Show artwork for Wild

A Season Like No Other

Posted on: February 6, 2022

The secret’s out. We’ve officially announced our 2022/23 season. And we have to say, this might be one of our best ones yet. We have something for everyone (even if you’ve never seen an opera before). Whether you’re a lover of the classics or prefer a production with a twist, this new lineup is a guaranteed delight. Don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself. 

New Productions 

We've been in the opera biz for 37 years and are still finding new productions to bring to Los Angeles. In fact, four out of six of our mainstage shows are entirely new to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  

We’re kicking off the 2022/23 season with a reimagined version of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor that sets this heart wrenching tale in the present day. Sopranos Amanda Woodbury (Sept. 17-24) and Liv Redpath (Sept 28-Oct. 9) share the title role. Tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz returns to our stage as Edgardo. Baritone Alexander Birch Elliot is Enrico and bass-baritone Eric Owens is Raimondo. 

Omar makes its highly anticipated West Coast premiere in a production that is full of some pretty big firsts. Grammy Award-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens wrote the libretto based on the 1831 autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, a West African Muslim scholar who was captured and sold into slavery in South Carolina. She teamed up with Michael Abels (who composed the score and conducted our performance of Get Out last Halloween, among other things) to create this stunning work. Kazem Abdullah, an alumnus of our Young Artist Program, returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to conduct a stellar cast led by tenor Jamez McCorkle in the title role. 

The Marriage of Figaro finds visionary film director James Gray at the creative helm with costumes designed by the legendary Christian Lacroix. Bass-baritone Craig Colclough and soprano Janai Brugger make their role debuts as Figaro and Susanna respectively. Legendary soprano, Ana María Martínez sings the Countess with baritone Lucas Meachem in the role of the Count, and mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb makes her company debut as Cherubino. 

Pelléas and Mélisande returns with a splash after 27 years. Celebrated director David McVicar stages this new to LAO production from the Scottish Opera. To top it off, you’ll get to see Maestro James Conlon at his best as he conducts one of his personal all-time favorite operas. Soprano Sydney Mancasola and baritone Will Liverman make their first company appearances as well as personal role debuts in the title roles. Company favorite and world-famous mezzo-soprano Susan Graham returns as Geneviève, and the outstanding bass Ferruccio Furlanetto is King Arkel. 

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Classic Favorites (with a twist) 

Our other two mainstage productions were so good the last time around, we just had to bring them back. 

We can’t go another five years without seeing one of the most beloved (and tough-as-nails) heroines live on stage. That’s why we’ve brought back Tosca with soprano Angel Blue in the title role alongside tenor Gregory Kunde in role debut as Cavaradossi. Legendary director John Caird stages this heart-pounding production. 

Italian opera lovers are in for a treat with Otello. Russell Thomas, our Artist in Residence, takes on the title role. In the opera world, tenors compare this role to climbing Mount Everest. Good thing Russell is already widely known for it. Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen makes a highly anticipated company debut as the doomed Desdemona, while baritone Igor Golovatenko is the sadistic Iago. Bass Morris Robinson makes his way back to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to perform as Lodovico. 

Welcome (and Welcome Back) to LAO 

We’re thrilled to welcome (and welcome back) some of this industry’s brightest stars, many of whom got their start on our stage. Angel Blue, Janai Brugger, Liv Redpath, Amanda Woodbury, and conductor Kazem Abdullah all graduated from our Young Artist Program and return in leading roles. We also get to see some fresh faces: Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Will Liverman, Rihab Chaieb, Sydney Mancasola, James McCorkle and Alexander Birch Elliott make their mark on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion next season. 

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Did Someone Say Star Power?  

We’ve got to say, there are plenty of certifiable stars taking our stage in 2022/23. Ana María Martínez, Susan Graham, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Gregory Kunde, Morris Robinson and Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Lucas Meachem take on leading roles in each of our mainstage productions.  

We also get treated with recitals from Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Isabel Leonard and Russell Thomas.

Not to Mention Girl Power 

Lina González-Granados officially starts as Resident Conductor in August. Her milestone appointment is even greater than our stage; she is the first Latina to take on a high-ranking conducting position at a big American opera house. We can’t wait for all the incredible music to come. Namely, her company debut in Lucia di Lammermoor. 

Conductor Oksana Lyniv leads the LAO Orchestra in a thrilling production of Tosca. This trailblazer was the first woman to conduct at the prestigious Bayreuth Festival. This year, she became the first woman to become music director at an Italian opera house, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.  

Composer Rhiannon Giddens and director Kaneza Schaal join creative forces for Omar, a production with a lot to be excited by. And with Kaneza Schaal’s artistic eye, this modern opera is a guaranteed stunner. 

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The English Concert in a performance of Handel's "Alcina" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Photo: Lawrence Ho)

Visitors from Across the Pond 

The English Concert, a globe-crossing period instrument orchestra conducted by the famed Harry Bicket, comes back to Los Angeles in a single not-to-be-missed concert performance of Handel’s Solomon. But what’s so special about period instruments? Well… a  lot. They turn back the clock on instrumental evolution. Period instruments are constructed the same as they were when the composer in question wrote their work. So baroque violins use different strings, have a shorter bridge, and are played with a shorter bow. Bottom line: they recreate the sound exactly the way the composer intended. Pretty cool, right? 

Conlon at His Best  

This season has a lot of incredible things in store. One of them is the fact that you’re going to see James Conlon at his best. He starts off conducting a beloved Mozart comedy, The Marriage of Figaro. Then he gets to work his magic on a personal favorite, Pelléas and Mélisande. And did you know Maestro Conlon is also a Verdi master? (Of course you did.) We’ll see him shine in Otello, the pinnacle of Italian opera, to close out the season.  

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Maestro James Conlon (Photo: Bonnie Perkins)

We Know What We’re Doing Next Halloween... 

We'll be watching Frankenstein with live orchestra at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Fun fact: the iconic 1931 film was released without a score, so composer Michael Shapiro made his own. He’ll conduct the LAO Orchestra through his atmospheric soundtrack score to celebrate the spookiest time of year. 

Off Grand Offerings 

We’re taking over The Colburn Zipper Hall next winter with two recitals from outstanding artists. Glamorous mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard partners with guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas (who Billboard praised as “the soul of the Spanish guitar”) for an intimate evening of Spanish songs. Then, tenor Russell Thomas performs a hand-curated program of music by some of his favorite composers.  

We also return to REDCAT for two groundbreaking works in partnership with Beth Morrison Projects. Mary Motorhead tells the story of a convicted murderer who shares her secret past to shine light to her actions. It plays on a double bill with TRADE, where a young hustler and his client wrestle with their inner demons and their needs. Both operas were created by composer Emma O’Halloran and Irish playwright Mark O’Halloran. 

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Connecting with the Community 

Our Connects program expands neighborhoods, communities and ages. Like we always say, there’s something for everyone. If you want to get on stage, join Maestro James Conlon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as he conducts hundreds of singers and musicians in a performance of the family-friendly opera Moses.  

Explore what it means to be an Angeleno in the past, present and future in our Song of Los Angeles project. Director Bruce A. Lemon Jr. (The Anonymous Lover) unites with company favorite composer Michael Abels for this trio of one-act operas. 

We’ve of course got your little opera lovers covered with Saturday Mornings at the Opera, our special interactive performances for kids aged 3 to 9. And from the little to the littlest, BambinOis an opera specially designed for babies (yes, babies) between six and 18 months old and their accompanying adults. 

Want even more details on this incredible season? Watch CEO Christopher Koelsch, Music Director James Conlon and Artist in Residence Russell Thomas discuss all that's in store here

We weren’t kidding when we said we truly have something for everyone. Bring your friends, family, neighbors—everyone—and experience the magic of our 2022/23 season. Grab a single ticket soon or a whole season package. We’re saving you a seat.