Los Angeles Opera is the latest company to jump in on that cr-razy trend that sweeping the nation: boring the public to death. The dire details follow the jump.
Don Carlo (Giuseppe Verdi)
Sep 22–Oct 14, 2018; revival
James Conlon conducts a cast led by Ramón Vargas in the title role, with Ana María Martínez as Elisabeth de Valois, Anna Smirnova as Princess Eboli, Ferruccio Furlanetto as King Philip II, and Plácido Domingo as Rodrigo. The production by Ian Judge returns to Los Angeles for the first time since 2006.
Satyagraha (Philip Glass)
Oct 20–Nov 11, 2018; company premiere
Following the extraordinary success of Einstein on the Beach (2013) and Akhnaten (2016), LA Opera completes Philip Glass’s operatic trilogy about great thinkers who changed the world. Satyagraha (Sanskrit for “truth force”) is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa, where he developed the radical new idea of nonviolent political resistance. Grant Gershon conducts a production created by Phelim McDermott (director of Akhnaten) for the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, starring Sean Panikkar as Gandhi.
Hansel and Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck)
Nov 17–Dec 15, 2018; revival
James Conlon conducts a revival of Doug Fitch’s dreamlike production, full of fantastical sets and elaborate special effects. Sasha Cooke and Liv Redpath sing the title roles, with diva extraordinaire Susan Graham as the uproariously wicked witch, eager to lure her young victims into a delicious trap.
La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus) (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
March 2–24, 2019; company premiere; new production
James Conlon conducts La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart’s final opera seria, written simultaneously with The Magic Flute in the final months of the composer’s life. The new production is directed and designed by Thaddeus Strassberger, who previously staged LA Opera productions of The Two Foscari (2012) and Nabucco (2017). Russell Thomas stars as the imperiled emperor whose generosity and compassion point the way to a brighter future.
El Gato Montés: The Wildcat (Manuel Penella)
April 27–May 19, 2019; production new to Los Angeles
In one of the greatest masterpieces of the Spanish lyrical theater, a beautiful gypsy (Ana María Martínez) unwittingly inspires a fatal rivalry between a renowned bullfighter (Arturo Chacón-Cruz) and a bandit on the run (Plácido Domingo). The quintessentially Spanish tale unfolds with passionate melodies, dazzling choreography, and atmospheric staging. Spanish conductor Jordi Bernàcer leads a production created by director José Carlos Plaza for Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela.
La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi)
June 1–22, 2019; revival
James Conlon conducts a revival of Marta Domingo’s popular Art Deco-inspired update of the Verdi classic. In the face of certain death, a beautiful courtesan dedicates her remaining time to decadent pleasures, dazzling parties, and wealthy admirers. But when a devoted suitor declares his true love, she is transformed and demonstrates her great humanity with a heart-breaking sacrifice before her premature passing. Romanian soprano Adela Zaharai, the 2017 winner of Operalia, makes her company debut as the glamorous Violetta, with Rame Lahaj (a 2016 Operalia winner) and Charles Castronovo sharing the role of Alfredo.