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LA Opera Trio to Open LA Dodgers 2014 Season

Singers for National Anthem at Dodger Game

A baritone, a bass and a tenor walk on the field at Dodger Stadium... But it's no joke!

On Friday, April 4, the Los Angeles Dodgers begin their 2014 season facing long longtime rivals the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m. in the first game of a three-game series. Before the game begins, the talented LA Opera trio of baritone Stephen Powell, bass James Creswell and tenor Joshua Guerrero (currently performing in Lucia di Lamemrmoor) will sing the National Anthem to a sold-out crowd at Dodger Stadium!

We'll be there on the field with them capturing all the action. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter via hashtag #LAODodgers, and we'll see you at the ballgame!

p.s. Here's a photo of LA Opera General Director Placido Domingo and a clown in a Giants uniform. Just because. No pun intended.

PD Dodgers

We're ready for Dodger baseball!

Amanda Woodbury wins Met Auditions

Congratulations to soprano Amanda Woodbury, a member of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, who was named one of five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, North America's most prestigious vocal competition, on Sunday, March 30. 

Amanda Woodbury

Amanda Woodbury joined the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program in the 2012/13 season. She made her LA Opera debut on September 28, 2013, in the leading role of Micaela in Carmen,  with subsequent appearances as Papagena in The Magic Flute. Upcoming performances include her Cincinnati May Festival debut in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under the baton of James Conlon, and the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni this summer with the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program. In 2013, she performed Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the Aspen Music Festival. Originally from Crestwood, Kentucky, she completed her master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. For her competition selections in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finals, Ms. Woodbury performed Donna Anna's aria "Non mi dir" from Don Giovanni and Ophélie's mad scene, "A vos jeux, mes amis," from Hamlet. Of the latter, WQXR’s Operavore said, “Winning, after that, wasn't just probable but an inevitability.” 

With Ms. Woodbury's win, participants in LA Opera's Young Artist Program have now been selected for the Grand Finals in three consecutive years. Last year, soprano Tracy Cox was a national finalist, and soprano Janai Brugger was named a winner in 2012. 

The other winners were soprano Julie Adams (from Burbank, California), bass Patrick Guetti, bass-baritone Ao Li, and tenor Yi Li. Each of the winners received a cash prize of $15,000. Out of more than 1500 competitors, nine singers were selected to compete in the Grand Finals concert, performing two arias with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Marco Armiliato. 

Met National Council Auditions winners 2014

The winners of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. From left to right: tenor Yi Li, soprano Julie Adams, bass Patrick Guetti, soprano Amanda Woodbury, and bass-baritone Ao Li. (Photo credit: Rebecca Fay / Metropolitan Opera)

The Grand Finals Concert was recorded for broadcast at a later date on public radio stations across the United States. On Tuesday, April 1 at 4:00pm (PST), this year’s winners will perform in a concert at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR 105.9, New York City’s all-classical station. The event will be broadcast live on WQXR and there will be a live video webcast on both and; for more information, please visit

Before the Curtain Rises: Pre-Opera Talks

Pre-Performance Talk

If you've ever arrived a bit early to LA Opera, you've no doubt seen hundreds of people in the Grand Hall eagerly awating one of the evening's most popular highlights - the Pre-Performance Talk

These entertaining and informative talks give the audience an insiders view of the evening's performance and are hosted by some of Southern California's most engaging and highly regarded scholars including acclaimed LA Opera Music Director Maestro James Conlon. In fact, Maestro Conlon's talks are so popular that there's seldom an empty seat left in the house!

The talks, which are free of charge to those attending the performance, are scheduled one hour prior to every performance and generously sponsored by The Flora L. Thornton Foundation and The Opera League of Los Angeles.

Listen to Maestro Conlon's latest talk about Lucia di Lammermoor here

From a Penguin to an Octopus!

Our newest guest blogger, 12 year old Claire Johnson, joins us to blog about her experience with our Cathedral Project. This year we presented the world premiere production of Jonah and the Whale by Jack Perla and Velina Hasu Houston.

 Velvety brown on the outside, sequined on the costume!  During practice this week, Paloma and I were called behind the curtain to the fitting area.  Finally, we saw our outfits. The octopus hat was cozy and soft, I didn’t want to take it off.  There were no mirrors, so we had to use each other as a mirror. We both looked like real octopi!

Octopus in Costume


Saturday’s practice was different from all other practices.  When we arrived, we saw the orchestra unpacking instruments, the shiny handbells all laid out on a table, and the principal singers talking to each other.  I really wanted to stay and watch the excitement, but the sealife had to go upstairs.  Distracted, we reviewed our movements.  We could hear the instruments and singers rehearsing the first part of the show.  It sounded amazing!.  It wasn’t til after break that we got to go downstairs and do the sealife scene, whale included.  It looked like a real whale and I got to do my favorite thing, scaring the fish!

Near the end of our five hour practice we were relaxing, watching the end of the show, when Nathan, one of our animal directors, gave us new words to learn!  We sat on the ground in a group while Nathan read the words to us and we repeated them.  Singing these words on Monday will feel different because we will be in a new space…. the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.  And, this time I wont be a penguin like in Noah’s Flood, I will be an octopus!

 Jonah Sealife

Jonah and the Whale (photo by Robert Millard)