The soprano, an advocate of the arts in health care, will also spearhead a June 9 Arts & Health Week Summit
(Los Angeles) May 22, 2023 — LA Opera will close its exciting 2022/23 season with An Evening with Renée Fleming, presenting the superstar soprano in a performance highlighted by the West Coast premiere of Penelope, a concert work created expressly for her by two legends: composer André Previn and librettist Tom Stoppard. The concert will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Featuring the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, Penelope takes the audience into the mind of the mythic heroine, who waits years on end for her beloved husband's return from war while standing strong against a hundred suitors.
The program will also include songs by Edvard Grieg, Gabriel Fauré, Kevin Puts and Jerome Kern, and arias from Bernard Hermann's Wuthering Heights and André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.
Tickets for the concert begin at $29 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at LAOpera.org, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.
Arts and Health Week Summit
An Evening with Renée Fleming will mark the conclusion of Los Angeles County Arts and Health Week. With Ms. Fleming as advisor and advocate, LA Opera's Connects department (dedicated to educational programming and community engagement) is collaborating with the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Healing Arts—an initiative of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab and the World Health Organization—and organizations from across Los Angeles to explore the connections between arts, wellness and recovery.
This year’s Arts and Health Week Summit, taking place on Friday, June 9, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, will highlight the importance of creative aging programs for older adults as well as a variety of healing arts approaches for all ages. Ms. Fleming will introduce the daylong summit, joining local community leaders and arts organizations to showcase the ways in which the arts support mental health and wellbeing, and how they enrich our lives at all ages. Kristin Sakoda, director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, which is partnering on the event, will provide remarks and a conversation with leaders of the County's Mental Health and Aging and Disabilities departments. Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, will deliver the closing remarks at the summit. Click here to learn more.
"The powerful potential of music and arts for lifelong well-being is just beginning to be understood,” said Ms. Fleming. “How can someone with advanced dementia, unable to recognize their own spouse, perfectly recall songs from their youth? Why can some patients with Parkinson’s disease, struggling to rise from a chair or walk through a doorway, easily accomplish these tasks, or even dance, to the sound of a musical beat? Music and arts therapies are proving to be effective tools for addressing the symptoms of a vast array of conditions that include cardiac failure, stroke, PTSD, chronic pain and traumatic brain injuries. I’m thrilled to be a part of the LA County Arts and Health Week once again, to share findings, and learn about programs that leverage these discoveries to the benefit of everyone in the community."
“I’m proud to lead the effort in proclaiming Arts and Health Week in the County of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “From arts education for young people to arts programming for older adults, arts and culture have been proven to make individual lives better and strengthen communities. To that end, I remain committed on our efforts to continue advancing cultural equity and inclusion so that everyone, no matter what zip code they live in, can experience the healing magic of the arts.”
“Arts and culture heal us," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. "From time immemorial to growing research today, we know that the arts improve social cohesion as well as mental, physical, and public health—and we have an opportunity now to deliver the benefits that the arts can bring. The Arts and Health Week Summit shines a light on the vital artists, organizations, agencies, programs, and cross-sector arts initiatives that incorporate arts into health and wellness. These deepening partnerships are integral to equity and healthy communities across civic life, including education, youth development, justice reform and prevention, health, infrastructure, aging and more. I am hopeful that with increased visibility we can find ways to make arts and culture a core part of the services and strategies in our health infrastructure, both locally in Los Angeles County and nationally as a model for this work.”
The Concert Performers
Soprano Renée Fleming's many LA Opera appearances include Violetta in La Traviata (2006), Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (2014) and Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza (2019). One of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, she performs in the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. In 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist. Winner of five Grammy Awards, she is LA Opera's Advisor for Special Projects as well as Artistic Advisor-at-Large for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Creative Consultant for Lyric Opera of Chicago. This month, she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health by the World Health Organization.
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein first came to wide public attention through her 2007 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, reflecting an aesthetic that was both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic. Since that recording, she has played with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai. She has made 13 albums, all of which topped the Billboard classical charts, with repertoire ranging from Couperin to Glass.
The Emerson String Quartet (with Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer alternating as first violin, violist Lawrence Dutton and cellist Paul Watkins) is now in its final season of concerts, disbanding after more than four decades as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles. The Quartet has made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, and has been honored with nine Grammys and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year” award. This will be their final California appearance, in a season that includes a farewell tour across North America and Europe. Their last performance as an ensemble will take place in October 2023 in New York City, to be filmed for a documentary by filmmaker Tristan Cook.
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 LAOpera.org.
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LA Opera’s 2022/23 season is generously underwritten by GRoW @ Annenberg.
Piano graciously provided by Yamaha, Official Piano of LA Opera
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