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Blog entries posted during April 2012

Los Angeles Opera Presents “The Story of La Bohème”

The Story of La Boheme

Opera can be as enchanting as a fairy tale, as raucous as the circus, or as dramatic as Harry Potter’s quest.  And better still, the action is set to some of the world’s most glorious music.  It seems to me to be the perfect entertainment for a child, and introducing children to the delights of opera is what SING ME A STORY is all about.

Dispel the notion that opera is “too difficult” for a child and present to your son or daughter an art form that encompasses all the arts: drama, music, and the visual arts through sets and costumes.  I wrote and illustrated SING ME A STORY to stimulate a child’s interest in opera by recreating, as fully as possible, the experience of a live performance.  With public schools steadily cutting arts programs, books on the performing and visual arts are more crucial than ever to educating our children.

To prepare your youngster for Puccini’s dazzling La Bohème, take a look at my retelling from SING ME A STORY.  If possible, play some musical highlights.  And if available, pop in a DVD of one of the many recorded performances.  You’ll be surprised at the richness and pure fun your child will experience when attending La Bohème, as he or she approaches the production with all the anticipation and wonder of an opera enthusiast, reveling in the gaiety and hardship that is the Paris of Puccini’s band of Bohemians.


Christopher Koelsch Named President and CEO of LA Opera

LA Opera is pleased to announce that Christopher Koelsch  has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective September 15, 2012.

The Company’s current Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Rountree, who has served LA Opera in an interim basis since late 2008 while also serving as President and CEO of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, will continue as the head of the Music Center and will join the LA Opera Board of Directors.

Eli and Edythe Broad General Director Plácido Domingo said, “We are very grateful for Steve Rountree’s guidance and leadership during the past few years. He has helped provide the Company with a solid foundation from which to build and grow. His guidance was strong and steady and will be missed. The time has come for LA Opera to have its own full-time business leader to join with me in continuing to advance the Company’s central artistic position, not only in Los Angeles but in the world of music. I cannot think of anyone more appropriate than Christopher Koelsch. Christopher is one of the most skilled professionals I have worked with and it gives me great pleasure to have him take on more responsibility as President and CEO of LA Opera. I embrace our future together at this wonderful company.”

Christopher Koelsch joined the company in 1997. He was named Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2010.  In his current role, and prior to that as Vice President for Artistic Planning, Mr. Koelsch has demonstrated exemplary leadership of the LA Opera team.  Under the guidance of Plácido Domingo, he has helped produce over 30 new productions, including four world premieres, and seven television recordings including the two-time Grammy winning Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny . Additionally, he has been responsible for all aspects of artistic and strategic planning, overseeing the Company’s music administration, production, marketing, public relations and educational administration.

We are excited that his role within the Company is expanding and can’t wait to see what the future holds for LA Opera under Mr. Koelsch’s leadership.


El Armario de Musetta

Sólo faltan cuatro semanas para la gran apertura de Boheme del compositor Giacomo Puccini, y el vestuario de Musetta va a estar justo en tiempo, o eso esperamos!

Les presento el equipo responsable de todo el vestuario magnífico de Musetta.  La líder es Leslie Ann Smith, una de nuestros talentosas constructora de vestuario de damas en el Taller de la Opera de Los Angeles.  Leslie Ann ha trabajado con nosotros durante doce años, en realidad es la tercera vez que ha trabajado en esta producción de La Boheme, y ella me dice que es una de sus operas favoritas. A ella le encanta hacer vestuario del siglo XIX hasta la primera mitad del siglo XX.  Asi que este espectáculo esta a la altura de su mundo favorito.

Leslie Ann trabaja en estrecha colaboración con su asistenta, Jennifer Shaw. La Fashionista del equipo, Jennifer ha estado con la Opera de Los Angeles desde 2005. Ella se graduo con especialicion en la moda, pero prefiere trabajar con el vestuario de la opera y el teatro y le encanta ponérselos también.  Jennifer me dice “no hay problema con los trajes de epoca, tambien estaban de moda en su día!

Una vez que Leslie Ann ha estudiado los diseños, toma las medidas de la artista, luego hace los patrones.  Jennifer transfiere los patrones a las hermosas telas propias para el escenario,  corta todas las piezas y se las entrega a las costureras del equipo, Hortencia Santos y Ana Wong, que meticulosamente cosen todo y añaden los toques finales.

No podemos olvidarnos de Hallie Dufresne nuestra artesana principal en el taller.   Todos sabemos que no podemos completar el modelo sin los accesorios. Hallie completa el “look” de Musetta con sombreros y joyas.  Gracias Hallie .. Con todo este trabajo del  equipo, estoy seguro que Musetta será fabulosamente vestida con sus nuevos diseños.

Si no, entonces creo que Musetta en el desnudo también será un Grand éxito!  La Boheme abre 12 de mayo hasta 02 de junio .. nos vemos en el teatro ..


Musetta’s New Look for La Bohème

We often find that the stage is a reflection of real life. Though Puccini’s “La Bohème” is set in Paris in the mid-1800’s, most of us can identify and even empathize with Mimi and Rodolfo’s struggles in life and in love. Period pieces are great reminders that throughout the ages, no matter the time or location, we are all united in having similar concerns, wants and needs.  But as French classical author François de la Rochefoucauld said, “The only thing constant in life is change.”  While our upcoming production of “La Bohème” is the same classic love story, it will be undergoing some small changes and evolving into a more updated version of the timeless tale.

Original Musetta Costume - LA Bohème

One of the principal characters, Musetta, will be getting a new wardrobe.  The new costume designer Jeannique Prospere (who also doubles as the costume supervisor for the show) had this to say, “We’ve focused on the details for Musetta’s new costumes. Her character is as multi-layered as her costume and each item is a glimpse into her story and her personality.”

Musetta's New Dress for Act 2 - La Bohème

Jeannique re-designed Musetta using a palette of colors that stay true to the time period that “La Bohème” is set in. We will be seeing Musetta in fiery orange, burgundy, gold, and off-white. Part of Jeannique’s job is to make sure that the re-designs she does will keep to the original designer’s vision for the production so that the show works as a whole.

Musetta's New Coat - La Bohème

In general, the whole show will be getting “refreshed”.  There will be more accents and subtle sparks of color that will breathe a new life into the classic production that we know and love. “Viva La Vie Bohème”!”

Musetta's New Dress for Act 4 - La Bohème

“La Bohème” opens Saturday May 12 and runs through June 2.


Musetta’s New Look in La Bohème (en Español)

A menudo encontramos que el escenario es un reflejo de la vida real.  París, 1800, la mayoría de nosotros nos podemos identificar y empatizar con Mimì y Rodolfo en la lucha de la vida y el amor.  Un autor clásico francés, Francois de La Rochefoucauld, dijo, “lo único constante en la vida es el cambio”.  Nuestra próxima producción de La Bohème de Puccini es la misma historia clásica de amor, con varios cambios, más actualizada.

Original Musetta Costume - LA Boheme

Jeannique Prospere, nuestra diseñadora del vestuario me dice que Musetta en nuestras ultimas producciones, con su vestido amarillo, su vestuario era mas como una cantante de cabaret.  El director, Greg Fortner, tiene una nueva visión para Musetta.  El interpreta a Musetta menos cabaret y mas como una chica rica..

New Musetta costume from Act 2 - La Boheme

Con la visión de Greg, Jeannique a diseñado un nuevo vestuario para Mussetta manteniendo el sabor de la epoca.  Utilizando una gama de colores más cálidos, vamos a ver a Mussetta vestida en color naranja intenso, rojo vino, tonos dorados y crema  Parte del trabajo de Jeannique es mantener los diseños originales integrando la visión del nuevo director.

Musetta's New Coat - La Boheme

En general, todo el espectáculo va a obtener una apariencia más fresca, habrá más detalles, con chispas sutiles de color, dando nueva vida a la producción clásica que conocemos y amamos, Viva la vie boheme!.

Musetta's New Dress for Act 4 - La Boheme

La Boheme abre el sábado 12 de mayo y se extenderá hasta 02 de junio .. nos vemos en el teatro.