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

“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

For your consideration:  Kenneth Branagh’s version of “The Magic Flute” finally available on DVD in the US
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

For your consideration: Kenneth Branagh’s version of “The Magic Flute” finally available on DVD in the US

Kenneth Branagh filmed his cinematic adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the middle of the last decade as part of the 250th Anniversary celebrations for that opera.  It was screened at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals in 2006; however, it was not shown in United States theaters nor was it released on DVDs that … Continue reading

James Conlon extends contract to be Music Director of LA Opera until 2018
Appointments / Auditions & Appointments / Los Angeles Opera

James Conlon extends contract to be Music Director of LA Opera until 2018

At the end of my review of last year’s production of Albert Herring, I wrote this about James Conlon:  “Long may he reign at Los Angeles Opera.” It looks like I’ll get my wish — at least for another five years. The company just announced that Mr. Conlon has extended his contract as LA Opera’s … Continue reading

LA Opera announces 2013/2014 season
Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical

LA Opera announces 2013/2014 season

Los Angeles Opera announced their 2013/2014 season today.  As far as I’m concerned, the most noteworthy things: Not a big increase in number of productions and performances versus the 2012/2013 season, but the mix is a bit more diverse — including three performances of Glass’s Einstein on the Beach. Tenor Brandon Jovanovich returns to L.A. … Continue reading

An old-school Don Giovanni:  Ildebrando D’Arcangelo stars in LA Opera’s latest production
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2012/2013

An old-school Don Giovanni: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo stars in LA Opera’s latest production

Last May, the Los Angeles Philharmonic presented Don Giovanni with a vocally and visually strong baritone leading a solid cast in a thoroughly avant-garde production.  Beginning tonight, Los Angeles Opera presents the same opera, with another hunky baritone leading a another solid cast, this time in an unapologetically traditional production. Judging by Wednesday’s final dress … Continue reading

“The Doge of Los Angeles:”  Plácido Domingo is feted at LA Opera presser
Los Angeles Opera

“The Doge of Los Angeles:” Plácido Domingo is feted at LA Opera presser

Wednesday’s Los Angeles Opera press conference centered around celebrating Plácido Domingo.  Board members and politicians were on hand to offer their praises, stories, and tokens of appreciation to the organization’s General Director and probably the world’s most famous living opera singer.  The reason for this latest round of adulation?  Three things: Continue reading

The future looks bright:  Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and American Youth Symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall
All Reviews / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

The future looks bright: Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and American Youth Symphony at Walt Disney Concert Hall

The fact that the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) is excellent should not be news.  They’ve had many opportunities to impress when performing with the likes of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, most recently as part of the massive choir for Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.  That said, they don’t usually get a chance to show off on … Continue reading

LA Opera’s <i>Albert Herring</i> is a light-hearted king of a comedy
All Reviews / Los Angeles Opera / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

LA Opera’s Albert Herring is a light-hearted king of a comedy

Quick — imagine an opera, any opera, in your head.  I’ll wait. . . . I’m guessing that you probably came up with large-bodied singers standing in one place belting out big arias in a foreign language (probably Italian, German, or French) over the strains of a big orchestra; lots of murder, suicide, rape, and … Continue reading

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil
All Reviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Reviews 2011/2012

Yuja Wang and James Conlon triumph with the LA Phil

Yuja Wang is the real deal. If there was any doubt that might have crept in as to whether or not she was a “serious” pianist and/or musician based on a spate of recent cancellations and a critic’s unfortunate comments about her attire at the Hollywood Bowl, let them be put to rest after this … Continue reading