New name, new logo, same big vision: LA Opera Connects
LAO announces branding update and renames engagement programming
June 27, 2019 — In celebration of the company's longstanding commitment to connecting Angelenos to opera, and to one another, Plácido Domingo has announced a new name for LA Opera's education and community engagement endeavors: LA Opera Connects.
"LA Opera's education and community programs are as foundational to our artistic identity as our mainstage productions on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage or our eclectic range of Off Grand performances in other venues," says Mr. Domingo. "For some time, we've wanted to convey—simply and effectively—the wonder and promise of these efforts. We believe that the new name, LA Opera Connects, will do just that."
The company's extensive engagement efforts are thriving and reaching people of all ages throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. For many, an introduction to opera has an impact that's powerful, unexpected and immediate.
"LA Opera has been a greater friend to myself and my friends then I could have ever imagined," wrote a Marine Corps captain whose first experience of opera came through the Veterans Circle program, which brings vets to performances at little-to-no cost. "Your team has opened my heart, mind, and emotions to the opera and I know that I am not the only one that feels the same way.”
LA Opera Connects Program Influence
LA Opera currently offers 29 different programs that reach more than 135,000 people each season—a reach that's nearly double the average of other American opera companies with annual budgets greater than $15 million, according to an OPERA America survey.
The numbers alone don't capture the whole story. Angelenos take great pride in living in one of the nation's most diverse cities, and LA Opera's broad-based engagement programs reflect that vibrancy, creating inclusive opportunities for everyone to come together to be transformed by the art form. And rather than focusing almost exclusively on K-12 students, as most American opera companies do, the company's vastly widened scope engages Angelenos from toddlers to centenarians, as well as veterans, hospital patients and families. Here is just a small representation of the programs that connect Angelenos and opera each season:
- Spanish-language podcasts, dual English-Spanish subtitles for simulcast performances, and new education programs conducted in Spanish welcome all members of the Los Angeles community.
- Program content focuses on a diverse range of topics that tell stories of social justice in action. Then I Stood Up, a youth opera honoring the civil rights movement, is the focus of this summer's Opera Camp, where the participating youth not only train for the performance, they study the topic and take trips to learn about the heroes who lived the stories they will perform.
- Arts integration programs for K-12 students include more than 70% Hispanic participation.
- The Leadership Academy offers high school students from underrepresented communities paid internships for leadership training with LA Opera for up to six years, all the way through college.
- On the other end of the age spectrum, Los Angeles County's seniors are served by a variety of programs that help them overcome the real physical and health barriers preventing so many from accessing opera.
- LAO also partners with five hospitals, two medical schools and a host of senior centers to provide extensive access to the therapeutic, affirming power of music.
The enormously popular annual community Opera at the Cathedral, a program in place since 2006, brings together hundreds of amateur and professional performers—from schools, churches and community groups throughout the Southland—to present a production for family audiences, free of charge.
The goal is both to welcome all Angelenos into the world of opera as well as deepen the connection to opera for those already enchanted by the art form. These offerings fall into four basic categories:
- Opera for All: Making opera performances accessible for little-to-no cost
- Get On Stage: Helping community members learn about opera through performing
- Classroom Integration: Teaching kids in schools and training teachers to inspire them
- Continuing Education: A variety of opportunities to learn about opera on one's own or in a group setting
Learn more about these programs by visiting laopera.org/community.
LA Opera Connects is complemented by thriving engagement programming presented through the Opera League of Los Angeles, which sponsors African Americans for LA Opera, and through Hispanics for LA Opera, one of the company's premier support groups.
Why “LA Opera Connects"?
As human beings, we share a fundamental need to connect with one another. We long to connect to our history, to the world around us, to each other, to our shared humanity. This is where opera comes into the picture.
"Opera is where all of the arts intersect, giving us a myriad of powerful entry points to connect," says Christopher Koelsch, the company's Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO. "This harmony of the arts connects us to a rich tradition that transcends borders, to heartfelt stories told through some of the greatest music ever written. And it connects us to each other through a communal experience."
"We believe everyone has a right to experience opera," says Stacy C. Brightman, Ph.D., LA Opera's Vice President, LA Opera Connects. "We're committed to forging connections across generations, across all communities, for all ages, genders, ethnicities and economic backgrounds. Opera is an art form for all people. It is our greatest privilege to partner with scores of other nonprofits to build diverse opportunities to engage with opera and connect through story and music."
Three New Takes on the LA Opera Logo
As part of a larger visual brand update, LA Opera is revealing three new logos, each representing one of the three main company pillars.
Inspired by the diamond mirrors that embellish the ceiling of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's mid-century glam public spaces, the mark that has represented LA Opera since 2012 (above left) received only one slight update: a color gradation that reflects the energy and essence of LA Opera and Los Angeles itself. Changing gradually from light orange to our signature “spotlight yellow,” the update embodies the growth and vibrancy of LA Opera today.
A slight variation from the main logo, the new image for LA Opera Off Grand (above center) includes, in a brush script, the name of this program that takes opera outside the opera house, with eclectic performances in a variety of venues. It introduces a new color gradient from deep violet into pure red and ending with the signature spotlight yellow.
Extending the operatic experience even further, through education and into the community, the logo for LA Opera Connects (above right) includes the new program name in a brush script as well and shows a gradient of colors—blue, green and yellow—that evoke the ocean, mountains and sunlight of Los Angeles. These colors were chosen because so many of the company's engagement programs take place outdoors—such as the annual live simulcasts— or outside LA Opera's home base.
About LA Opera
Under the leadership of Plácido Domingo (Eli and Edythe Broad General Director), James Conlon (Richard Seaver Music Director) and Christopher Koelsch (Sebastian Paul and Marybelle Musco President and CEO), LA Opera is one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies, dedicated to staging imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions and inventive productions of the classics that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling. To learn more about the company, please visit LAOpera.org.
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LA Opera is a non-profit organization
dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.
Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.
Vanessa Flores Waite
Director of Communications