Tag Archives: Philip Glass

La Belle et la Bête: Notes from Composer Philip Glass

Interested in going out this Halloween weekend but can’t figure out what to do? Join us at the Theatre at ACE Hotel for Cocteau/Glass’ La Belle et la Bête! Our Saturday and Tuesday shows include after-parties at the venue directly following the performance, including a special Costume Contest on the 31st.

Before you go, check out composer Philip Glass’ program notes on re-scoring the Cocteau classic, his relationship with the piece and more.

Philip Glass composed a new operatic soundtrack for Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle et la Bête.

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Hear Matthew Aucoin’s Thoughts on Akhnaten

Matthew Aucoin (right) and Summer Hassan (left); Photo: Ben Gibbs

Matthew Aucoin (right) and Summer Hassan (left); Photo: Ben Gibbs

This fall has been very busy for Matthew Aucoin – LA Opera’s new artist-in-residence. Not only did he compose, conduct, curate and perform in October’s wildly popular Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (held at The Theater at Ace Hotel), he also made his LA Opera mainstage debut conducting Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. In the below excerpt of a podcast hosted by Living with A Genius’s Omar Crook, Aucoin talks about how he tackled the challenging Glass opera.

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Akhnaten

Anthony Roth Costanzo as the title character in Akhnaten 2016); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

Anthony Roth Costanzo as the title character in Akhnaten (2016); Photo: Craig T. Mathew

You have two more chances to see Philip Glass’s Akhnaten – November 19 and 27. In case you’ve missed the Akhnaten love these past few weeks, we’ve collected a bunch of articles for you to check out and see why this staging of Akhnaten is a modern masterpiece.


The 2016/17 season is a big year for J’Nai Bridges. She recently made her San Francisco Opera debut as Bersi in Andrea Chenier (a role she will later reprise at Bavarian State Opera in Munich), Bridges made her LA Opera debut as Nefertiti in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten on November 5. She has become one of the most sought after mezzo-sopranos of her generation, but she didn’t always long for a career in opera.


Anthony Roth Costanzo – who just made his LA Opera debut in the title role in Akhnaten – is one of today’s foremost countertenors. Before opening night, we spoke to Costanzo about his upcoming role and his life in opera.

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#WordWednesday: Countertenor

COUNTERTENOR (13 Scrabble points) – Latin – A countertenor is the highest, adult male voice type in opera. Countertenor parts are common in Baroque opera (watch Anthony Roth Costanzo sing “Stille amare” from George Frideric Handel’s Tolomeo below) but they also gained an increased popularity in the mid to late 20th century with the works of Benjamin Britten and Philip Glass. The title character in Akhnaten, which opens at LA Opera in November as part of the 16/17 season is a countertenor part.


Can’t get enough of the countertenor voice? We’ve collected a few articles and videos below to get you in the countertenor spirit.

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Get To Know the 2016/17 Season!

LA Opera's 2016/17 Season

LA Opera’s 2016/17 Season

We’ve finally announced the 2016/2017 season and it’s going to be a big one. There are six mainstage operas, a semi-staged concert, and stellar off-grand productions to enjoy starting September 17.


Can’t wait for the excitement to begin? Take a look below and get to know all the 16/17 season has in store for Los Angeles.

Plácido Domingo and James Conlon unite to open season with Verdi’s Macbeth
The season opens with a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth (September 17 through October 16, 2016), starring Plácido Domingo in the title role and conducted by James Conlon. Ekaterina Semenchuk will perform the role of the treacherous Lady Macbeth. LA Opera’s first production of Macbeth since 1987 will be staged by Darko Tresnjak, director of the 2015 hit The Ghosts of Versailles.

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The Month of the American Composer

Composer of Operas

Jake Heggie

When most people think of October, visions of fall and Halloween come to mind. Here at LA Opera, this October has been “The Month of the American Composer.” Three of our events involved some of the most important American composers of our age – Missy Mazzoli, Philip Glass, and Jake Heggie – working at the height of their powers. To celebrate how vital opera is to our nation culturally, we’ve curated a few articles below where you can learn more about each composer and listen to some of their masterful music.

Jake Heggie, The Man Behind Moby-Dick

Composer Jake Heggie Brings Moby-Dick to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – via Los Angeles Magazine

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, the classic tale of one man’s pursuit of an elusive white whale, has over the years been turned into films and television miniseries. Now, it has been turned into an opera. Jake Heggie, whose Dead Man Walking was performed earlier this year at the Broad Stage, is the composer of the show, which opens Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Jake Heggie On Why Opera Is Here To Stay – via Los Angeles Times

Don’t tell Jake Heggie that opera is a dying art form. The composer of the opera Dead Man Walking “thinks it’s alive and kicking — he even uses an unprintable term to describe a recent batch of articles declaring that “Opera is dead.” And while his passionate words in defense of the operatic form are convincing, the trajectory of his own career is perhaps his best argument.

Music Monday: Moby-Dick Overture – via LA Opera Blog

This weekend, Moby-Dick opens at LA Opera. Melville’s tale of obsession, the nature of good and evil, and the search for the elusive, titular, white whale is set to an evocative score by famed American composer, Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking). When Heggie describes tackling the mammoth tale, he speaks of finally finding the music of Moby’s universe in four simple chords. These chords capture the spirit and yearning inherent in Melville’s story and resurface throughout the rest of the score, in a haunting fashion.


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Silver Screen Dracula

<em>Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in</em> Dracula (1931); Photo: Todd Browning

Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in Dracula (1931); Photo: Todd Browning

“There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.”

– Bram Stoker’s Dracula

There are mysteriously thrilling stories from literature that have inspired excellent additions to the horror film genre. Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is one such story. It’s the grandfather of the eternally pop-culture-relevant vampire fandom – American Horror Story: Hotel, Underworld, Only Lovers Left Alive, Interview with the Vampire (my personal favorite) and The Lost Boys, to name a few. While Stoker’s Dracula has been adapted into a television miniseries and has inspired several television characters and episodes (including the short lived series, Dracula), the story really shines on the silver screen.

Probably the greatest of them all is Universal’s 1931 silent film, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. The film’s original release coincided with the shift from silent pictures to “talkies.” With limited sound technology in existence, the film had no musical soundtrack and few sound effects. For its 1998 restoration of the film, Universal commissioned legendary composer Philip Glass to write a hypnotic new instrumental score, blowing the cobwebs off the horror classic and adding depth to the emotional layers of the drama.

Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet performing Glass's score for <em>Dracula</em> (1931)

Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet performing Glass’s score for Dracula (1931)

Tomorrow night, LA Opera presents Dracula with a live performance of Glass’s score, providing an eerie counterpart to the suspense of the creepy classic projected on the big screen. Philip Glass will share the stage along with the celebrated Kronos Quartet for the performances (running through October 31) at the gorgeously restored Theatre at Ace Hotel.

In honor of LA Opera’s presentation of Dracula, here is a list of film adaptations we found that you should check out to get in the vampire spirit:

Nosferatu (1922) – The Count may have a different name in German director F.W. Murnau’s silent film adaption (he’s called Count Orlok), but he gets up to many of the same antics as Stoker’s Dracula. Nosferatu is a hauntingly cinematic piece known as one of the great influences on the later film noir genre.

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

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