The Hollywood Bowl is truly the preeminent musical venue in Los Angeles and it has seen a veritable “March of Time” history of performances since it was established in 1929. Opera, either staged or in concert, has always played a role and the summer festival atmosphere lends itself to grand displays. Read more »
Los Angeles saw the first U.S. performance of Giacomo Puccini’s snow-dusted weeper in 1897 just a year after the young Toscanini led the prima in Turin. LA Opera in its unending, some might say hellbent, quest to engage the company town in the art of the lyric theatre invited film director, former Broadway choreographer and perennial Academy Award nominee Herbert Ross, of Turning Point and Steel Magnolias fame, to stage our latest production of La Bohème way back in 1993. Read more »
Giuseppe Verdi was so unhappy with the first production of his Giovanna d’Arco at La Scala in 1845 that he swore an oath to himself that he would never entrust that theatre with a prima again. His other vow was to never speak with the impresario Bartolomeo Merelli after he oversaw what Verdi considered a substandard mounting and then had the audacity to sell the rights of the score out from under him to Ricordi. La Scala waited twenty-four years, until the Italian revision of his La Forza del Destino, before he finally relented.
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Los Angeles first saw Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly presented at the Mason Opera House downtown in 1908 by the English Grand Opera Company. Rumors that LA Opera Artistic Director Placido Domingo portrayed Cio-Cio San’s little boy in that production remain unsubstantiated.
There was a general feeling of homecoming in the hall on Friday evening in anticipation of what promised to be a special return visit on many levels.
The revival of Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Music Center downtown, last seen at LA Opera in 2013, is reason for jubilation for everyone except perhaps the singers engaged.
Ms. Guy goes into detail about what made Sills a “magic” performer, recounting reactions of people across an extraordinarily broad socio-economic spectrum who discovered their love of opera and singing through her.
The most recent Egyptian voluptuary of 2006 by our friend Franco has now been replaced by the most singularly spartan production of Verdi’s masterpiece I think I’ve ever seen.
Giacomo Puccini’s final opus interruptus is and shall always remain my favorite opera. The reasons for this preference are so varied and numerous that if they were printed and bound the volume would most assuredly require its own stand.