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Information 213.972.8001

Blog entries posted during February 2012

Ana Maria Martinez Speaks to Vocal Students at Cortines High School

Music students at Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts were treated to a surprise visit and discussion with soprano Ana María Martínez, currently co-starring with Placido Domingo in Simon Boccanegra .

We asked Ms. Martinez about her experience with the students and what she hopes impress upon them. Her answers follow:

Why do you enjoy talking to students?

I am very interested in connecting with the students, at any age, what matters to them—their existential angst, their curiosities—and to share with them my perspective of the wonder of the theater/operatic world. They are our future on all levels and we must reach out to them, in their environment, in order to bring them closer to the arts.

What was the most intriguing question asked?

When I mentioned to the class that each voice is unique and requires a lifelong dedication in order to cultivate, nurture, and train, one young lady asked me, referring to a voice, “How do you know when a piece of charcoal can become a diamond?”

What would you want to impart to the students?

To dream BIG! Discover what your greatest passions are in life. Spend your life developing the gifts you were given, in order to reach your highest potential.

Calling All Opera Virgins – LA Opera Wants You!

Albert Herring is a rollicking comedy about the only virgin left in a tiny English town, a meek mama’s boy who has a night he’ll never forget. Our upcoming production of Albert Herring (which opens Saturday, February 25), which is sung in English, is a perfect introduction to opera for those new to the experience. If you’re an “opera virgin,” you’re in for the time of your life, too!

We’re offering $25 tickets to all “opera virgins!” If you’ve never been to the opera before, we hope you’ll take advantage of this special opportunity to see Albert Herring. You can even be a shining example of unblemished purity and bring along an additional opera neophyte for only $25 too! The three-day sale lasts from Wednesday, February 22 through Friday, February 24.

The Albert Herring “opera virgins” offer is available for five performances only:

Saturday, February 25, at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 3, at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 8, at 7:30pm
Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 17, at 2pm

For tickets, visit the box office in person or call Audience Services at (213) 972-8001 or go online at www.laopera.org and use promo code: operavirgin.

(Already a ticket holder or subscriber? Bring an Opera Virgin friend for $25! Just call Audience Services purchase tickets for your neophyte friends!)

Best. Letter. Ever.

One of the things we’ve heard people buzzing about in the hallways  over and over again during Simon Boccanegra performances is how convincing Placido Domingo is as a young Boccanegra in the Prologue. In fact, one young man was overheard saying “I kept looking for Placido Domingo onstage when I heard his voice, but then I realized it was him – he WAS the young guy! How awesome is that?”

So it came as no surprise when the following letter from a patron arrived:


Dear Mr. Domingo,

As a longtime supporter of LA Opera, I would like to thank you for your wonderful work.

I attended the premiere of Simon Boccanegra last night… It seemed to me and my wife, as well as the people in the row in front of me and behind me that you did not appear in the Prologue. Who did play Simon Boccanegra in the Prologue? If a substitution was made, why wasn’t the audience notified?




Definitely a testament to Mr. Domingo, his stellar acting ability, and his command of the material (as well as his incredible voice)! So we just wanted to reassure you all… every time you see Simon Boccanegra on stage – you are looking at the one, and only, Placido Domingo. Even in the Prologue. How awesome is that?

Saturday Mornings at the Opera

As rain pours from the darkened heavens, the young hero, desperately trying to survive a pit of certain eradication, does the unbelievable and defeats the evil snake. Good defeats evil once again. Reconnecting with his forest friends, after his grand triumph, the bear, panther, and human live happily ever after with only the bare necessities

At least I think that’s how I remember it.

The audience erupts with youthful cheers in delight. The lights come up letting us know it is time to leave. We all shuffle out to the lobby only to be met by those heroes and villains that were just on stage. Flashes of light emit from handheld polaroids as hundreds of children pose with the main stage characters.  Out the main doors, and into the blazing sun, I look to my brother then up to my mother whose guiding hand leads us safely to our old Toyota van.

That was the very first theatrical performance that I can recall attending. My mother took my brother and me to these plays in the summer, and I can remember, in a fuzzy recollection of my past, most of the shows: Babar the Elephant, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and numerous others. The funny thing is, I remember this all through the eyes of a three year old. I remember they all occurred at the University of Houston. I remember the stage. I remember the entrance hallway. I remember the costumes. And I definitely remember, so clearly, Mowgli’s battle in the rainy pit with Kaa.

When I was asked to write a blog for LA Opera Education and Community Programs Saturday Mornings at the Opera, my first inclination was to write about how much fun the program was, how many different activities we offered to families, or how music can “take you anywhere you want to go”, as it says in The Magic Dream (LA Opera’s children’s opera based on W. A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute). But as I wrote I recalled my summertime theatre adventures, my brother, my mother, a stage, lighting, costumes, audience members, and music – everything that encompasses theatre and everything that my life has revolved around since – kept flashing through my mind. I quickly called my mother to chat about these old performances and although we’re thousands of miles away, I could hear her voice light up. She remembered it just as I did, but from the perspective of a young mother. We shared a beautiful moment twenty years later doting on a seemingly insignificant moment in time. And it hit me… these experiences – theatre with family, with friends, in a communal experience, just like Saturday Mornings at the Opera and The Magic Dream, affect you. My experience with my mother and brother in the theatre affected me deeply. Not only a fond memory we can all relive together, but both my brother and I lived, and breathed, the theatre growing up and now it is a part of my job to bring theatre to families, students, teachers and communities. We may not realize it every day, but because we here at LA Opera have programs like this we are planting seeds for the future. We hope to effect change within the community that we serve. We hope to instill knowledge and a love for the art form we hold so dear to our hearts. Our objective is to show our Los Angeles community that opera encapsulates numerous art forms all on one stage… LA Opera truly is greater than the sum of its arts.

Moda en el Teatro

Mas que nada el ensayo general de Simon Boccanerga el miercoles 8 de Febrero estuvo para chuparse los dedos. El maestro Placido Domingo (Simon Boccanegra) cantó como un angel.  Y no podemos olvidar a Paolo Gavanelli  (Paolo), Stefano Secco (Adorno), y la senorita Ana Maria Martinez (Amelia)… Wow… su voz como pajaritos enamorados… me volvi a enamorar…  no se pierdan SIMON BOCCANEGRA que abre el sabado 11 de Febrero y la ultima funcion es el 4 de Marzo. a las 2 de la tarde.

A veces los que no han venido a la opera me preguntan que me pongo, como es el vestuario???

Facil, si es una Gala, es otra historia… las Galas son un desfile de modas… pero un ensayo general o cualquiera otra funcion… un par de slacks o jeans de moda para los caballeros, no se les olvide la chaqueta.

Para las damas, simple pero siempre elegantes… aqui les doy una muestra  de la moda en el  teatro…

Nos vemos en el teatro, con mi chaqueta…

Manuel Garcia
Assistant Production and Stock Coordinator