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Press Release: LA Opera opens 30th Anniversary Season with "Gianni Schicchi" and "Pagliacci"

LA Opera 30th Anniversary Season header30th Anniversary Season

LA Opera opens 2015/16 season with
double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci

Plácido Domingo will sing title role of Gianni Schicchi,
directed by Woody Allen, then conduct Pagliacci,
a production directed and designed by Franco Zeffirelli

(Los Angeles) July 9, 2015 — Plácido Domingo, the Eli and Edythe Broad General Director of LA Opera, has announced new details for the opening production of the company's 30th Anniversary Season. The 2015/16 season will open on September 12 with a double bill featuring two of LA Opera's most celebrated productions, Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci, and highlighting Mr. Domingo's artistry as both singer and conductor.

"Beginning with the company's inaugural production of Otello in 1986, I have had the honor of either singing or conducting on the opening night of LA Opera's season 19 times," said Mr. Domingo. "I am excited to have the opportunity to do both on the opening night of our 30th Anniversary Season, a milestone that I am eager to celebrate."

The double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci will run for a total of six performances from September 12 through October 3, 2015, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012).

Support for the opening production of the 30th Anniversary Season is provided by some of LA Opera’s most generous supporters: the Milan Panic Family, Eva and Marc Stern, Barbara Augusta Teichert, and Joyce and Aubrey Chernick.

Extraordinary underwriting for the 30th Anniversary Opera Ball, taking place on September 12, has been graciously provided by Selim Zilkha, in honor of Mary Hayley.

About Gianni Schicchi
The double bill will begin with a revival of director Woody Allen's 2008 production of Gianni Schicchi, the only comic opera composed by Giacomo Puccini. Inspired by a character mentioned briefly in Dante's Inferno, the opera is a sardonic masterpiece about disinherited relatives conspiring to alter a deceased kinsman's will. Summoned to help, the trickster Gianni Schicchi eagerly seizes the opportunity to outwit the greedy family for his own benefit.

Plácido Domingo will sing the title role and the production will be conducted by Resident Conductor Grant Gershon. Soprano Andriana Chuchman and contralto Meredith Arwady will make their company debuts respectively as Lauretta and Zita. The large ensemble cast of squabbling relatives also features a number of returning LA Opera favorites, including tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Rinuccio, tenor Greg Fedderly as Gherardo, soprano Stacey Tappan as Nella and bass-baritone Craig Colcough as Simone, among many others.

About Pagliacci
After the intermission, Mr. Domingo will conduct Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, directed and designed by Franco Zeffirelli, whose epic production fills the stage with a lavish recreation of a contemporary urban landscape. This production was previously presented by LA Opera in 1996 and 2005. The opera is a classic example of verismo, bringing the story of real-life characters and emotions to the stage. Canio, the brutal leader of a troupe of traveling players, finds out that his wife Nedda is having an affair. His jealousy erupts onstage before an unsuspecting audience, as the play-within-a-play takes a tragic turn.

Soprano Ana María Martínez, a native of Puerto Rico, will return as the faithless Nedda, the first of two leading roles she will perform with LA Opera in the season; she will subsequently perform the title role in Madame Butterfly in Los Angeles in March 2016. A 1995 winner of Operalia, Ms. Martinez has made highly acclaimed appearances in Los Angeles as Mimi in La Bohème (1997, 2004), Violetta in La Traviata  (2001) and, most recently, as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra (2012). Italian tenor Marco Berti, who most recently appeared with LA Opera in 2013 in Tosca, returns for the first five performances as Canio, the iconic heartbroken clown. The role will be performed on October 3 by Algerian tenor Yusif Eyvazov, making his company debut. The cast also includes baritone Liam Bonner as Nedda's secret lover Silvio and Georgian baritone George Gagnidze as Tonio, a rejected suitor whose humiliation sets a deadly plot in motion. Tenor Brenton Ryan, a member of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, returns as Beppe.

Performance Dates and Times
Six performances of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci will take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012:

  • Saturday, September 12, 2015, at 6pm
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, September 20, 2015, at 2pm
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, September 27, 2015, at 2pm
  • Saturday, October 3, 2015, at 7pm

Performance Tickets
Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $26 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 LAOpera.org. For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.

Production Underwriters
LA Opera's 30th Anniversary Season has been made possible thanks to the generous underwriting support of some of the company’s most dedicated leaders, whose impassioned support has been instrumental to the company's continued growth and success. The double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci will mark the 13th season-opening production supported by the Milan Panic Family, beginning with The Girl of the Golden West in 2002. Mr. Panic was elected to the board of directors in 2002 and currently serves as vice chairman. Few individuals have been as integral to LA Opera's success as Eva and Marc Stern, who have now championed over 15 ambitious productions and numerous additional artistic initiatives. Serving as chairman of the board since 2002, Mr. Stern has continually worked to solidify the company's unique artistic identity. The season-opening double bill will mark an unbroken ten-season tradition by Barbara Augusta Teichert of underwriting an LA Opera production or special concert. A board member since 2009, she supports American opera companies on both coasts through her philanthropy, including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera and Opera Philadelphia. Joyce and Aubrey Chernick have been supporters and patrons of LA Opera for more than two decades. A lifelong Angeleno, Mrs. Chernick has been a board member since 2009. She and her husband have dedicated their philanthropy to making Los Angeles a vibrant and thriving community and to helping those in need.

About the Opera Ball
The opening of LA Opera’s 30th Anniversary Season will be celebrated with a lavish Opera Ball. Ball guests will make an elegant entrance to the evening’s festivities via a red carpet outside the theater, and then ascend the grand staircase to the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall for a caviar and champagne reception. A spectacular outdoor dinner by Patina, taking place on the Music Center Plaza, will follow the opening night performances of Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci, and the night of enchantment will continue with cocktails and dancing. For more information about the Opera Ball, please call 213.972.3664 or visit LAOpera.org/OperaBall2015.

Opera Ball Underwriters
The 30th Anniversary Opera Ball is generously underwritten by Selim Zilkha, in honor of Mary Hayley. Two of LA Opera's most significant supporters, they have been closely involved with the company since its beginning. Ms. Hayley has been a member of LA Opera’s board since 1993, and this year celebrates her 10th year as Chair of the Opera Ball.

Learn More
Click here for additional resources about Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci, including a photo gallery, synopses, cast bios and more.

Press Gallery
To download production photographs and artist headshots, please click here

LA Opera's productions of Gianni Schicchi  and Pagliacci  are made possible by generous gifts from

The Milan Panic Family
Joyce and Aubrey Chernick
Barbara Augusta Teichert
and
Eva and Marc Stern.
 

Special support from Nancy and Barry Sanders.

Generous corporate sponsorship from Rolex.

LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicate
d to serving the greater Los Angeles community.
Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

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

 

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