en scene” and in turn fuels the vocal energy at the core of Bellini’s storytelling.

This is a style of theater that Bogart advocates as the Co-Artistic Director of the famed New York theater institution, SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992.

In Norma, Bogart brings her minimalist vision and unique acting technique to the operatic world. It’s a medium that serves Bogart’s vision well. She believes that “the kernel at the heart of the theatrical experience is terror,” but in theater the struggle is “how do we create a moment that creates that ancient terror while also having some restraint?”

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Momo Casablanca: Gianni Schicchi’s Character Star

Momo Casablanca as Buoso Donati in <em>Gianni Schicchi</em> (2015)

Momo Casablanca as Buoso Donati in Gianni Schicchi (2015)

Of the many stars hustling around the stage in Gianni Schicchi – the frenetic first half of a double bill with Pagliacci – there’s only one cast member who remains on stage the whole time. That’s character actor Momo Casablanca, who portrays the significant role of Buoso Donati in Puccini’s comedic opera. The opera centers on Buoso’s greedy relatives, waiting to see what he has left them in his will. That’s right – Buoso Donati is already deceased when the curtain rises.

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