The company's 38th season offers operas, concerts and more, giving audiences the best of traditional modern programming from around the world

(Los Angeles) February 19, 2023 — LA Opera President and CEO Christopher Koelsch today announced details for the company's 38th season, encompassing a wide range of operatic styles, from drama and romance to comedy, guaranteed to move and entertain audiences. Music Director James Conlon will conduct four of the six mainstage productions and Resident Conductor Lina González-Granados will conduct one production and one world premiere concert in her second season with the company.

The six mainstage productions include a long neglected American opera in its company premiere, presented in a double bill with a celebrated production last presented in 2008; another company premiere by one of today’s most exciting young composers; and four additional new-to-Los Angeles productions—along with five concerts presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, including a major new concert work created for tenor Russell Thomas, the company’s Artist in Residence. Several additional performances will be presented in other venues through the company's Off Grand and Connects initiatives.

Mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion:

  • James Conlon begins his 18th season as music director conducting Mozart’s Don Giovanni in a new-to-Los Angeles production by director Kasper Holten from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, starring Lucas Meachem in the title role
  • a new-to-Los Angeles production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, conducted by Louis Lohraseb and directed by Tony winner Rob Ashford, with a cast including Emmett O’Hanlon, Isabel Leonard and Luca Pisaroni
  • the company premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego) by composer Gabriela Lena Frank and librettist Nilo Cruz, conducted by Lina González-Granados, directed by Lorena Maza, and starring Daniela Mack, Alfredo Daza and Ana María Martínez
  • the return of the Recovered Voices initiative, dedicated to rescuing works from historical neglect or censorship, with a fascinating double bill conducted by James Conlon: the company premiere of William Grant Still’s Highway 1, USA starring Norman Garrett and Nicole Heaston in a new production directed by Kaneza Schaal, and a revival of Zemlinsky’s The Dwarf directed by Darko Tresnjak, with Rodrick Dixon reprising his celebrated 2008 portrayal of the title role
  • Rachel Willis-Sørensen starring in a new-to-Los Angeles production of Verdi’s La Traviata conducted by James Conlon and directed by Shawna Lucey; Louis Lohraseb will conduct one performance
  • Angela Meade's role debut in the title role of Puccini’s Turandot, conducted by James Conlon and also starring Russell Thomas and Guanqun Yu in a new-to-Los Angeles Opera production directed by Garnett Bruce and featuring scenic designs by artist David Hockney
  • a concert performance of Handel’s Baroque masterpiece Rodelinda, with Harry Bicket conducting The English Concert and Lucy Crowe in the title role
  • the world premiere of Fire and Blue Sky, by composer Joel Thompson and librettist Imani Tolliver, a large-scale concert piece created for and performed by tenor Russell Thomas and conducted by Lina González-Granados
  • three one-night-only concerts headlined by iconic American divas: Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone and Renée Fleming

LA Opera Off Grand performances:

  • Halloween screenings of the 1935 horror classic The Bride of Frankenstein at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, with Jenny Wong conducting the LA Opera Orchestra in a live performance of Franz Waxman’s original soundtrack score
  • The Book of Mountains and Seas by composer/librettist Huang Ruo, a new interpretation of ancient Chinese creation myths staged by Basil Twist at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects

LA Opera Connects performances for the season will include:

  • a revival of Benjamin Britten’s Noah’s Flood, conducted by James Conlon and performed by hundreds of hundreds of community performers from across Los Angeles County at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
  • a live simulcast of one of the season’s mainstage productions in partnership with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, presented free of charge for the public in outdoor venues throughout Los Angeles County

Additional information can be found below, with complete casting, schedules and additional details at

LA Opera's Leadership Weighs In:
Christopher Koelsch, Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO
“We want each new season to build on the success of the previous one, and on the sustaining artistic legacy of the company. For me, the grandeur, scale and sweep of the 2023/24 season does just that, offering illuminating interpretations of classic works through the extraordinary artistry of the world’s leading musicians. Simultaneously, LA Opera’s sustained commitment to contemporary work helps to ensure the vitality, creativity and bright future of the art form for generations to come. We will also deepen our dedication to developing the next generation of opera stars; some of the most memorable performances we’ll hear during the season will be from alumni of our Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. From my point of view, the season will offer countless opportunities for a communal celebration of the superhuman expression, soulful emotion and sublime beauty that only opera can provide. I’m thrilled to share these experiences with our audiences.”

James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director
“Bearing in mind LA Opera's mission to provide our public with a cross-section of modern life in the opera house, I think the artistic team has put together an excellent season. The program simultaneously honors our mission to nourish and maintain the classical repertory of recognized masterpieces while devoting a significant part of the season to new and/or neglected works. Of these, I am particularly happy to see the return of Alexander Zemlinsky's The Dwarf (for the first time since it successfully launched the Recovered Voices initiative in 2008) paired with the LA Opera premiere of William Grant Still's Highway 1, USA. I also welcome the company premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego, which premiered just a few months ago. For me personally, a season of Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Turandot and the Still/Zemlinsky double bill will be deeply satisfying to conduct, and I am sure that our orchestra and chorus will echo those sentiments.”

Keith R. Leonard, Jr., chairman of the LA Opera board of directors
“Our coming season puts us in an ideal position to continue winning back those opera lovers who have been reluctant to return in the wake of the pandemic. We’re seeing that momentum now, with so many audience members thronging to the theater for The Marriage of Figaro. We are also eager to build upon something else that we’re seeing—a record number of newcomers coming to LA Opera performances for the first time as well as an audience that's becoming more diverse than ever. This is an exciting moment for LA Opera and I can’t wait for our audiences to experience what we’ve put together for them.”

(135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012)

A season-opening production of Don Giovanni, starring Lucas Meachem
September 23, October 1, 4, 7, 12 and 15, 2023

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist: Lorenzo da Ponte
World premiere: October 29, 1787

LA Opera’s 2023/24 season launches with what many consider to be the greatest of all operas. James Conlon conducts a top-notch cast in a visually spectacular production by director Kasper Holten, with scenery by stage designer extraordinaire Es Devlin (known for her innovative stage designs for Beyoncé, Adele and U2).

Don Giovanni: Lucas Meachem
Donna Anna: Guanqun Yu
Donna Elvira: Isabelle Leonard
Don Ottavio: Anthony León †
Leporello: Craig Colclough °
Zerlina: Meigui Zhang *
Masetto: Alan Williams †
Commendatore: Peixin Chen

Conductor: James Conlon
Production: Kasper Holten *
Associate Director: Greg Eldridge *
Scenic Designer: Es Devlin *
Costume Designer: Anja Vang Kragh *
Original Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet
Projection Designer: Luke Halls
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank
Choreographer: Signe Fabricius *

* LA Opera debut
† Member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program
° Recipient of the Eva and Marc Stern Artist Award

A co-production (new to Los Angeles) of Houston Grand Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) and the Israeli Opera

Isabel Leonard in a dazzling production of The Barber of Seville
October 21 and 29, November 2, 4, 9 and 12, 2023

Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Librettist: Cesare Sterbini
World premiere: February 20, 1816

Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard returns for her second LA Opera appearance of the season, starring as Rosina along with baritone Emmett O’Hanlon as the street-smart matchmaker Figaro. The conductor will be Louis Lohraseb, fresh from his triumphant debut leading Tosca in 2022. The colorful comedy arrives in a new-to-Los Angeles production by Tony- and Emmy-winning director and choreographer Rob Ashford.

Figaro: Emmett O’Hanlon *
Rosina: Isabelle Leonard
Count Almaviva: Edgardo Rocha *
Doctor Bartolo: Paolo Bordogna *
Doctor Bartolo (November 9 and 12): Patrick Carfizzi *
Don Basilio: Luca Pisaroni *

Conductor: Louis Lohraseb ‡
Director: Rob Ashford *
Scenic Designer: Scott Pask *
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Howard Harrison *
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank

* LA Opera debut
‡ Former member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program

Production (new to Los Angeles) from Lyric Opera of Chicago

The company premiere of El último sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego)
November 18, 26 and 30, December 3, 6 and 9, 2023

Composer: Gabriela Lena Frank
Librettist: Nilo Cruz
World premiere: October 29, 2022

Mexico’s most iconic artists leap off the canvas in this operatic tribute to one of the most pivotal romances in history, created by Grammy-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. When a desperate wish on Day of the Dead reunites the pair, Diego Rivera jumps at the chance to seek forgiveness from his deceased wife, Frida Kahlo. But she refuses to return to the world that caused her so much pain, until another departed soul inspires her to look back at the art (and man) she once loved.

Frida Kahlo: Daniela Mack
Diego Rivera: Alfredo Daza
Catrina: Ana María Martínez
Leonardo: Key'mon W. Murrah *

Conductor: Lina González-Granados
Director: Lorena Maza *
Scenery Designer: Jorge Ballina *
Costume Designer: Eloise Kazan *
Lighting Designer: Victor Zapatero *
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank

* LA Opera debut

A co-production (new to Los Angeles) of San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera

A Recovered Voices double bill
February 24, March 3, 6, 9, 14 and 17, 2024

Championed by James Conlon, the Recovered Voices initiative ensures that the power of art triumphs over historical neglect and censorship. The new season's offering is a double bill of 20th-century gems. First up is a rare staging of Highway 1, USA by William Grant Still, a trailblazing artist hailed as “the Dean of African-American Composers.” Composed in the 1940s but unperformed for decades, the opera portrays a hardworking couple, determined to build a better life, who discover that their years of sacrifices have been misguided. The new production is staged by director Kaneza Schaal and production designer Christopher Myers, who made impressive 2022 LA Opera debuts with Omar.

Next, Rodrick Dixon reprises his celebrated portrayal of the title role in The Dwarf, a heartbreaking tale of one-sided love in an opulent Spanish court, previously presented here in 2010 to critical acclaim. An Oscar Wilde’s fable (“The Birthday of the Infanta”) is brought to life through a lush and romantic score by Alexander Zemlinsky, whose career was cut short by the rise of the Nazi regime.

Highway 1, USA
Composer: William Grant Still
Librettist: Verna Arvey
World premiere: May 11, 1963

Mary: Nicole Heaston
Bob: Norman Garrett
Nate: Chaz’men Williams-Ali *
Aunt Lou: Deborah Nansteel *

Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Kaneza Schaal
Production Designer: Christopher Myers
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank
New production

The Dwarf
Music: Alexander Zemlinsky
Libretto: Georg C. Klaren
World premiere: May 22, 1922

The Dwarf: Rodrick Dixon
Donna Clara: Erica Petrocelli ‡
Don Estoban: Kristinn Sigmundsson

Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Scenery Designer: Ralph Funicello
Costume Designer: Linda Cho
Lighting Designer: David Weiner
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank
An original LA Opera production

* LA Opera debut
‡ Former member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program

Rachel Willis-Sørensen stars in La Traviata
April 6, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 27, 2024

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
World premiere: March 6, 1853

Rachel Willis-Sørensen, one of the most acclaimed American sopranos of her generation, portrays the glamorous Violetta, whose time is quickly running out. Verdi master James Conlon conducts one of opera’s most enduring tragedies in a vibrant new-to-L.A. production that shines the spotlight on Violetta’s tragic attempts to outrun her fate.

Violetta Valéry: Rachel Willis-Sørensen
Alfredo Germont: Liparit Avetisyan *
Giorgio Germont: Kihun Yoon ‡

Conductor: James Conlon
Conductor (April 18): Louis Lohraseb ‡
Director: Shawna Lucey *
Production Designer: Robert Innes Hopkins *
Lighting Designer: Michael Clark *
Chorus Director: Jeremy Frank
Choreographer: John Heginbotham *

* LA Opera debut
‡ Former member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program

Production (new to Los Angeles) from San Francisco Opera

Angela Meade stars in the company’s first Turandot since 2002
May 18, 26 and 30, June 2, 5 and 8, 2024

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Librettists: Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
World premiere: April 25, 1926

There's star power aplenty in this blockbuster production with sets designed by art legend David Hockney. The sensational Angela Meade makes her role debut as Turandot opposite Artist in Residence Russell Thomas as her fearless suitor Calaf. James Conlon conducts this dazzling, long awaited audience favorite.

Turandot: Angela Meade
Calaf: Russell Thomas
Liu: Guanqun Yu
Timur: Morris Robinson
Pang: Terrence Chin-Loy *

Conductor: James Conlon
Director: Garnett Bruce *
Scenery Designer: David Hockney
Costume Designer: Ian Falconer
Original Lighting Designer: Thomas J. Munn

* LA Opera debut

A co-production (new to Los Angeles) of San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago

(135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012)

Concert performance: Rodelinda with The English Concert
November 21, 2023

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Libretto: Nicola Francesco Haym
World premiere: February 13, 1725

The English Concert, a globe-crossing period instrument orchestra led by conductor Harry Bicket, returns for a concert performance of a masterpiece of baroque opera, full of brazenly amoral characters doing dastardly deeds. As the men surrounding her plot to take the throne, the grieving queen Rodelinda tries to stay one step ahead of them all. Soprano Lucy Crowe sings the title role, joined by a cast including countertenors Iestyn Davies and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, and tenor Eric Ferring.

Audra McDonald in Concert
December 2, 2023
Unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress, Audra McDonald—winner of an Emmy Award, two Grammy Awards and a record-setting six Tony Awards—returns to LA Opera in a must-see concert. Joined by a small ensemble, the Broadway legend brings her luminous soprano voice to an intimate evening of favorite show tunes, standards and original pieces written especially for her.

Patti LuPone in Concert
April 20, 2024
Spend an evening with a true Broadway legend, returning to LA Opera for a solo concert after unforgettable star turns in The Ghosts of Versailles and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Taking us on an unforgettable musical journey, this Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning icon commands a stage like no one else. In a remarkable career stretching back over 40 years, she's made history in beloved Broadway titles including Company, Evita, Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes and Gypsy. This will be a night of music you do not want to miss!

World Premiere: Fire and Blue Sky
June 6, 2024

Composer: Joel Thompson
Librettist: Imani Tolliver

Tenor Russell Thomas, LA Opera’s Artist in Residence, premieres a major new commission: a deeply personal, evening-length concert work created expressly for him by Emmy Award-winning composer Joel Thompson with an original libretto by the celebrated poet Imani Tolliver. With Resident Conductor Lina Gonzalez-Granados leading the LA Opera Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel as additional soloist, Fire and Blue Sky traces the origin story of an artist—a probing reflection on painful memories, deeply embedded, that reverberate into the present day. Fire and Blue Sky will be performed along with an orchestral suite from Joel Thompson's 2021 opera The Snowy Day.

Renée Fleming in Recital
June 15, 2024
The iconic soprano, beloved by audiences worldwide, closes out the season with an enchanting evening of arias and songs. The star of LA Opera productions of La Traviata, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Light in the Piazza as well as numerous concerts and recitals, she returns for this special one-night-only performance as part of her annual residence as the company’s Advisor for Special Projects.

(various locations)

Each season, the company explores a range of unusual repertoire through the Off Grand initiative, presented in different venues across the city, both large and small. The goal is to expand the definition of what an opera company is, and who it’s for. Off Grand highlights of the 2023/24 season include:

The Bride of Frankenstein with Live Orchestra
October 27 and 28, 2023

Composer: Franz Waxman
Movie release date: April 19, 1935

This year, our hugely popular annual celebration of horror and live music at the breathtaking Theatre at Ace Hotel features director James Whale's The Bride of Frankenstein, with one of the most iconic "wedding" scenes in cinematic history. As the 1935 horror classic plays out on the silver screen, the magnificent musicians of the LA Opera Orchestra, conducted by Jenny Wong, perform composer Franz Waxman’s groundbreaking original soundtrack score live.
Presented at the Theatre at Ace Hotel (929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015)

The Book of Mountains and Seas
April 10, 12, 13 and 14, 2024

Composer and librettist: Huang Ruo
World premiere: November 3, 2021

A fantastical world of sunbirds, demons and hairy giants is evoked in The Book of Mountains and Seas, a work of vocal theater for 12 singers, two percussionists and six puppet masters. Composer/librettist Huang Ruo took inspiration from a classic compilation of Chinese mythology, first transcribed in the fourth century B.C. Staged by director/puppeteer Basil Twist and featuring the vocal ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen, the compelling new piece will be LA Opera's 12th collaboration with the groundbreaking Beth Morrison Projects. Told through the lens of our modern-day relationship with the natural world, the ancient stories of creation and destruction conjure a sense of respect and awe for the environment and the water stories challenge us to be good stewards of the natural resources we have been given. The Book of Mountains and Seas contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the world we live in.

Co-presented with BroadStage at The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage (1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401)

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

(various locations)

Many thousands of Angelenos experience the magic of opera throughout the year, and not just through the musical events presented on the stage. LA Opera Connects offers an astonishing variety of programs that share the wonder and promise of the art form with all ages, neighborhoods and communities. Highlights of these numerous initiatives include:

Live Simulcast of Don Giovanni
September 23, 2023
One of LA Opera’s favorite traditions is the annual community opera simulcast presented in partnership with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, transmitted live in high-definition video from nine cameras at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to large LED screens in open-air venues throughout Los Angeles County. This season's offering will feature the season-opening performance of Don Giovanni. Admission is free of charge.

Noah’s Flood
May 3 and 4, 2024

Composer: Benjamin Britten
Libretto: drawn from the 15th-century Chester Mystery Play
World premiere: June 18, 1958

Benjamin Britten’s charming opera for all ages will return to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, conducted by Music Director James Conlon. Two community performances will be presented free of charge for family audiences, featuring several hundred student and amateur performers along with professional soloists and musicians from LA Opera.
Presented at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (555 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).

For more information about LA Opera Connects programming, visit


Season tickets for the 2023/24 season are now available, starting at $104 for all six mainstage opera productions. Tickets for individual events will go on sale on June 12. For more 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).

Visit for continually 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
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.

In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at

LA Opera Media Contact
Marlene Meraz
Director of Communications

LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program generously underwritten by
Colburn Foundation
Eugene and Marilyn Stein

Additional generous underwriting support provided by
Terri and Jerry Kohl

With special support for young artist stipends graciously provided by
The Lenore and Richard Wayne Young Artist Fellowship

LA Opera Orchestra generously underwritten by
Terri and Jerry Kohl

LA Opera’s 2022/23 season is generously underwritten by
GRoW @ Annenberg

Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera

LA Opera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.