Still time to go “très opératique” for National Opera Week

Vocal focus from CCMN
Southern CA Vocal Events
Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights

OPERA America‘s widespread celebration of all things opera officially runs through November 6th, but around here, we celebrate the genre every day.  If you’d like to partake of a little something to mark the occasion, however, here are just a few suggestions in a week brimming with musical drama and tuneful laughs:

First off, be sure to put Sunday’s free 2pm screening of Sing Your Own Song on the calendar, and plan your path to the beautiful Central Library in downtown Los Angeles.  The inspiring documentary film includes interviews and performances by a variety of opera buffs, and explores why this art form moves us so much.  It’s been making waves at film fests, and is now available on DVD.  But the big screen is where big passion should live, so don’t miss this chance to see the film in the library’s Taper Auditorium. Be sure to stick around for the Q&A with director ANNE O’NEAL after the film. View the trailer below, and get event details here

Friday night, a brand-new opera company comes to Ventura County, as OPERA BY THE GLASS performs Bellini’s magnificent La Sonnambula on 11/4 and 11/6.  With a talented professional cast led by musical director TIMOTHY LEON and stage director ZEFFIN QUINN HOLLIS, “The Sleepwalker” is perfect for the spooky season, and one of the most neglected musical and psychological treasures of the Bel canto repertoire.  It’s well worth the trip west just for the music, sung in Italian with English supertitles … but then, there’s wine, too!  Check out the details and reserve your table pronto-quick!

akhnaten-resizedOne of the grandest of Philip Glass’ operatic creations, the stunning Akhnaten comes to LA OPERA this week, opening Sat 11/5 and running six performances through 11/27.  See photos, video, and hear music clips on LAO’s website (and of course, grab your tickets) — start here

Puccini’s sole comic opera, Gianni Schicchi, is a brief dip into the hilarity of family politics.  This weekend, REDLANDS OPERA THEATRE starts a four-performance run that stretches through 11/13, with baritone BRIAN JENSEN in the title role.  Get details and ticket info

2016-11-05_synchromy_thumbFinally, one of SoCal’s most innovative new music collectives stages Frederic Rzewski’s Crusoe at LA City College on Saturday night.  SYNCHROMY joins forces with HOCKET and stage director DOUG OLIPHANT to perfom a piece you’ll probably have few opportunities to experience… and we’re promised inflatable palm trees!  The program also features music by composers Jason Barabba, Alexander Elliott Miller, Mayke Nas, Marc Evans, and Nick Norton. Get details


Thru 11/5, REPERTORY OPERA COMPANY presents La Cenerentola, Rossini’s take on Cinderella’s classic tale.  Last chance!

Make your own celebration

If you can’t make it to at least one of these events, you can still celebrate the grand vocal tradition in any number of ways.  Just a few ideas on the silly side:

  • Wear your Viking helmet while you tidy up.  (We know you have one somewhere!)  You may be surprised how it makes vacuuming a completely transcendent experience.
  • Be an operatic road warrior:  Crank up your favorite aria (anything but the already ubiquitous “Nessun dorma”, if you please) while you drive.  If you’re not up for singing along, at least mime the words.  It will baffle other drivers, in a good way.
  • Practice your Italian gibberish:  talk to a friend in a public place as if you were speaking the first language of opera — yet say nothing. (For those not indoctrinated, this is an old improv game, and it’s still fun!)  Bonus challenge:  avoid straying into a bad accent stereotyped from gangster cinema.
Prince Claus and his Elves, from Adamo's 'Becoming Santa Claus' -- Photo by Karen Almond, for Dallas Opera
Prince Claus and his Elves, from Adamo’s ‘Becoming Santa Claus’ — Photo by Karen Almond, for Dallas Opera

One for mezzos and tenors

Quick!  Download a FREE PDF of one of two arias from Mark Adamo’s family-friendly holiday opera, Becoming Santa Claus (above), which premiered in Dallas last year. MUSIC SALES is celebrating the week by offering these downloads for just seven days, but there’s still time to grab yours and learn more about this charming, slightly crazy show.  Click here to get your copy

What not to do?  
Awww, isn't that an adorable look of horror on his face??
Awww, isn’t that an adorable look of horror on his face??


Please don’t dress your pets in costume.  They always bring their own style to every party.

This week and always:  sing with gusto, bow deeply, and of course, thank you for supporting live singing!

Lauri D. Goldenhersh

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Vienna Opera image:   Adriana Martins /  

*This post is echoed from the weekly vocal events column in the Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, serving nearly seven thousand music fans all over Southern California. The original is a text-based email newsletter, so images, links and details may differ in this enhanced version.


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