Figaro Unbound 2015
LA Opera launches Figaro Unbound
on January 16 with the timely ¡Figaro! (90210)
This sharp new take on Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro,
updated to present-day Los Angeles, will launch
a three-month citywide Figaro Unbound celebration
(Los Angeles) December 17, 2014 — The debate over immigration reform takes center stage in ¡Figaro! (90210), a contemporary adaptation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, presented by LA Opera in its world premiere staging at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre from January 16 through 18. Showcasing Mozart’s score with an entirely new English (and Spanglish) libretto by Vid Guerrerio, ¡Figaro! (90210) recasts the title character and his fiancée as undocumented Mexican workers in the present-day Beverly Hills mansion iof a real estate mogul and his actress wife.
About ¡Figaro! (90210)
As timely and politically charged as Mozart's source material, a 1784 stage comedy about class and power by Pierre Beaumarchais, Vid Guerrerio's ¡Figaro! (90210) presents a sharp social critique of our times, tempered by a deeply humane spirit of reconciliation. Earlier concert and semi-staged performances of ¡Figaro! (90210) in New York were hailed as "blasphemous, brilliant...both realistically contemporary and timelessly comic" (New York Times).
"I wrote ¡Figaro! (90210) as a great, big love letter to my adopted hometown of Los Angeles," said Mr. Guerrerio. "Since the first moment of inspiration, which came while walking Hollywood Boulevard with Mozart in my headphones, it has been my dream to bring ¡Figaro! (90210) to life in the amazing city that inspired it. I am looking forward to sharing this multi-cultural update of what many call 'the most perfect opera ever written’ with audiences as diverse as the characters it presents on stage."
¡Figaro! (90210) is presented under LA Opera's Off Grand banner, dedicated to performances taking place outside the company's traditional home at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion or to the presentation of unusual repertoire.
Cast and Creative Team
¡Figaro! (90210) will be conducted by Douglas Kinney Frost and directed by Melissa Crespo. Sybil Wickersheimer is the set designer and the costumes are designed by Project Runway season 12 finalist Bradon McDonald. Projections and lighting are designed by Thomas Ontiveros. The cast is led by baritone José Adán Pérez as Figaro and soprano Maria Elena Altany as Susana, with bass-baritone Craig Colclough and soprano Greta Baldwin as their employers Paul and Roxanne Conti (based on Mozart's Count and Countess Almaviva), and tenor Orson Van Gay II as teenage troublemaker Li'l B-Man (a character based on Mozart's Cherubino).
Performance Dates and Ticket Information
There will be three performances of ¡Figaro! (90210) at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027:
• Friday, January 16, 2015, at 7:30pm
• Saturday, January 17, 2015, at 7:30pm
• Sunday, January 18, 2015, at 2pm
Tickets cost $21 and $37 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office (located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012), online at LAOpera.org or by calling 213.972.8001. Performances will take place at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027). For disability access, please call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.
For more about ¡Figaro! (90210), including artist bios and ticket information, please visit LAOpera.org/Figaro90210.
To access the press photo gallery, featuring photographs of the artists, please click here.
About the Figaro Trilogy and Figaro Unbound
Throughout the second half of its 2014/15 season, LA Opera will follow the adventures of a history-making rascal named Figaro. This character, beloved by generations of opera fans, first delighted audiences as the hero of a series of late 18th-century French stage comedies. Pierre Beaumarchais' trilogy of Figaro plays—The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and The Guilty Mother—captured staggering changes in social attitudes. In these plays, Figaro expressed daring new ideas about equality and liberty, boldly challenging the status quo with a sharp critique of the era in which he lived.
LA Opera’s 2015 programming of three operas based on the Figaro plays—The Barber of Seville by Rossini, The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart and the west coast premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles (inspired by The Guilty Mother) by John Corigliano, all conducted by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon—is the inspiration for Figaro Unbound, a three-month citywide celebration of the revolutionary spirit. Program highlights include performances of two of the three Figaro plays, several alternate musical adaptations of Figaro’s story, and other opportunities to explore the fascinating world of Revolution-era France. For a complete list of Figaro Unbound events and details, please visit LAOpera.org/FigaroUnbound.
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