LA Met miniaturizes ‘Aïda’, with grand touches

Verdi’s Aïda is opera at its grandest: a large-scale operatic spectacle in four acts, composed for a huge chorus and orchestra with principal characters who must possess voices that can be heard over the full fortissimo of the entire ensemble. Add massive five- or six-story sets to represent the immensity of the Egyptian pyramids, sometimes propped … Read more

Hear the chorus roar

Vocal focus from CCMN* Southern CA Vocal Events Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights Choral music brings out the big guns this weekend, as the Southland’s two largest pro choruses perform a total of five of my very favorite composers: LA MASTER CHORALE offers two performances of music by Eric Whitacre and Arvo Pärt at Disney … Read more

Opera Nova resurrects Verdi’s own Hun

The master’s early opera, back to life in Santa Monica His legend is alive and well:  ruthless, indomitable, mysterious.  Attila the Hun is a name that still evokes powerful imagery and fearsome tales, fifteen-and-a-half centuries after his death.  Verdi’s opera paints this indelible character as brave and ambitious, yet quite human.  Baritone Patrick Blackwell takes … Read more

Another look at a favorite

Center Stage Opera takes ‘La Traviata’ to 1930s Berlin We seem to have plenty of Verdi in SoCal right now.  But don’t confuse the two productions of La Traviata coinciding over the next week or so — while LA Opera focuses on froth and free will (see preview below), Center Stage Opera sets the story … Read more

Verdi gets fully feted in May

Tribute to Giuseppe Verdi Don’t miss this month’s exhibit and lecture series at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, celebrating the life and work of opera great Giuseppe Verdi.  The gallery exhibit features artwork from Rome Opera House, and various related events provide multiple ways to explore the composer’s lasting legacy.  The project is … Read more

Trovatore – Distilled

I first saw Il Trovatore at New York’s famed Metropolitan Opera many years ago, starring Fiorenza Cossotto as Azucena. It was a spectacle with fine music, great singing, crowds of choruses set on a grand stage, and an audience numbering in the thousands. Times have changed.  These days, opera companies left and right are closing … Read more

Having a ball

Verdi’s operas are infused with passion and intrigue, but Un ballo in maschera (The Masked Ball) stands out as a shining example. The opera is based on historical events surrounding King Gustav III of Sweden‘s death. (He’s pictured at left.)  Despite being dearly loved by his subjects, the king was shot in 1792 at a … Read more

Simply Shakespeare

Independent Opera Company — Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ Sunday, June 16, 2013 When Galina Barskaya (right) started Independent Opera Company in 2012, there was instant buzzing among local singers.  Opera companies are more likely to be started by singers or conductors than those more likely known for their work at the piano.  But it was and is Barskaya’s combined … Read more

Pagliacci gets a new stage buddy

This month, Vineyard Touring Opera took an unusual approach to the ubiquitous Pagliacci double-bill:  rather than pairing the beloved one-act with another, they unearthed the original source for Verdi’s Rigoletto and did just one essential section to open the show — Act IV — then paired the act with the same section from the original play by Victor Hugo … Read more

LA Opera’s 2012-13 Season Celebrates… A Living Legend

What mystery singer has done all these things…? performed 140 roles in over 3600 career performances made 100+ recordings of complete operas, compilations of arias and duets, and 
crossover discs received 12 Grammy™ awards for recordings (including 3 Latin Grammys) recorded 50+ music videos and three operatic feature films been viewed by over 2 billion … Read more

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