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Press Release: The Ghosts of Versailles

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The Ghosts of Versailles
Receives West Coast Premiere in
New Production at LA Opera

 

(Los Angeles) November 24, 2014 (updated January 5, 2015) — LA Opera General Director Plácido Domingo announced updated details for the west coast premiere of John Corigliano's magnificently haunting 1991 opera, The Ghosts of Versailles, which receives its long awaited west coast debut on February 7 as the initial production of LA Opera's Figaro Trilogy. Featuring a libretto by noted playwright William C. Hoffman, the opera is presented in a new production directed by Darko Tresnjak, a 2014 Tony Award winner, and it will be conducted by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon.

"We are proud to present the first full-scale production in this century of an important contemporary American opera," said Mr. Domingo. "Audiences loved The Ghosts of Versailles when it was first introduced, and this work is long overdue for a major revival. Our world-class cast and creative team will create an unforgettable experience for our audiences.”

Extravagantly scaled, gloriously tuneful, supremely touching and yet uproariously entertaining, The Ghosts of Versailles is described as a "grand opera buffa" by the composer. The opera incorporates the major plot elements of The Guilty Mother, the last and least known of Pierre Beaumarchais' three Figaro plays, which takes place 20 years after the events depicted in The Marriage of Figaro. The opera also introduces playwright Beaumarchais himself into the action as one of the protagonists, along with King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

The Ghosts of Versailles will have six performances from February 7 through March 1, 2015, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012). The Ghosts of Versailles is part of LA Opera's 2015 Figaro Trilogy (three operas, all conducted by James Conlon, based on French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais' three Figaro comedies) along with The Barber of Seville by Rossini and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. It is also a highlight of LA Opera's Figaro Unbound celebration, which explores the lasting legacy of Beaumarchais and his influential protagonist, Figaro.

About the Cast
With 41 soloists, The Ghosts of Versailles features the largest cast ever assembled in LA Opera's history. Soprano Patricia Racette returns in the leading role of Marie Antoinette, with Broadway legend Patti LuPone as the Turkish entertainer Samira. British baritone Christopher Maltman will make his LA Opera debut as the playwright Beamarchais, and baritone Lucas Meachem will perform the role of Figaro. Tenor Robert Brubaker returns as the villainous Bégearss. Other performers include tenor Joshua Guerrero as Count Almaviva, soprano Guanqun Yu as Rosina (Countess Almaviva), mezzo-soprano Lucy Schaufer as Susanna, mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier as Cherubino, soprano Stacey Tappan as Florestine, tenor Brenton Ryan as Léon, and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson as Louis XVI. (Update: Mr. Guerrero replaces Richard Croft, who was previously announced for the role of Count Almavia. Mr. Croft has withdrawn from the production for personal reasons.)

About the Creative Team
The director of The Ghosts of Versailles, Darko Tresnjak, previously staged LA Opera's 2009 production of The Birds and a 2008 double bill of The Broken Jug and The Dwarf. He won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. The Ghosts of Versailles will reunite Mr. Tresnjak with four members of his creative team for that musical, including scenery designer Alexander Dodge, costume designer Linda Cho (who won a Tony Award for her work in A Gentleman's Guide), projection designer Aaron Rhyne and choreographer Peggy Hickey. In addition, the lighting will be designed by York Kennedy and the chorus director will be Grant Gershon.

About the Opera
The Ghosts of Versailles was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, which presented the world premiere in 1991. At the time, it was the first new work to be premiered by the Met in 24 years. In 1995, the Met revived The Ghosts of Versailles, and it was also presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago that year. With its huge performing forces and staging demands, the opera has proved challenging to produce; a reduction for chamber orchestra has proven succesul in performances at Ireland's Wexford Festival and at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2009. LA Opera's staging will be the first professional production since the opera's 1999 European premiere to use the "standard" orchestration.

For casting, creative team, artist bios and ticketing information, click here.

The Ghosts of Versailles is performed in English, with simultaneous English texts projected over the stage.

Performance Dates and Times
There will be six performances of The Ghosts of Versailles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012:

•    Saturday, February 7, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, February 15, at 2:00pm
•    Wednesday, February 18, 2014, at 7:30pm
•    Saturday, February 21, at 7:30pm
•    Thursday, February 26, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, March 1, at 2:00pm

Tickets
Tickets are on sale now. Tickets start at $17 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at www.LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email laopera@laopera.org.

To download scenery and costume designs and artist photographs, click here.

Production made possible in part by a generous gift from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Additional support from The Blue Ribbon and National Endowment for the Arts.

LA Opera Media Contacts:
Gary Murphy, Director of Communications and Public Relations
gmurphy@laopera.org | 213.972.7554

Shannita Williams, Associate Director of Communications, Social Media
shannita@laopera.org | 213.972.7347

 

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