The groundbreaking Recovered Voices project returns with a pair of powerful one-act operas.
The power of art triumphs over historical neglect and censorship in two 20th-century gems, brought together to create a double bill of gorgeous works ripe for rediscovery.
An Undiscovered Treasure: Highway 1, USA
First up is the West Coast premiere of Highway 1, USA by William Grant Still, a trailblazing Jim Crow-era composer hailed as “the Dean of African-American Composers.” Norman Garrett and Nicole Heaston star as a hardworking couple determined to build a better life, whose years of sacrifice turn out to be misguided. Chaz'men Williams-Ali portrays the ne'er-do-well brother who squanders every opportunity granted to him. This new staging (only the second-ever professional production of this heart-warming, life-affirming opera) is created by visionary director Kaneza Schaal and production designer Christopher Myers, the team that crafted our stunning 2022 production of Omar.
A Sumptuous Rarity: The Dwarf
Next, tenor Rodrick Dixon performs the title role opposite audience favorites Erica Petrocelli and Kristinn Sigmundsson in The Dwarf, a heartbreaking tale of one-sided love in an opulent Spanish court. Last presented here in 2008 to critical acclaim, Oscar Wilde’s fable is brought to life through a lush and romantic score by Alexander Zemlinsky, whose career was cut short by the rise of the Nazi regime.
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"William Grant Still gives us such gorgeous orchestration... it is truly wonderful music."
“Still’s one-act stunner... Though stylish, the music is unabashedly approachable. If played more widely, Still’s aesthetic might attract modern-opera skeptics who have rejected works from the modernist or Minimalist camps that dominate the 20th-century repertoire currently performed in America.”
“[Dixon] clearly loves to inhabit the vocally demanding role of the Dwarf, which he performs to mesmerizing effect.”
- The Dwarf
- Rodrick Dixon
- Donna Clara
- Erica Petrocelli
- Don Estoban
- Kristinn Sigmundsson
- Emily Magee
- First Maid
- Kathleen O'Mara
- Second Maid
- Deepa Johnny
- Third Maid
- Sarah Saturnino
- First Playmate
- Second Playmate
- Madeleine Lyon
- James Conlon
- Darko Tresnjak
- Ralph Funicello
- Linda Cho
- David Weiner
- Jeremy Frank
Read the synopsis
Highway 1, USA is performed in English with English subtitles. The Dwarf is performed in German with English subtitles.
An original LA Opera production
Approximate running time: approximately two hours and 40 minutes, including one intermission
Audio description will be available for the March 3 matinee.