The double bill of operas by composer Emma O’Halloran and librettist Mark O’Halloran will be presented at REDCAT from April 27 through 30, 2023
(Los Angeles) March 27, 2023 — LA Opera and Beth Morrison Projects will co-present the West Coast premieres of TRADE and Mary Motorhead, two one-act operas by composer Emma O’Halloran and librettist Mark O’Halloran. Produced through the company's Off Grand initiative, the double bill will be performed at REDCAT from April 27 through 30.
In the monodrama Mary Motorhead, a convicted murderer invites us to hear her secret history—the disappointments and betrayals that shaped her life—in the hope that it may shine some light upon the darkness of her action. Mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell stars as the woman pushed to the edge by circumstance, now finding the road back to herself.
TRADE is the story of a rent boy and his closeted client in working-class Dublin. Meeting secretly in a cheap hotel, they wrestle with their inner demons and their need for each other. Three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch, star of LA Opera's A Little Night Music, Wonderful Town and anatomy theater, portrays a family man whose world is crumbling apart, with international recording artist Kyle Bielfield as a young hustler determined to take charge of his future.
The double bill premiered to critical acclaim in January at the 2023 Prototype Festival in New York. The production is conducted by Elaine Kelly, Resident Conductor of the Irish National Opera, in her LA Opera debut, leading the new music orchestra Novus NY. The director is Tom Creed, with set design by Jim Findlay, costume design by Montana Levi Blanco and lighting design by Christopher Kuhl.
The double bill is produced as part of LA Opera's multi-season partnership with Beth Morrison Projects, hailed as a "contemporary opera mastermind" (Los Angeles Times). Previous presentations in this collaboration include the 2022 world premiere of In Our Daughter's Eyes by Du Yun and Michael Joseph McQuilken, and the 2018 world premiere of prism, by Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins, which won a Pulitzer Prize the following year.
TRADE/Mary Motorhead was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Irish National Opera and Nancy and Barry Sanders; developed by Beth Morrison Projects, and produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Irish National Opera and Trinity Church Wall Street.
About the Creators
Freely intertwining acoustic and electronic music, Irish composer Emma O’Halloran has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, symphony orchestra, film and theater. Her work has been described as "intensely beautiful" (Washington Post) and "unencumbered, authentic, and joyful" (I Care If You Listen). She is the winner of numerous competitions, including the Next Generation award from Beth Morrison Projects, which resulted in the commissioning of TRADE and Mary Motorhead. Her music aims to capture the human experience, exploring complex emotions felt at specific moments in time. This approach has found a wide audience: her work has been featured at Classical NEXT in Rotterdam, the Prototype Festival in New York, New Music Dublin Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival and MATA Festival. Additionally, her music has been performed by Crash Ensemble, Contemporaneous, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra and the Irish National Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Mark O‘Halloran is an Irish writer and actor. As an actor, he has worked with all the major theater companies in Ireland and he has appeared in numerous films, most notably as one of the eponymous heroes in Adam & Paul, for which he also wrote the screenplay. His writing credits include the multi-award-winning films Garage and Adam & Paul as well as the television series Prosperity. His films have been seen at the Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Telluride and Sundance film festivals. His works for the stage include the play Trade, named Best Play at the Irish Theatre Awards in 2012. He adapted that play into the film Rialto, which premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and for which he was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2020 Irish Film and Television Awards.
Click here to download production photos and artist headshots.
Performance Dates, Times and Address
There will be four performances of TRADE/Mary Motorhead presented at REDCAT (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012):
Thursday, April 27, at 8pm
Friday, April 28, at 8pm
Saturday. April 29, at 8pm
Sunday, April 30, at 2pm
Tickets cost $74 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.
More information is available at LAOpera.org/TRADE.
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.
About LA Opera Off Grand
LA Opera is dedicated to honoring tradition while pushing boundaries and making opera available to everyone. TRADE and Mary Motorhead are presented through LA Opera Off Grand, an initiative that offers a diverse and eclectic range of artistic programming in multiple venues throughout Los Angeles County, with a goal of expanding the definition of what an opera company is, and who it's for. To learn more, visit LAOpera.org/OffGrand.
About Beth Morrison Projects
Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) is one of the foremost creators and producers of new opera-theater and music theater, with a fierce commitment to leading the industry into the future, cultivating a new generation of talent, and telling the stories of our time. Founded in 2006 by Beth Morrison, who was honored as one of Musical America’s Artists of the Year/Agents of Change in 2020, BMP has grown into "a driving force behind America’s thriving opera scene" (Financial Times), with Opera News declaring that the company, "more than any other… has helped propel the art form into the 21st century."
Operating across the U.S. and internationally, with offices in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, BMP’s unique model offers living composers the support, guidance, and freedom to experiment, allowing them to create singularly innovative and impactful projects. The company has commissioned, developed, produced and toured over 50 works in 14 countries around the world, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning chamber operas Angel’s Bone and prism.
In 2013, BMP co-founded the Prototype Festival with Here Arts Center, which has been called "utterly essential" (New York Times), "indispensable" (New Yorker), and "one of the world’s top festivals of contemporary opera and theater" (Associated Press). Learn more at BethMorrisonProjects.org.
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Off Grand productions are supported by a consortium of generous donors to LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Barry and Nancy Sanders.
LA Opera’s 2022/23 season is generously underwritten by GRoW @ Annenberg.
LA Opera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.