Reich, Glass, a world premiere and a Bach adaptation combine to celebrate two anniversaries for Long Beach Opera. The release expresses the same vitality we’ve come to expect from this adventurous company, as well as a particular sense of artistic urgency:
Stories that need to be told
Music that needs to be heard
Details below, and congrats to LBO and their fearless leader, Andreas Mitisek!
Press release follows.
Long Beach Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season
of Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek
Four New Productions:
- Steve Reich Three Tales | November 3-4
- United States Premiere David Sylvian and Johann Sebastian Bach The Black Cat | January 19-20
- Philip Glass The Penal Colony | six performances April 26-May 4
- World Premiere Anthony Davis The Central Park Five | June 15, 23, & 24
- Also pre-season The Best of 20 celebration of artistic director Andreas Mitisek | June 2
May 11, 2018 | Long Beach Opera celebrates two milestones in the 2018-2019 season – its fortieth anniversary and the 20th anniversary of Andreas Mitisek leading the company as artistic director.
Subscriptions to Long Beach Opera’s 2019 season range from $73.50 to $450 are available at longbeachopera.org and at 562.470.SING (7464) x101. Individual tickets go on sale on August 1, 2018.
LBO opens the season with Steve Reich’s Three Tales at the Ernest Borgnine Theater, Scottish Rite Event Center in Long Beach on November 3 and 4, 2018. The first night of the production will also be the centerpiece of the annual LBO Gala.
The United States premiere of The Black Cat follows, on January 19 and 20, 2019 at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre in Long Beach, performed with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. The Black Cat is a musical concept by Martin Haselböck, with music by David Sylvian and Johann Sebastian Bach, with additional music by Ernst Krenek, Martin Haselböck and Ülo Krigul.
In the Penal Colony, composed by Philip Glass, with libretto by Rudy Wurlitzer is performed in the intimate Studio Theatre at California State University Long Beach campus for six performances, April 26-27-28 and May 2-3-4, 2019.
The season closes with Anthony Davis’ The Central Park Five on June 15, 22 and 23, 2019 at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.
A festive The Best of 20, celebrating Andreas Mitisek’s milestone anniversary, is held on June 2 at the Beverly O’Neill.
Andreas MItisek said, “As we were planning this very special season, we began to see that the operas we were gravitating towards had a common theme of justice. I heard Martin Luther King’s words Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Thoughts of What is justice? What is just? spoke to us from these operas, which are all insightful and inspiring.”
“The Black Cat is an absolute force without mercy. Justice cannot be escaped. Philip Glass’s In The Penal Colony is a Kafkaesque metaphor about a barbaric world order and the dawn of a humane judicial system. The Central Park Five is a dramatic example of wrongful conviction in one of the most highly publicized cases of the 1980’s. And in Three Tales by Steve Reich there is a larger picture of three technological advances of the 20th century and their impact on society.”
Sung in English
Presenting: Andreas Mitisek
Venue: Beverly O’Neill Theater, Long Beach
Performance Date: 6/2/18, 3:30 and 8:00 pm
Join Long Beach Opera’s celebration of Andreas Mitisek’s 20 years with Long Beach Opera as conductor, director, and producer.
Featuring scenes selected from over sixty Mitisek productions, Suzan Hanson leads LBO favorites Cedric Berry, Robin Buck, Jamie Chamberlin, Roberto Gomez, Neda St. Clair and Andreas Mitisek through an entertaining journey of Andreas’ creative works. LBO honors the man named by Opera News as “one of the 25 people that will be a major force in the field of opera in the coming decade.”
To celebrate Andreas and support LBO before or after the event, patrons may enjoy a three-course meal plus wine at the award winning L’Opera restaurant (Dinner ticket is $110 per person; transportation to and from the O’Neill included).
Sung in English
Composer: Steve Reich
Visuals by Beryl Korot
Venue: Ernest Borgnine Theater, Scottish Rite Event Center, Long Beach
Performance Dates: 11/3/18 and 11/4/18
Stage Director: Andreas Mitisek
This documentary video opera recalls three well-known events from the 20th century; the Hindenburg explosion, the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests, and Dolly the cloned sheep. Each of these reflects on the growth and implications of technology during the 20th century. The debate about the physical, ethical, and religious nature of our expanding technological environment has continued to grow more pervasive since 1945.
Three Tales will be part of Long Beach Opera’s annual gala. Steve Reich’s tales will kick-off LBO’s 40th anniversary season and continue the new 20+20 themed development campaign in which the company celebrates its past achievements and looks forward to its future endeavors.
Sung in English
Musical Concept: Martin Haselböck
Composers: David Sylvian and Johann Sebastian Bach
with additional recording of music by Ernst Krenek, Martin Haselböck and Ülo Krigul.
Venue: The Beverly O’Neill Theater, Long Beach
Performance Dates: 1/19/19, 1/20/19
Stage Director: Frank Hoffmann
Video Design: Virgil Widrich
A nameless man sits on death row, awaiting his execution. Edgar Allan Poe’s novella delivers a dark journey into the abyss of a desperate man’s soul. It is accompanied by a musical remix of English songwriter David Sylvian’s work and arias from J.S. Bach cantatas. – with 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 production for music, dance and film. Using the unsettling music of contemporary English songwriter David Sylvian and cantatas by J.S. Bach, performed onstage by tenor and baroque ensemble, Virgil Widrich creates a dramatic space that underpins Poe’s story of one man’s frightening 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
Sung in English
Composer: Philip Glass
Librettist: Rudy Wurlitzer
Venue: The Studio Theater, CSULB Long Beach
Performance Dates: 4/25/19, 4/26/19, 4/27/19, 4/28/19, 5/2/19, 5/3/19, 5/4/19, 5/5/19
Stage Director: Jeff Janisheski
An explorer visits an island where blind conformity has no rational connection between crime and punishment. Kafka’s ingenious metaphor about man’s inhumanity to man is heightened by Glass’ hypnotic score. Witness the internal conflict of the innocent bystander; to act or to do nothing.
Kafka’s harrowing story “In the Penal Colony” (“In der Strafkolonie”) was adapted as a play by Steven Berkoff in 1969 and was chosen by Philip Glass to form the basis for this opera. He and his long-time collaborator and former wife JoAnne Akalaitis worked on the idea on and off for three years before receiving a commission from ACT Theatre in Seattle. Akalaitis worked closely with librettist Rudy Wurlitzer, adapting the story for the musical stage and directing the premiere production.
Sung in English
Composer: Anthony Davis
Librettist: Richard Wesley
Venue: Warner Grand Theater, San Pedro
Performance Dates: 6/15/19, 6/22/19, 6/23/19
In late 1980’s New York, five African American and Latino teenagers were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were the wrong color but the right suspects to be unjustly convicted of a Central Park rape. They were exonerated through DNA 13 years later. Davis’s opera is a passionate story about a case that rocked America and its long-standing battle with racial stereotyping.
“In my career as a composer I have devoted myself to the creation of works that bring to light issues of political and social significance. Particularly my operas have addressed pivotal events and figures in American history with a focus on the issues of race and justice.” – Anthony Davis
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.