Spending time with Grant Gershon (Part 2 of 2):  what he looks for in singers, meeting Nelson Mandela, and more
Interviews / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Spending time with Grant Gershon (Part 2 of 2): what he looks for in singers, meeting Nelson Mandela, and more

  This coming Sunday marks the final concert of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s landmark 50th Anniversary Season. For the occasion, Music Director Grant Gershon has put together a typically forward-looking program of works by Shawn Kirchner, David Lang, Francisco Núñez, Gabriela Lena Frank, and – last but certainly not least – Esa-Pekka Salonen. All … Continue reading

My chat with Plácido Domingo about singing Schubert lieder, plus Renée Fleming ponders singing baritone too
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

My chat with Plácido Domingo about singing Schubert lieder, plus Renée Fleming ponders singing baritone too

It’s quite been quite a week for Southern California opera fans: Los Angeles Opera just finished a three-show run of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire starring soprano Renée Fleming as Blanche DuBois, a role she created in the original 1998 production for San Francisco Opera.  Reviews have been mostly positive:  Timothy Mangan (Los Angeles Register) generally liked it despite some … Continue reading

“The Space In-Between the Notes” — spending Britten’s 100th birthday with James Conlon (Part 2 of 4: The Morning with the Children)
Interviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

“The Space In-Between the Notes” — spending Britten’s 100th birthday with James Conlon (Part 2 of 4: The Morning with the Children)

[This is the second of my four-part story, "The Space In-Between the Notes," of me and photographer Brandise Danesewich spending Benjamin Britten’s 100th Birthday – Nov 22, 2013 – with conductor James Conlon as he rehearsed and conducted two separate community concerts in different parts of Southern California.  "Part One:  A Prelude," is HERE.] 9:55am … Continue reading

“The space in-between the notes” —  spending Britten’s 100th birthday with James Conlon (Part 1 of 4: A Prelude)
Interviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

“The space in-between the notes” — spending Britten’s 100th birthday with James Conlon (Part 1 of 4: A Prelude)

James Conlon is in the midst of an early afternoon rehearsal when he pauses to fix a line that doesn’t sound quite right to him. “Don’t rush the staccato,”  he tells the chorus.  “Staccato is about the space in-between the notes.” Later that same day, in front of a chamber orchestra this time, he’s rehearsing … Continue reading

LA Opera announces 2014/2015 season (UPDATED):  Conlon leads “Figaro” trilogy; Domingo to play “Germont” in <i>La Traviata</i>
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

LA Opera announces 2014/2015 season (UPDATED): Conlon leads “Figaro” trilogy; Domingo to play “Germont” in La Traviata

Los Angeles Opera announced their 2014/2015 season today.  After browsing the press release (seen in its entirety below), here are my top of mind thoughts and observations: A little surprised that the number of main stage productions is still at six (well, seven productions if you count the double bill as two separate operas).  That … Continue reading

Today’s schedule for my #DaywithConlon filled with FREE Britten 100th Birthday fun
Interviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Today’s schedule for my #DaywithConlon filled with FREE Britten 100th Birthday fun

Happy 100th birthday, Benjamin Britten!! As I mentioned yesterday, photographer Brandise Danesewich and I will be spending the whole day with James Conlon, Los Angeles Opera’s Music Director, as he prepares to rehearse, then conduct, two different FREE concerts today. Follow along #DaywithConlon via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — or just check the new widget I … Continue reading

I’ll be celebrating Britten’s 100th b-day all day Friday with James Conlon — seriously #DaywithConlon
Interviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

I’ll be celebrating Britten’s 100th b-day all day Friday with James Conlon — seriously #DaywithConlon

This entire year, Los Angeles Opera has been spearheading a city-wide celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centenary:  “Britten 100/LA.”  Front and center at many concerts, presentations, and events has been their Music Director, James Conlon. Britten’s actual 100th birthday is tomorrow:  Friday, Nov 22, 2013.  Mr. Conlon will be spending the day scooting across the city:  running … Continue reading

Live tweeting from tonight’s final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s <i>Falstaff</i>
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Live tweeting from tonight’s final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s Falstaff

James Conlon, Los Angeles Opera’s esteemed Music Director, makes his first appearance of the season this coming Saturday with a revival of Verdi’s Falstaff.   Italian baritone Roberto Frontali plays the portly Sir John, joined by many others in this new/revamped production. The final dress rehearsal is tonight, and as has become the norm, I’ll be … Continue reading

Of its own time and space:  <i>Einstein on the Beach</i> alights onto the LA Opera stage in memorable fashion
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Of its own time and space: Einstein on the Beach alights onto the LA Opera stage in memorable fashion

Let’s see . . . how best to put this . . . Einstein on the Beach is like ice cream.  Or sex.  Or Yosemite.  Or that famously stinky flower that blooms at The Huntington. You can read or listen to descriptions, see pictures, even watch videos, but none of that can come anywhere close … Continue reading

Strong vocalists overcome some hurdles in LA Opera’s season opening <i>Carmen</i>
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2013/2014

Strong vocalists overcome some hurdles in LA Opera’s season opening Carmen

The mood at Los Angeles Opera leading up to the beginning of this new season has been thoroughly buoyant, the result of a confluence of good news: After successfully dealing with a pulmonary embolism that kept him off stages and podiums all over the world,  Plácido Domingo — the company’s General Director, überbaritenor, and part-time conductor —  triumphantly returned to … Continue reading

Live tweeting from today’s closed final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s <i>Carmen</i>
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Live tweeting from today’s closed final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s Carmen

As I mentioned in my previous post, Los Angeles Opera’s 2013-2014 season opens this coming Saturday with a revival of Bizet’s Carmen.   Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon sings the title role, joined by the excellent male duo of Brandon Jovanovich (Don Jose) and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Escamillo), with newcomer Pretty Yende as Micaëla. The final dress rehearsal … Continue reading

Behind the scenes:  notes, pictures, and even a little video from a rehearsal of LA Opera’s <i>Carmen</i>
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Behind the scenes: notes, pictures, and even a little video from a rehearsal of LA Opera’s Carmen

Yesterday afternoon, the good folks at Los Angeles Opera opened up their doors to the media for a behind-the-scenes peek at preparations for their season opening production of Bizet’s Carmen. Christopher Koelsch (President and CEO) gave a brief welcome before Rupert Hemmings (Senior Director, Production) led us onto the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion … Continue reading

Appealingly over the top:  Sondra Radvanovsky is an ideal Tosca for LA Opera, with ample support from Domingo and Caird
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

Appealingly over the top: Sondra Radvanovsky is an ideal Tosca for LA Opera, with ample support from Domingo and Caird

If I were to look up “diva” in the dictionary, I’d half expect to see one of the definitions — maybe THE definition — to be “Floria Tosca.”  The character after which Puccini named his famous opera has all the attributes that would come to mind when I think of a diva:  petulant but passionate, … Continue reading

Photos from LA Opera’s current production of “Tosca”
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Photos from LA Opera’s current production of “Tosca”

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve assembled various production and behind the scenes pictures from Los Angeles Opera’s current version of Puccini’s Tosca.  Photo credits include Robert Millard, Los Angeles Opera’s website and Facebook page, Lawrence K. Ho of the Los Angeles Times, and Brian Lauritzen. In addition, click HERE for sketches drawn by Mike Sheehan … Continue reading

Live tweeting from tonight’s final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s “Tosca”
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

Live tweeting from tonight’s final dress rehearsal of LA Opera’s “Tosca”

Los Angeles Opera’s final production of the year, Puccini’s Tosca, opens this Saturday.  Sondra Radvanovsky sings the title role, joined by Marco Berti as Cavaradossi and Lado Ataneli as uber-villain, Scarpia.  Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s own resident impressario-cum-tenor-cum-baritone-cum-conductor, wields the baton for all performances but one. The final dress rehearsal will be tonight, and once again, I’ll … Continue reading