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Behind The Curtain

  • LA Opera: March 12, 2014

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    In this edition of the podcast, host Brian Lauritzen is joined by soprano Albina Shagimuratova and tenor Saimir Pirgu who are singing the roles of Lucia and Edgardo (March 15 through April 6 at LA Opera). They discuss developing chemistry onstage, the challenges of portraying the psychological turmoil of the opera and their unlikely journey to become opera singers.
  • LA Opera: February 10, 2014

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    In this edition of LA Opera's Behind the Curtain podcast, Brian Lauritzen talks to Liam Bonner, who is performing the title role in Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd," a role debut for the baritone. They discuss how he prepares an operatic role for the first time, the musical and physical demands of the role of Billy, and what makes Britten a particularly great opera composer.
  • LA Opera: November 13, 2013

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    In this edition of the Behind the Curtain podcast, host Brian Lauritzen is joined by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon who confesses an undying love for the music of Mozart. Mr. Conlon talks about that makes Mozart's music so special to him, what makes audiences identify with the different characters in "The Magic Flute" and how this production seems tailor-made for Los Angeles.
  • LA Opera: November 07, 2013

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    In this edition of LA Opera Behind the Curtain, host Brian Lauritzen visits with Music Director James Conlon to discuss Giuseppe Verdi's final opera, "Falstaff" - his only successful comedy. It's a work that has been part of Mr. Conlon's personal life from the beginning of his career.
  • LA Opera: October 01, 2013

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    As a special addition to the season, LA Opera presents a rare revival of the groundbreaking 1976 collaboration by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. Universally hailed as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, "Einstein on the Beach" breaks all rules of conventional opera. Brian Lauritzen hosts this special edition of "LA Opera: Behind The Curtain" featuring interviews with Philip Glass, Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs.
  • LA Opera: September 09, 2013

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    In this edition of LA Opera's Behind the Curtain podcast, host Brian Lauritzen talks with Patricia Bardon, the Irish mezzo-soprano singing the title role in our 2013/2014 season opening production of Bizet's "Carmen." They chat about the challenges of singing Carmen and what it's like for a mezzo to tackle the iconic role for the first time or the hundredth time.
  • LA Opera: May 22, 2013

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    Brian Lauritzen is joined by "Tosca" director John Caird. Best known for his work in the theatre, Mr. Caird is best known for directing the original West End production of "Les Miserables" and an adaptation of Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby" for the Royal Shakespeare Company. They talk about the difference between directing opera and directing for the stage, his vision for the new-to-Los Angeles production of "Tosca," and working with LA Opera General Director Placido Domingo.
  • LA Opera: April 03, 2013

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    A song celebration of Benjamin Britten, featuring Members of LA Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program-Amanda Woodbury, Rebecca Nathanson, sopranos; Joshua Guerrero, tenor; Christopher Allen, Nino Sanikidze, piano. Originally presented as part of the Sundays Live series at LACMA.
  • LA Opera: March 20, 2013

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    In this edition of LA Opera's Behind the Curtain podcast, Brian Lauritzen talks to mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey who is singing the role of Cinderella/Angelina in Rossini's Cinderella (La Cenerentola). Lindsey talks about the state of opera in America, the athleticism of singing Rossini and about what draws her to the stage.
  • LA Opera: March 05, 2013

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    In this edition of the podcast, Brian Lauritzen goes behind the curtain with LA Opera Music Director James Conlon as we set sail with Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. They discuss the recurring themes in Wagner's work - the outsider, the wanderer, redemptive love - as well as how Wagner viewed himself as a revolutionary.
  • LA Opera: February 20, 2013

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    Brian Lauritzen sits down with LA Opera Music Director James Conlon to discuss the musical legacy of composer Benjamin Britten whose 100th Birthday Celebrations have begun in Los Angeles and around the world. Conlon talks about Britten's compositional fluency in all genres of classical music, the dichotomy of his conservative religious beliefs and liberal political views and the challenges Britten faced as a gay man living in an intolerant society.
  • LA Opera: November 14, 2012

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    In this edition of the LA Opera Behind the Curtain Podcast, Brian Lauritzen is joined by LAO Resident Conductor Grant Gershon. They talk about Gershon's long history with LA Opera, why he thinks Puccini is underrated orchestrator, and dissect some of Gershon's favorite moments of Madame Butterfly.
  • LA Opera: September 17, 2012

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    In this edition of the podcast, KUSC's Brian Lauritzen chats with bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, who's singing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni.
  • LA Opera: September 11, 2012

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    In this edition of the podcast, Brian Lauritzen talks with LA Opera Music Director James Conlon, who is conducting the 2012/13 Season opening run of Verdi's "The Two Foscari (I Due Foscari)," starring LAO General Director Placido Domingo. They discuss how this early opera foreshadows Verdi's later compositional style and how there's a little bit of Verdi's personal life in all of his art.
  • LA Opera: June 04, 2012

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    KUSC's Brian Lauritzen chats with soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello, L.A.’s Mimi and Rodolfo, about how they balance their marriage and their opera careers, and how La Bohème brought them together.
  • LA Opera: April 19, 2012

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    KUSC's Brian Lauritzen chats with Albert Herring director Paul Curran about the critical working relationship between the conductor and the director, and the challenge of communicating the subtleties of Britten's characters to a large audience.
  • LA Opera: April 18, 2012

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    Music Director James Conlon reflects on three decades of collaborating with Plácido Domingo, why Boccanegra may be the greatest of Verdi’s mighty baritone roles, and the recurring theme of reconciliation that makes Simon Boccanegra so emotionally powerful.
  • LA Opera: November 06, 2011

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    Brian Lauritzen interviews the stars of Roméo et Juliette. Tenor Vittorio Grigolo discusses the critical importance of preparation, luck and timing, and why the audience is always right, and soprano Nino Machaidze, who learned the role of Juliette for the Salzburg Festival in one month, explains why it's her ideal role.
  • LA Opera: September 18, 2011

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    Music Director James Conlon discusses Mozart's ongoing examination of the battle of the sexes throughout his "Da Ponte" trilogy, why Beethoven was appalled by Così fan tutte, and the mischievous implications of the opera's setting in Naples.
  • LA Opera: September 17, 2011

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    Music Director James Conlon discusses Tchaikovsky's place in the Russian operatic tradition, how he adapted one of Russia's greatest literary masterpieces for the operatic stage, and why Eugene Onegin is one of the few operatic tragedies that doesn't have a villain. "Tchaikovsky was profoundly aware that he was setting one of the great masterpieces of Russian literature, if not the greatest. The results are compelling...he pours out his heart through the human voice and the orchestra."