Last week, we had the pleasure of announcing our 2024/25 season, and it’s a relief to no longer have to keep our mouths shut about the imaginative and exciting productions in store. There’s a lot to be excited about this season, but to help simplify things here are 10 highlights:
1. Reimagined Classics
It’s always an exciting time whenever Madame Butterfly, Cosi fan tutte or Rigoletto are back in town. This time, they’re getting a fascinating twist: each of these operas will be set in the 1930s, exploring different facets of the decade. Madame Butterfly sees the Puccini classic set amidst the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood soundstage. Così fan tutte offers a progressive vision of the Mozart classic at a swanky country club, complete with adorable period bathing suits. And Rigoletto transports Verdi’s tragic masterpiece to Mussolini’s Italy. You may have seen these operas before, but we promise that you have never seen them like this.
2. The Return of an Audience Favorite
While we love seeing beloved classics from a different window, we also love being reunited with familiar favorites. Our very own production of Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet returns for the first time since 2011. Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy gets the grand and lush treatment it deserves, with gorgeous staging sure to sweep you off your feet. We think the Bard himself would approve of this magical night at the opera.
3. A Long-Awaited LA Premiere
Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar: The Fountain of Tears is one of the most exciting and innovative operas of the 21st century, and we’re thrilled to welcome this innovative production to our stage for its company premiere. The opera tells the story of poet, playwright, and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca who was assassinated in the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. With its flamenco-inspired score, stunning stage design, and whirlwind choreography, it’s sure to be a novel feast for the senses and a poignant story for the mind.
4. Captivating Concerts on our Stage
Can you blame us for being excited about four of our favorite superstars performing on our stage next season? Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth will kick off our concert series this December belting a selection of holiday favorites. Then, Tony winner Keli O’Hara makes her company debut with a lineup of show tunes and operatic classics next February. Superstar soprano Angel Blue returns to LA just one month later with a selection of opera’s greatest arias. And to top it all off, the legendary Renée Fleming takes audiences on a magical journey through our favorite showstoppers, joined by special guests.
5. A Film Buff's Dream Come True
The 1931 horror classic Dracula gave us the definitive look for Bram Stoker’s cunning count and kickstarted the monster craze of early Hollywood. You’re probably familiar with Bela Lugosi’s iconic performance, but what about his fellow star Carlos Villarías? An identical Spanish-language version of Dracula was shot at the same time, by the same studio, and on the same sets, but with a different cast after the English-language version was finished for the day. It went largely unrecognized in its time, but many cinephiles now hail it as the superior version of the film. See for yourself as the Spanish-language Dracula returns to the big screen with a live performance of a new score by Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last of Us, Brokeback Mountain), who will also grace the stage as a featured performer as Resident Conductor Lina González-Granados conducts the LA Opera Orchestra.
6. Beth Morrison Continues to Break the Mold
We’re incredibly pleased to continue our longstanding collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects with a riveting new stage adaptation of Atom Egoyan’s Palme d’Or-nominated film Adoration. Armenian-American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian crafts a piercing look at intolerance, racism, and mass hysteria in a so-called modern age. With a mix of singing and spoken word, along with fascinating projections of live video taken onstage (perfect for fans of our 2022 production of Lucia di Lammermoor), this West Coast premiere is a can’t-miss.
7. Exciting Company Debuts
Each season, our LAO family gets bigger and bigger, and we’re happy to welcome a number of singers making their company debuts. Joining us will be sopranos Karah Son, Amina Edris and Rosa Feola along with mezzo soprano Hyona Kim. Tenors Jonathan Tetelman and Duke Kim also make their first appearances on our stage, as well as baritone Justin Austin, who stars in both Romeo and Così. We also have the honor of welcoming celebrated conductor Domingo Hindoyan to our orchestra pit for the first time ever.
8. A Baroque Night to Remember
Baroque fans, we’ve got you covered. Paris-based ensemble Les Talens Lyriques brings the Court of Versailles to the West Coast for one night only. Featuring works from leading Baroque composers such as Couperin, Lully, Montéclair and more, get ready for a breathtaking journey though 17th and 18th century classics.
9. Intimate Recitals with Rising Stars
While we love putting on grand and magnificent productions, it’s also fun to see our favorite stars up close. This is where our new recital series at The Wallis comes into play, providing a more personal experience with three operatic powerhouses: France’s favorite tenor Benjamin Bernheim, Grammy-winning bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, and lauded tenor Joshua Guerrero (who also happens to be an alumnus of our Young Artist Program).
10. The Return of Celebración de las Artes
If you happened to join us for our December 3 matinee of Frida y Diego, you’re already scrambling to add Celebración de las Artes to your calendar. For any first-timers, you're invited to this wonderful community event, organized by Hispanics for LA Opera, that brings together independent vendors and performers in a celebration of Hispanic and Latinx culture. Join us after the May 4 matinee of Ainadamar and discover a selection of wonderful crafts, food and beverages on offer.
If any of these productions or events pique your interest, be sure to browse our upcoming season here to get the dates and tickets.