Quantcast Skip to main content


From Sketch to Stage


Follow the making of LA Opera's NEW PRODUCTION of Macbeth here, with behind-the-scenes photos, making-of featurettes and insights into the inspiration and process of bringing director/designer Darko Tresnjak's vision to the stage.

September 14-16, 2016 — Final dress rehearsals, opening night is in sight!!!

Macbeth is here! Click the image below to go to our gallery of stage photos:


September 9-13, 2016 — Early stage rehearsals

Activity moves to the stage, and the actual Macbeth set! 

From singers to string players, prop makers to projectionists, stagehands to superstars — everyone is now working together in one place at the same time in the crucial final week before the opening night.

Fight director Steve Rankin choreographs a pack of sword-wielding witch-dancers.

This production features approximately 300 costumes and several quick-changes during the performance. This staging area in the wings won't be this quiet for long...

Any employee will tell you one of the genuine charms of working on premisis at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is that "old Hollywood backlot" feeling of other worlds and eras crossing over with our present — you can't even go to the vending machine for a juice without running into the Queen of Scotland or some of her knights and squires. In October it'll be pharoahs on cell phones and it'll be mechanical girls in March.

Isaiah Morgan, veteran of last season's Gianni Schicchi, has two roles in Macbeth — Banquo's son Fleance and the Third Apparition.


September 8, 2016 — Rehearsal room hustle and bustle

James Conlon and Darko Tresnjak work with the singers and stage performers in the final days upstairs. From here, they all move down onto the completed Macbeth set for piano dress rehearsals and orchestra tech rehearsals.


September 6, 2016 — Green Screen

Being a Darko Tresnjak production, video projections definitely factor in to the new Macbeth. While the set is being finalized on stage, upstairs in a rehearsal room a video crew under the direction of projection designer Sean Nieuwenhuis shoots one of the "king heads" against a green screen.

The green color of the backdrop and on dancer Jean Michelle Sayeg's legs will be dropped out digitally to create a supernatural floating head effect. Sayeg is the dance captain on Macbeth, and has performed with LA Opera in Aida (2005) and The Merry Widow (2007). Most recently, she was one of the dancing ghost doubles in Tresnjak's production of The Ghosts of Versailles (2015).


September 1, 2016 — LOAD IN!!!

With the new month comes a landmark moment in any production, but especially a new one: the "load in." Several 18-wheelers arrive at the loading dock, and reverberations are felt and heard throughout the building as literally tons of newly-built set walls and structural elements are shifted from truck to stage. Initial assembly begins, with the cosmetic phase to follow. It's getting real!


August 26, 2016 — Darko Tresnjak works with a crew of dancers. Skulls and rat-like tails abound...


August 22, 2016 — While James Conlon and Grant Gershon rehearse the chorus in the upstairs rehearsal rooms of the DCP, over at the costume shop designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb supervises the crafting of giant heads worn by performers on stage.


August 17, 2016 — Costume fittings for choristers, many of whom will be changing costumes 4-5 times during the opera.


August 15, 2016The production staff is given a "tour" of the set model and its myriad secret moving parts!


July 2016The set and props come together...

These hand-holds will allow performers to climb the walls of the set.

A row of electronic simulated flame lights awaits painting.

Nine of these unnerving baby cribs are being prepared for the outré new production.


June 2016 — Costume sketches from designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb

Suttirat Anne Larlarb has previously designed costumes for frequent collaborator Danny Boyle's films Slumdog Millionaire, Sunshine and others, plus a wide array of award-winning work ranging from the 2012 London Olympics to the Broadway production of Finding Neverland. Here's a sneak peek at some of her sketches for LAO's Macbeth.



Photos: Karen Almond and Larry Ho for LA Opera