Long Beach Opera announces 2017-18 season

[Email announcement] 

Continuing its tradition of bringing audiences the unexpected, Long Beach Opera (LBO) announces its 2017/18 season productions with music from the 18th century to the 21st.

Opening on October 15, 2017 will be Gian Carlo Menoti’s The Consul with Metropolitan Opera star Patricia Racette in her role debut as Magda Sorel.

Black Cat follows on January 13, 2018. Based on the Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, it’s a mash-up of  English composer David Sylvian’s songs, Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas, modern dance, and multimedia projections, performed in collaboration with the Music Angelica Baroque Orchestra.   

The Western Premiere of classical composer and former rock drummer Stewart Copeland’s sci-fi love story, The Invention of Morel,  begins March 17. Inspired by the Adolfo Bioy Casares’ novel, the opera will be directed by Jonathan Moore.

Closing the season in May 2018 will be Frank Martin’s retellng of the epic love story of Tristan and Isolde, The Love Potion.

Venues this season include the Centinela Valley Center for the Arts in Lawndale,  the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Long Beach, and the Warner Grand in San Pedro.

The Press Release is attached with the details of the 2017/18 season.

LBO’s current season continues with Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed’s As One in May and Robert Xavier Rodríguez Frida in June.


Long Beach Opera Announces its 2017/18 Season Four New Productions
Including Metropolitan Opera star Patricia Racette in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul

Subscriptions on Sale 5/15/2017

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2017 (Long Beach, CA) – Long Beach Opera’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek today announced Long Beach Opera’s 2017/18 season. Continuing its tradition of presenting innovative works for adventurous audiences, LBO will stage four new productions with music from the 18th century to the 21st: Gian Carlo Menotti’s refugee thriller, The Consul, starring Patricia Racette in her role debut as Magda; the U.S. Premiere of Black Cat, a mash-up of J.S Bach cantatas and contemporary songs, dance and theater based on Edgar Allan Poe’s classic horror tale; the Western U.S. premiere of Stewart Copeland’s The Invention of Morel, a sci-fi time-bending love story; and Frank Martin’s The Love Potion (Le Vin herbé), a haunting retelling of the epic romance between Tristan and Isolde.

Mitisek commented on the new season, “We’ll bring together stories and music that can only be seen at LBO in one and the same season. We are proud to feature Patricia Racette, one of the greatest singers of our time, as well as another collaboration with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. As always, we live by our motto “expect the unexpected.”

The Consul

A co-production with Chicago Opera Theater (COT)
Composer and Librettist: Gian Carlo Menotti
World Premiere: Philadelphia 1950
Venue: Centinela Valley Center for the Arts
Performance Dates: 10/15 at 2:30PM, 10/21 at 7PM, 10/22 at 2:30PM
Conductor: TBA
Stage Director: Andreas Mitisek
Sung in English

Riveting. Powerful. Relevant. Patricia Racette, one of the great singing actresses of our time, will star as Magda Sorel in this politically charged refugee thriller. When Magda pleads for a visa to save her persecuted family, she is confronted with a soul- destroying consular bureaucracy, where “your name is a number” and “your story is a case.” This suspenseful drama holds the audience’s attention from beginning to end and won both the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The Consul is a chilling story about the world we live in.

“Patricia Racette commands the stage with an authority that is reminiscent of Tebaldi and Callas… Racette suspends time and transports the witness to rare heights of lyrical enchantment.” Huffington Post

The Consul is a nightmare thriller of an opera…this is music-theater of unnerving power… Menotti has an instinctive feel for high suspense and what he created in The Consul is Hitchcock with recitatives.” The Independent (London)

Black Cat

Musical Concept: Martin Haselböck
Composers: David Sylvian and Johann Sebastian Bach with additional soundtrack recording of music by Ernst Krenek, Martin Haselböck and Ülo Krigul.
World Premiere: Luxembourg, Belgium Nov.19, 2012
Venue: The Beverly O’Neill Theater, Long Beach, CA.
Performance Dates: 1/13 at 7:30PM, 1/20 at 7:30PM, 1/21 at 2:30PM Stage Director: Frank Hoffmann
Video Design: Virgil Widrich
Sung in English

Mysterious. Unsettling. Thrilling. A nameless person sits on death row, awaiting his execution. He wonders what possessed him to murder his wife and begins to tell his story, the story of the black cat. Edgar Allan Poe’s nightmarish tale is accompanied by a musical mash-up of David Sylvian’s songs and arias from J.S. Bach’s cantatas, delivering a dark journey into the abyss of a desperate murderer’s soul. Performed in collaboration with the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra.

Luxemburg-based theater and film director Frank Hoffmann, Austrian conductor Martin Haselböck, and Academy Award-nominated Austrian film and multi-media artist Virgil Widrich have created a multi-disciplinary project for music, dance and film. Widrich’s dramatic space combined with the unsettling music of contemporary English songwriter David Sylvian and arias from the cantatas of J.S. Bach, performed on stage by tenor and baroque ensemble, skillfully underpin Poe’s story of one man’s fall into perdition.

“Brilliant! The audience is spellbound until the last moment. The combination of dance, drama, multimedia effects and contrasting musical genres achieves more than the sum of its parts.” Tageblatt

“A magical concoction of music, dance and theatre.” Luxemburger Wort

“There is absolutely no risk of the American author turning over in his grave. The adaptation of his short story The Black Cat is a wonderful homage to the master of the Fantastic.” Le Jeudi

The Invention of Morel

A co-commission and co-production with Chicago Opera Theater (COT)
Composer: Stewart Copeland
Co-Librettists: Stewart Copeland and Jonathan Moore
Based on the novel La invención de Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares World Premiere: Chicago Opera Theater February 2017
Venue: The Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach, CA.
Performance Dates: 3/17 at 7:30PM, 3/24 at 7:30PM, 3/25 at 2:30PM
Conductor: Andreas Mitisek
Stage Director: Jonathan Moore
Sung in English

Imaginative. Surreal. Futuristic. When a man has no hope, he has nothing left to lose. Time-bending love triumphs over convention in this futuristic story of passion and desire. Located on a lonely island, this sci-fi story redefines the limits of human connection and the power of love. Stewart Copeland, co-founder and drummer of The Police, sets this fantastical tale of the human heart to thrilling music. This LBO co-commission is an opera for the 21st-century.

“Invention of Morel a brilliant piece of musical surrealism… It is a milestone as welcome as it is overdue. 4 stars.” Chicago Tribune

“Invention of Morel deftly balances period charm with a contemporary sense of artificial reality. A most intriguing new work.” Chicago Sun-Times

The Love Potion (Le Vin herbé) – The story of Tristan and Isolde

Composer: Frank Martin
Text Source: Roman de Tristan et Isolde, edited by Rudolf Georg Binding World Premiere: Zurich, Switzerland March 28, 1942
This production premiered on September 30, 2016 at Chicago Opera Theater.
Venue: The Warner Grand, San Pedro, CA.
Performance Dates: 5/13 at 2:30PM, 5/19 at 7:30PM
Conductor: Kristof van Grysperre
Stage Director/Production/Video Designer: Andreas Mitisek
Sung in English

Haunting. Deceiving. Eternal. The epic story of Tristan and Isolde is told through Martin’s mystical and haunting score. The fateful lovers meet by deception; fall in love by magic; and pursue their love in defiance of heavenly and earthly power. They “loved each other, and at last, they died of that love together upon one day; she by him and he by her.”

“Mitisek’s austere production is like a mystical ritual that exists beyond time.” Chicago Tribune

“This production was an unqualified success across the board and a model of what COT does best in the Mitisek era–presenting rarely heard works in convincing, intelligent stagings.” Chicago Classical Review


Subscriptions to Long Beach Opera’s 2017/18 season range from $49 to $150 and will be available starting on 5/15/17 by calling the LBO Box Office at 562.470.SING (7464) x101 or clicking on www.longbeachopera.org/tickets. Individual tickets will go on sale on 8/1/2017.

LONG BEACH OPERA: Long Beach Opera (LBO) is internationally known for its cutting-edge interpretations of unconventional repertoire. LBO creates immediate, inventive, and often boldly avant-garde productions for an adventurous audience and stands apart from most opera companies in the number of world, American, and West Coast premieres the company has staged.

Founded in 1979, LBO is the oldest professional opera company in the Los Angeles/Orange County region with a performance history of more than 110 operas, ranging from the earliest works of the 17th century to operas of the 21st. LBO’s ever‐ growing repertoire has provided stimulus for the subsequent founding of other local opera companies, catapulting Southern California into the spotlight as a major opera epicenter. LBO is a recognized and respected member of the U. S. cultural community, receiving funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Long Beach, along with generous support from individual donors, local businesses, public corporations and private foundations.


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