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Press Release: LA Opera presents "Great Opera Choruses"

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LA Opera Presents Great Opera Choruses

Grant Gershon and the LA Opera Chorus return to the
Valley Performing Arts Center in two free LA Opera Off Grand concerts

(Los Angeles) February 25, 2015 — LA Opera will present two free Great Opera Choruses concerts on March 14, with Resident Conductor Grant Gershon leading the LA Opera Chorus. As part of the Figaro Unbound celebration, highlights will include a suite of choral excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro and famous choruses from a number of other popular operas. Best of all, audience members of all ages—and of any musical ability—will have the exciting opportunity to join in the fun by singing along with the pros to such famous pieces as the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore and the Toreador Song from Carmen. The Great Opera Choruses concerts will be accompanied by LA Opera Assistant Conductor Jeremy Frank and will feature soloists from LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.

Great Opera Choruses 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. The concerts will be presented at the Valley Performing Arts Center, located on the campus of California State University-Northridge (CSUN) at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, 91330. Two performances will take place on Saturday, March 14, at 2:00pm and at 3:30pm.

Ticket Information
Advance tickets are required for admission and are now available; there is a handling fee of $1 per ticket for all orders made through LAOpera.org. Tickets can be obtained in person at the Valley Performing Arts Center Box Office (18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330), which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm as well as one hour before all performances there. Note that tickets are not available by phone for Great Opera Choruses. For questions, the VPAC Box Office can be reached by telephone at 818.677.3000.

About Off Grand
Great Opera Choruses is presented as part of LA Opera's Off Grand initiative, dedicated to presenting a wide variety of artistic exploration throughout a broad geographical area. To learn more, please visit LAOpera.org/OffGrand.

About Figaro Unbound
LA Opera's 2015 programming of three operas based on Beaumarchais' three Figaro plays—the familiar musical adaptations by Rossini and Mozart of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles—gives music and theater lovers a rare opportunity to experience the complete Figaro Trilogy told in operatic form. In combination with the Figaro Trilogy, the lasting legacy of the free-thinking barber will be explored in Figaro Unbound, a three-month celebration of the revolutionary spirit with a variety of programming for all ages. To learn more, please visit LAOpera.org/FigaroUnbound.

About Grant Gershon and the LA Opera Chorus
The LA Opera Chorus plays an integral part in the artistic excellence for which LA Opera is known, receiving acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Consisting of highly trained professional artists, the LA Opera Chorus is featured in most of the productions presented by the company at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Grant Gershon joined LA Opera as Associate Conductor / Chorus Master in 2007, and was named Resident Conductor in 2012. He is also the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, where he has conducted more than 100 performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall over the past 14 seasons. He has conducted multiple performances with the LA Philharmonic, as well as opera performances at LA Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera and the Ravinia Festival.

About the Valley Performing Arts Center
The 1,700-seat LEED Gold certified Valley Performing Arts Center has established CSU-Northridge as a hub for culture and live performing arts in the region. To learn more, visit  Valley PerformingArtsCenter.org or call 818.677.8840.

Special support for Great Opera Choruses is made possible
by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Original program created with support from former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

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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February 19, 2015 — LA Opera General Director Plácido Domingo announced that six new board members have been elected to the company's Board of Directors since the opening of the 2014/15 season.

"I am delighted to be collaborating with these newest members of the LA Opera family," said Mr. Domingo. "LA Opera’s incredible artistic achievements simply would not be possible without the essential and much appreciated leadership of our board members. I am deeply grateful to them for their support for LA Opera and our artistic vision.”

"It is an honor for LA Opera to welcome such an esteemed group of leaders, from our city and from across North America, to our board this season," said Marc Stern, Chairman of LA Opera's Board of Directors. "They are a great testament to the ever-expanding reach and influence of our company and I look forward to working with each one of them."

About the New Board Members

Beatrice Bennett is a longtime supporter of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Five Acres, Boys and Girls Club, and many schools, including the Colburn School. She was the President of Art Center 100 and has been a docent at the Huntington Library. She is a member of Orphanage Guild, The Blue Ribbon and the Library Foundation.

Dr. Carol E. Cass is Professor Emerita of Oncology and Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the recipient of numerous research awards. Dr. Cass served as Chair of the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta from 1996 to 2007 and Director of the Cross Cancer Institute, the tertiary cancer center for Edmonton and northern Alberta, from 2003 to 2010.

Linda Pascotto is the President of the Board of Directors of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), an L.A.-based nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping people around the world discover the words of Prem Rawat, known also as Maharaji, and to improving the quality of life for those most in need. She is Trustee Emeritus of Viewpoint School in Calabasas. She supports directly and through her private foundation many charitable organizations that promote specific cultural, social and educational work.

Susan Shapiro is a retired partner of the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray, where her practice areas were in estate planning and settlement.  She is currently active as a principal of PMR Venture LP, a trust management firm.  She serves on the Board of the Boston Lyric Opera, the Nantucket Land Council, Inc., and the Nantucket Yacht Club. She previously served as Trustee of the New England Conservatory of Music, is a former board member of The Linda Loring Nature Foundation, Inc., and was a past officer of the Harbor Point Community Task Force, Inc.

Geoffrey P. Wharton is the former COO of the Los Angeles Dodgers and former President of the John McCourt Company, the real estate and construction arm of the McCourt Group. He previously was with Apollo Real Estate Group, where he oversaw the master planning and entitlements for Sunset La Cienega in West Hollywood and the Columbia Square project in Hollywood.  Prior to Apollo, he led Silverstein Properties’ role in developing a master plan for the World Trade Center.  He was also President of Douglas Elliman, one of New York City's largest residential real estate brokerage firms.

Zev Yaroslavsky has helped to initiate a number of innovative programs that allow the community to experience LA Opera performances, including the radio broadcast series LA Opera on Air, the live video broadcast series Opera at the Beach, and performances in community venues, such as Great Opera Choruses. He recently retired from his position as Los Angeles County Board Supervisor, representing the Third District. He has been an ardent supporter of the arts and culture across the County, leading initiatives to expand many of the major music organizations, museums and cultural institutions during his tenure at the County, as well as his past position  as a Los Angeles City Councilman.