LA Opera announces 2018/19 season

(Los Angeles) January 18, 2018 – Eli and Edythe Broad General Director Plácido Domingo has announced the repertory and artist roster for the company’s 2018/19 season, planned by Mr. Domingo in collaboration with Richard Seaver Music Director James Conlon and Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO Christopher Koelsch. The season will include six mainstage productions presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with additional performances presented elsewhere through the company’s Off Grand initiative.

The season opens with a revival of Verdi's Don Carlo, conducted by James Conlon and starring Mr. Domingo as Rodrigo. This is followed by the company premiere of Satyagraha by Philip Glass, conducted by Grant Gershon; a revival of Hansel and Gretel, conducted by Mr. Conlon and featuring Susan Graham as the Witch; the company premiere of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus) in a new production conducted by Mr. Conlon and directed by Thaddeus Strassberger; a production (new to Los Angeles) of Penella's El Gato Montés: The Wildcat starring Mr. Domingo in the title role and conducted by Jordi Bernàcer; and a revival of La Traviata conducted by Mr. Conlon and starring 2017 Operalia winner Adela Zaharia.

Complete casting and additional information can be found at

"The 2018/19 season will be a wonderful adventure for our community,” said Mr. Domingo. "It is so exciting to be a part of this journey, because opera is an art form that never fails to astonish me. For example, the two mainstage works that are completely new to our repertoire—Satyagraha and The Clemency of Titus, written nearly two centuries apart—could not be more different from each other aesthetically, but their powerful themes of justice and humanity resonate in the present day. Indeed, all of the season's repertory offers opportunities for audiences to experience opera's unique ability to access and express the otherwise inexpressible range of human emotion. Personally, I am particularly looking forward to my first Los Angeles performances of Rodrigo in Don Carlo, my sixth Verdi baritone role here with James Conlon, as well as reintroducing our audiences to El Gato Montés: The Wildcat, a work that has long held a special place in my heart. The combination of large-scale operas on our main stage along with a particularly exciting range of Off Grand presentations means that there is something for everyone this season, regardless of their experience of opera."

"As I look ahead to the coming season, I relish the opportunity to introduce the company premiere of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus)," said Mr. Conlon. "LA Opera has never produced this unquestionable masterpiece, which was composed virtually simultaneously with The Magic Flute in the last months of Mozart's short life. It will be a great and important experience for our audiences. Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel has entranced audiences of all ages for its entire 125-year history. It is a work of enormous charm and accessibility, speaking from its deep roots in our fairy tale tradition. It features a Wagnerian-scaled score that is especially gratifying for the orchestra and conductor. Finally, I am of course particularly looking forward to revisiting two essential Verdi masterpieces—La Traviata and Don Carlo—that I conducted on successive nights of the first weekend of my debut season in Los Angeles. Bookending the coming season, they will provide two excellent occasions to celebrated the extraordinary strides the orchestra and chorus have made over the past 12 years. I'm also extremely proud to offer the second world premiere in our Cathedral Project series, with Moses by Henry Mollicone and Shishir Kurup, a project that annually brings together hundreds of members of the community for a deeply immersive experience of the transformative power of opera. Together with the exceptionally talented musicians of the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus and the magnificent casts we have assembled, I anticipate that our audiences are in for a season of extraordinary performances."

(presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)

Don Carlo (Giuseppe Verdi)
September 22 through October 14, 2018; revival
James Conlon conducts a cast led by Ramón Vargas in the title role, with Ana María Martínez as Elisabeth de Valois, Anna Smirnova as Princess Eboli, Ferruccio Furlanetto as King Philip II, and Plácido Domingo as Rodrigo. The production by Ian Judge returns to Los Angeles for the first time since 2006.

Satyagraha (Philip Glass)
October 20 through November 11, 2018; company premiere
Following the extraordinary success of Einstein on the Beach (2013) and Akhnaten (2016), LA Opera completes the Philip Glass operatic trilogy about great thinkers who changed the world. Satyagraha (Sanskrit for “truth force”) is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa, where he developed the radical new idea of nonviolent political resistance. Grant Gershon conducts a production created by Phelim McDermott (director of Akhnaten) for the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera, starring Sean Panikkar as Gandhi.

Hansel and Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck)
November 17 through December 15, 2018; revival
James Conlon conducts a revival of Doug Fitch's dreamlike production, full of fantastical sets and elaborate special effects. Sasha Cooke and Liv Redpath sing the title roles, with diva extraordinaire Susan Graham as the uproariously wicked witch, eager to lure her young victims into a delicious trap.

The Clemency of Titus (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
March 2 through 24, 2019; company premiere; new production
James Conlon conducts La Clemenza di Tito, Mozart's final opera seria, written simultaneously with The Magic Flute in the final months of the composer's life. The new production is directed and designed by Thaddeus Strassberger, who previously staged LA Opera productions of The Two Foscari (2012) and Nabucco (2017). Russell Thomas stars as the imperiled emperor whose generosity and compassion point the way to a brighter future.

El Gato Montés: The Wildcat (Manuel Penella)
[March 27, 2018 update: date change] May 4 through 19, 2019; production new to Los Angeles
In one of the greatest masterpieces of the Spanish lyrical theater, a beautiful gypsy (Ana María Martínez) unwittingly inspires a fatal rivalry between a renowned bullfighter (Arturo Chacón-Cruz) and a bandit on the run (Plácido Domingo). The quintessentially Spanish tale unfolds with passionate melodies, dazzling choreography and an atmospheric staging. Spanish conductor Jordi Bernàcer leads a production created by director José Carlos Plaza for Madrid's Teatro de la Zarzuela.

La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi)
June 1 through 22, 2019; revival
James Conlon conducts a revival of Marta Domingo's popular Art Deco-inspired update of the Verdi classic. In the face of certain death, a beautiful courtesan dedicates her remaining time to decadent pleasures, dazzling parties and wealthy admirers. But she is transformed when a devoted suitor declares his true love, and demonstrates her great humanity with a heart-breaking sacrifice before her premature passing. Romanian soprano Adela Zaharai, the 2017 winner of Operalia, makes her company debut as the glamorous Violetta, with Rame Lahaj (a 2016 Operalia winner) and Charles Castronovo sharing the role of Alfredo.


(presented in various venues)

Vampyr (Joby Talbot)
October 27 through 31, 2018; world premiere
Our annual Halloween mash-up of opera and cinema returns to the spectacular Theatre at Ace Hotel with filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s surreal 1932 masterwork, underestimated for decades but now regarded as an important landmark of the horror genre. Composer Joby Talbot creates a compelling new score for chamber orchestra and singers, performed live with a rare screening of this cinematic gem, and conducted by Matthew Aucoin, LA Opera's Artist in Residence.
Presented at the Theatre at Ace Hotel (929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90015)

p r i s m (Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins)
November 29 through December 2, 2018; world premiere
A mother and daughter lock themselves away from the world to protect themselves from the dangers lurking outside. Prism explores the viscosity of memory after trauma, and the lengths one will go to feel better—no matter the cost. Marking LA Opera's fifth season of collaborations with Beth Morrison Projects, the Los Angeles world premiere presentation will be followed by performances at the Prototype Festival in New York.
Presented at REDCAT (631 W. Second Street, Los Angeles, 90012)

the loser (David Lang)
February 22 and 23, 2019; West Coast premiere
Two piano prodigies at a master class encounter an even greater talent: the virtuoso Glenn Gould, on the cusp of superstardom. The devastating realization that they will never approach their new rival’s level of artistry changes their lives forever. A painful meditation on dreams forsaken and hopes unrealized unfolds, with Rod Gilfry starring in an intimate staging that incorporates multiple levels of the spectacular Theatre at Ace Hotel.
Presented at the Theatre at Ace Hotel (929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90015)

For more information about LA Opera’s Off Grand initiative, visit


(presented in the Founders Room of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion)

Hosted and curated by Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin, LA Opera's post-show concert series is back for a third season. Presented free of charge immediately following selected performances, After Hours gives audience members and the public the opportunity to mingle with cast and crew members while enjoying special performances by LA Opera artists in the intimate setting of the Founders Room. Musical selections include everything from Schubert, Mahler and Poulenc to Bruce Springsteen, Nick Drake and Radiohead. After Hours concerts will take place on November 11, 2018; November 25, 2018; March 16, 2019; and March 24, 2019. For more information, visit


(presented in various venues)

LA Opera performances are experienced by vast numbers of Angelenos throughout the year, and not just through the musical events mentioned above. In its longstanding belief that the arts are essential to building our community, the company strives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience or participate in opera. To that end, LA Opera presents a robust variety of outreach and family offerings, experienced by more than 135,000 people of all ages each season. Highlights of these initiatives include (to mention just a few):

Saturday Mornings at the Opera (Feb 2 and May 4, 2019)
LA Opera presents two Saturday morning, hour-long, interactive performances, preceded by fun and creative workshops for children that prepare the audience with art and music-making activities. On February 2, 2019, The Magic Dream a wildly imaginative celebration of Mozart's beloved The Magic Flute. On May 4, German Opera Tales is a high-energy show featuring musical moments from operas like Wagner's Das Rheingold, Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.
Presented in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012)

Moses (Henry Mollicone and Shishir Kurup)
March 22 and 23, 2019; world premiere
James Conlon conducts a new work by two distinguished California artists: composer Henry Mollicone and librettist Shishir Kurup. The opera traces the incredible journey of Moses, who stands up to his Egyptian oppressors and ultimately leads his people to freedom. Created for audiences of all ages, and featuring more than 400 professional, amateur and student performers, the opera is presented free of charge as a gift to the community.
Presented at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (555 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, 90012)

Community Circle (ongoing through the season)
The Community Circle seating program enables LA Opera to increase service to students, low-income senior centers, nonprofit service organizations and underserved community groups. Carefully selected groups can experience opera at a significantly reduced price (and even, at times, no cost). Over 150 tickets are set aside in the orchestra section for every mainstage performance to accommodate these special groups, who can apply online to be considered for the program. These tickets are not available for sale to the public. For information about Community Circle, please visit


Subscription Ticket Information

Season subscription tickets for the 2018/19 season are now available, starting at $106 for all six mainstage operas. Tickets for Prism, Vampyr and the loser are currently for sale only with subscription packages. For further information, please visit LA Opera’s website at or call LA Opera’s box office at 213.972.8001.

Unless otherwise specified, performances take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012).

Please visit for updated casting information and performance dates.

Artist headshots and production photographs are available on the LA Opera Press Gallery:

All programs, artists and dates are subject to change.

About LA Opera

In just over three decades of existence, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies, dedicated to staging imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions and inventive stagings of the classics that preserve the foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling. The company also explores unusual repertoire and new works through the Off Grand initiative, performed in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. As a non-profit organization, LA Opera depends on philanthropic support to ensure that opera thrives in Los Angeles for generations to come. Sharing the arts is part of the company's civic responsibility, and LA Opera deepens community involvement with this rich art form through many wide-ranging initiatives.

LA Opera recently honored two of its most important supporters by renaming the title held by Christopher Koelsch as “Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO.” This new title recognizes the extraordinary leadership, inspiring generosity and tireless commitment of Mr. and Mrs. Musco, who have been crucial to LA Opera's artistic success for many years. Through their extraordinary leadership and generosity, they have been powerful advocates for the arts for a broad range of audiences throughout Southern California. Paul Musco was elected to the LA Opera board of directors in 2004 and currently serves as a vice chairman.

LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.

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