What do you get when you combine a bullfighter, a bandit and one of the most celebrated opera singers in history? LA Opera’s upcoming production of El Gato Montés: The Wildcat. This show really has it all: passionate melodies, flamenco dancers and drama that rivals your favorite reality TV shows.
Want to learn more? We’ve compiled what the most exciting parts of El Gato Montés: The Wildcat. Take a look for yourself below!
Domingo passes the torch
Need we say more? Plácido Domingo, our very own Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, returns to the LAO stage for the second time this season as Juanillo, or “the Wildcat” in El Gato Montés. Fun fact: When LA Opera first performed El Gato Montés in 1994, Domingo sang the role of the bullfighter Rafael. He now passes the torch to tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz, who sings Rafael this time around.
Star soprano returns
You know who is also coming back? Soprano Ana María Martínez! She was last seen as Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo earlier this season, but she’s a beloved staple at LA Opera (having appeared in our productions of Carmen, Pagliacci and more.) She sings the love-struck Soleá in El Gato Montés, caught between her love for both Juanillo and Rafael.
A highly-anticipated return
Spanish conductor Jordi Bernàcer made his first LA Opera appearance in 2013’s Tosca and a concert of zarzuela and Latin American music. But he’s conducted all over the world, including Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, San Francisco Opera, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, and the Mozart Festival of La Coruña (just to name a few). He's a true champion of Spanish music and we’re elated to welcome him back to the LAO stage.
Young Artists galore
Our Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists are the “secret sauce” in many of our shows. We have a few young but very talented singers in El Gato Montés, including baritones Juan Carlos Heredia (Hormigón) and Michael J. Hawk (Caireles) and mezzo-soprano Niu Liu (Shepherd).
Did we mention flamenco?
If great music and killer drama isn’t enough, come for the flamenco! The choreography in this show is by flamenco great Cristina Hoyos (who made her LA Opera debut choreographing 1992’s Carmen) and celebrated dancer/choreographer Jesús Ortega, who'll lead the skilled group of Spanish dancers for El Gato Montés. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the blog and our social media pages in the coming weeks for behind-the-scenes footage of our flamenco dancers at work.