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Press Release: LA Opera announces 2015/16 season

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LA Opera announces 30th Anniversary Season!

The 2015/16 season showcases beloved classics
with plenty of Los Angeles flair

(Los Angeles, CA) January 27, 2015 – Plácido Domingo, LA Opera's Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, has announced the company’s 2015/16 season. This will be the 30th season presented by the company, created by Mr. Domingo in collaboration with Richard Seaver Music Director James Conlon and President and CEO Christopher Koelsch. The company's 30th anniversary season will include six mainstage productions and two concerts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with a total of 40 performances taking place in that venue, as well as 13 performances presented elsewhere through the company's Off Grand initiative. The season will open on September 12, 2015, and will run through June 19, 2016.

“Since opera is about bringing people together, we dedicate this anniversary season to our audiences and to our community for the incredible faith and support that they have shown us over the past three decades," said Mr. Domingo. "We have crafted a season full of audience favorites, and I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to both sing and conduct in our season-opening double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci. Since I believe that an anniversary is not only a time to look back, but also forward, I'm also thrilled to welcome Moby-Dick, a true modern masterpiece, to our stage, along with several exciting Off Grand presentations designed to expand the definition of the opera experience. Additionally, I am especially pleased to welcome my friend and colleague Gustavo Dudamel for his LA Opera debut, leading the final two performances of our mainstage season.”

"I'm proud to be part of LA Opera for this thirtieth anniversary season, and to mark the occasion by conducting the celebratory gala with Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming," said Mr. Conlon. "I am also thrilled to welcome my colleague and friend Gustavo Dudamel, who is making his debut with our company. As part of our commitment to contemporary opera, I relish the opportunity to conduct Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick. I also look forward to collaborating again with Barrie Kosky for The Magic Flute as well as welcoming back Ana María Martínez and Stefano Secco in Madame Butterfly, after their previous successes in our 2012 Simon Boccanegra. As part of LA Opera's expanding bel canto repertory, the return of Norma for the first time since 1996 is an important event. Along with the members of the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus, I extend my best wishes to our opera-loving public.”

Plácido Domingo headlines season-opening double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci
The season opens with a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci, two iconic LA Opera productions (September 12 through October 3, 2015). Mr. Domingo will sing the title role in Woody Allen's staging of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. The opera will be conducted by Grant Gershon, the company's Resident Conductor, and it will also feature Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Rinuccio, Andriana Chuchman as Lauretta and Meredith Arwady as Zita. After the intermission, Mr. Domingo will move to the orchestra pit to conduct Franco Zeffirelli's grandly-scaled production of Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, starring Marco Berti as Canio, Ana María Martínez  as Nedda and George Gagnidze as Tonio.

Jay Hunter Morris stars in L.A. premiere of Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick
Epic in every sense of the word, Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick comes to Los Angeles (October 31 through November 28, 2015) after a series of triumphs around the world. Tenor Jay Hunter Morris returns as Captain Ahab in performances conducted by James Conlon and directed by Leonard Foglia. The cast also includes tenor Joshua Guerrero, a 2014 Operalia winner who began his career as a member of the company's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, in the leading role of Greenhorn as well as baritone Morgan Smith as Starbuck, a role he created at the work's 2010 premiere.

Angela Meade returns in Norma
LA Opera will present Vincenzo Bellini's iconic bel canto masterpiece Norma (November 21 through December 13, 2015) for the first time since 1996, in a production conducted by James Conlon and directed by Anne Bogart. Soprano Angela Meade, who made her LAO debut in 2012 as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, returns to lead a superlative quartet of principals that includes mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (2013  winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition) as Adalgisa, along with tenor Russell Thomas as Pollione and bass Morris Robinson as Oroveso.

Revival of 2013's smash hit production of The Magic Flute
LA Opera's animation-driven production of Mozart's fantastical masterpiece created a sensation in 2013, selling out its entire run. Conducted by James Conlon, The Magic Flute returns (February 13 through March 6, 2016) to delight audiences with its effortless evocation of the silent film era. The production is directed by Barrie Kosky and by Suzanne Andrade of the British theater company 1927. Onstage performers—including tenor Benjamin Bliss as Tamino—interact seamlessly with projected hand-drawn animation, brilliantly capturing Mozart's delightful blend of high comedy and fairy tale.

Ana María Martínez stars in Madame Butterfly
Puccini's beloved Madame Butterfly returns in a production new to Los Angeles (March 12 through April 3, 2016) conducted by James Conlon and directed by Lee Blakeley. In her second leading appearance in the season, soprano Ana María Martínez returns as Cio-Cio-San, one of her signature roles, with tenor Stefano Secco as the faithless Pinkerton and mezzo-soprano Milena Kitic as Suzuki.

Nino Machaidze makes role debut as Mimi in La Bohème
Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze returns for her sixth leading role at LA Opera, singing her first performances as Mimi in La Bohème (May 14 through June 12, 2016). Speranza Scappucci will make her LAO debut conducting six of the eight performances; the final two performances will feature the highly anticipated company debut of conductor Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This revival of a beloved Herbert Ross production features two tenors—Abdellah Lasri and Operalia winner Mario Chang—sharing the role of Rodolfo, with Operalia winners Janai Brugger and Amanda Woodbury sharing the role of Musetta. Moldavian soprano Olga Busuioc performs the role of Mimi on May 19 and 25.

Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming in concert, conducted by James Conlon
On March 18, 2016, LA Opera presents a 30th anniversary concert starring Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming, joined by James Conlon conducting the LA Opera Orchestra. Two of the greatest voices of our time will combine forces for an unforgettable one-night-only event featuring many of opera's greatest arias and duets.

Diverse Off Grand presentations
LA Opera's Off Grand initiative was developed to expand on traditional ideas of the operatic experience by experimenting with performance spaces, creative artists new to the genre and a variety of musical styles. For the 2015/16 season, LA Opera will greatly expand the number of Off Grand productions presented:

  • The west coast premiere of Song from the Uproar, by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek, will be performed at REDCAT from October 8 through 11, 2015. Presented in a multi-season partnership with Beth Morrison Projects, this multimedia opera combines live musical performance with original to explore the fascinating life and death of adventurer Isabelle Eberhardt, who left her native Switzerland for an unfettered existence in the North African desert.
  • Philip Glass's contemporary score for Bela Lugosi's classic 1931 film Dracula will be performed live by the composer, joined by the Kronos Quartet, at the fabulously restored Theatre at Ace Hotel, a 1927 Spanish Gothic movie palace, from October 29 through 31, 2015.
  • On December 12, 2015, superstar Erwin Schrott returns in Rojotango in Concert, a tribute to the music of his native South America. Joined by a virtuoso ensemble of musicians, the bass-baritone will perform an imaginative program featuring tangos by Astor Piazzola and Pablo Ziegler as well as evocative Argentinean and Brazilian folk songs.
  • Free performances of a community opera for families, The Festival Play of Daniel, will be conducted by James Conlon and performed at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on March 4 and 5, 2016.
  • LA Opera's 2015/16 season concludes with the world premiere of Anatomy Theater by composer David Lang and visual artist Mark Dion, presented in partnership with Beth Morrison Projects at REDCAT. Based on actual 18th-century texts, Anatomy Theater follows the astonishing progression of an English murderess from confession to execution and, ultimately, public dissection before a paying audience of fascinated onlookers.

For more information about the Off Grand initiative, visit LAOpera.org/OffGrand.

LA Opera President and CEO Christopher Koelsch comments:
"Our 2015/16 season embodies two foundational principles for the company," noted President and CEO Christopher Koelsch. “These are to produce illuminating interpretations of foundational works in our role as stewards of a tradition, and to advance the art form through experimentation and through the cultivation of new voices and new visions. The latter occurs not only through mainstage productions of important new works such as Moby-Dick, but also through our rich Off Grand presentations. In the coming season, we are, in fact, doubling our Off Grand offerings, and we are actively exploring the possibility of increasing that number."

LA Opera Board Chairman Marc Stern comments:
“LA Opera's milestone anniversary season is a testament to the artistic vision of Plácido Domingo, who has been an essential part of this company since its earliest days," said Marc Stern, Chairman of LA Opera's Board of Directors. "Our dynamic Board of Directors and steadfast supporters throughout the community have embraced the opportunity to be a part of that vision, helping us to build a world-class opera company with their incredible generosity and their wholehearted support. Having James Conlon and Christopher Koelsch as part of Mr. Domingo's leadership team certainly makes our future bright.”

Subscription Ticket Information
Season subscription tickets for the 2015/16 season are now available, starting at $102 for all six mainstage operas. For further information, please visit LA Opera’s website at LAOpera.org or call LA Opera’s box office at 213.972.8001. 

Please visit LAOpera.org for updated casting information and performance dates. Artist headshots and production photographs are available on the LA Opera Press Gallery.

All programs, artists and dates are subject to change.

LA Opera Media Contacts:
Fran Rizzi, Director of Public Relations
frizzi@laopera.org | 213.972.7554


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