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LA Winter 2015 Opera: 4 Independent Productions

LA Winter 2015 Opera: 4 Independent Productions

Picture of Sean David Muhlstein
Updated: 24 April 2017
This winter, look past the major companies and discover some of the rare and strange offerings from Los Angeles’s independent opera scene. From re-imaginings of classic repertoire works to resurrections of rarely staged gems, there is something for all tastes. Affordably priced and usually performed in more intimate settings, the local opera scene awaits your pleasure.

THÉRÈSE RAQUIN by Tobias Picker | Long Beach Opera

January 24th and February 1st

Emile Zola’s early novel, the sensational Thérèse Raquin (1867) contains all the elements required for good opera. Adapted many times for stage and screen since its publication, this 21st century opera is the work of American composer Tobias Picker (An American Tragedy, The Fantastic Mr. Fox). Featuring what the New York Times called “adroit music of a sinister tonality,” come experience this disturbing tale of adultery, murder, guilt, and ultimate punishment. Production is staged at the historic Warner Grand Theater.

Warner Grand Theater, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro, CA, USA +1 562-432-5934

MARILYN FOREVER by Gavin Bryars | Long Beach Opera

March 21st and 29th

Fifty years after her death, Marilyn Monroe continues to fascinate. Born Norma Jean Mortenson in a charity hospital and raised through a series of foster homes, she, improbably, became first a star, then an icon, and finally a legend. Prolific British composer Gavin Bryars wrote the music for this chamber opera set to a libretto by poet and novelist Marilyn Bowering. The conflict between Monroe’s internal and external selves is given life through the use of her own words and a “chorus” made up of the people. The opera follows the trajectory of the actress’s tragic life as she struggled to embody the various identities thrust upon her by the public and the media. Production is staged at the historic Warner Grand Theater.

Warner Grand Theater, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro, CA, USA +1 562-432-5934

GOYESCAS by Enrique Granados | Independent Opera Company

February 27th and 28th

This Spanish language opera had its premiere at the Met. in New York City in 1916. The composer and his wife were killed by a German U-Boat attack on their return to Spain from the United States. Inspired by the paintings of Goya, this tragic love story plays out in a series of musical and dramatic tableaus. Don’t miss this rare staging of a little known Romantic gem.

St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Nolte Hall, 11555 National Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA

ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Pacific Opera Project

March 6th – 8th

POP is back with another radical re-imagining of a classic work – prepare to beam aboard this Star Trek-inspired version of Mozart’s opera from 1782. By transposing the “exotic” oriental setting of the original to outer space and alien worlds, modern audiences can appreciate the work without the awkward disconnects experienced by our modern sensibilities. Featuring a new English libretto, this show is to be performed by a full orchestra.

El Portal Theater, 11206 Weddington St., North Hollywood, CA, USA+1 323-739-6122


By Sean David Muhlstein