With five performances of his one-man show over the next ten days, former La Scala tenor Stefano Milani is causing a stir with his first visit to SoCal. Singing in the Marriott’s rooftop concert hall in Marina del Rey, the program of favorite arias, American standards and even movie scores will include intimate introductions designed to draw the audience into the story and into the character’s thoughts, and provide an unusual introduction to a remarkably accessible voice that could seem just as right on the Broadway stage as in the opera house.
There’s a twist, of course: although he appears here under a nom de voce, Milani is actually Welsh tenor Stephen Mullan, whose trip westward places the focus on his twelve years he spent at the center of Italy’s operatic universe. Presented by former CBS host and movie critic David Sheehan’s Hollywood Close-Ups company, the events promise a certain amount of hype, but the extensive clips of Mullan on YouTube show a flexible instrument and significant charisma. The project is an ambitious exercise in creative presentation and aggressive classical marketing, mixed with a sense of play that has found success in his work on cruise ships and other alternative spaces. The events themselves do sound like fun, with cocktails and a gorgeous 360-degree sunset thrown in for good measure. This could be a very good intro to opera for newbies and the online listings even helpfully offer a code (“KUSC”), offering a 20% ticket discount.
Stefano Milani Sings
Rigoletto & Pagliacci & Traviata and more
Sunday, May 1 — 4pm & 8pm
Thursday, May 5 — 8pm
Sunday, May 8 — 4pm & 8pm
Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel Bayview Concert Hall
4100 Admiralty Way 10th Floor
Marina Del Rey CA 90292
Tickets $26.60 — $77, available online
Parking options run $10-15 — see the ticket website for info
Feature article from Argonaut News