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A Streetcar Named Desire

Starring Renée Fleming


Streetcar is rich with color, by turns lush, frantic, heartbreaking, even funny.... Though 20th century operas tend to be short on arias, Streetcar includes two showstoppers for Blanche.” (Newsweek)

“A genuine and wholly accessible hit, one sure to remain in the repertory of the world’s opera companies for a great many years.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Superstar Renée Fleming returns to Los Angeles in a role created for her extraordinary talents! Clinging desperately to a masquerade of Southern grace, Blanche DuBois moves into her sister’s cramped apartment, creating all the wrong kinds of sparks with her crude brother-in-law. When dark truths about Blanche’s past begin to emerge, her world comes apart at the seams in a spiral of violence and madness.

Evan Rogister conducts André Previn's faithful adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic play, its jazz-inflected score evoking a highly charged New Orleans setting. Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny is the hotheaded Stanley Kowalski, with soprano Stacey Tappan as Stella and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey as Blanche’s guileless suitor Mitch. An innovative staging by director Brad Dalton puts the stellar cast front and center, with the orchestra on stage behind the action.

Click here to read the program.

 Mature subject matter; parental discretion advised.

Production made possible by generous leadership gifts from
Lloyd E. Rigler - Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation

Selim K. Zilkha & Mary Hayley/Selim K. Zilkha Foundation
The Blue Ribbon special committee for Streetcar
Marc & Eva Stern Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

This production of A Streetcar Named Desire is owned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago and is generously made possible by the Hurvis Charitable Foundation and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.


There are currently no upcoming performances.


TIME: 1940s 
PLACE: New Orleans 

Scene 1
Blanche DuBois has suffered the loss of both her ancestral home and her job when she arrives in New Orleans to visit her sister, Stella, who has married Stanley Kowalski, an ex-GI trucker. 

Scene 2. A few days later
Stanley, infuriated by Blanche's artificial airs, her suggestive behavior, and what he regards as her loss of his wife’s birthright, is determined to expose the lies about her past—which is more tragic and sordid than he is able to imagine. 

Scene 3. That night
During a poker game Blanche meets Harold Mitchell (Mitch), a workmate of Stanley’s, very much tied to his mother’s apron strings. Blanche sets her sights on him. Stanley, drunk, breaks up the evening and strikes Stella, whom he regards as siding against him with Blanche. After this violence, and contrary to Blanche’s advice, Stella returns to Stanley’s bed. The next morning Stanley overhears Blanche entreating her sister to leave him. 

Scene 1. Some weeks later
Stanley tells Stella that he has a friend who is making inquiries about Blanche in her hometown of Laurel. When he and his now-pregnant wife go out for the evening, Blanche makes a sad and half-hearted attempt to seduce a young paper boy. She later goes out with Mitch on a date. 

Scene 2. That night
Mitch unburdens his heart to Blanche who, in turn, tells him of her brief marriage to a young homosexual and how she blames herself for his suicide. 

Scene 1. Some weeks later, Blanche’s birthday
Mitch is late for the party. Stanley, who feels that his home and marriage are both threatened by Blanche, breaks up the celebration when he reveals that his friend has discovered Blanche’s unsavory reputation in Laurel for seducing young men, and the fact that she had been told to leave town. After handing Blanche a one-way ticket back home, Stanley tells her that Mitch now knows everything and will not be coming around again.

Scene 2. Later that night 
Stella has been taken to a hospital for a premature delivery. Mitch, drunk, invades the apartment and bitterly reproaches Blanche: Just as her desperate hopes lie with him, his lie with her. They have both lost their emotional refuge. His denunciation of her as someone too unclean to enter his mother’s house is a trigger that starts to unhinge Blanche’s mind. 

Scene 3. Later 
This fragmentation is completed when Stanley, as a last act of cruel retribution, rapes Blanche. 

Scene 4. Some days later
Blanche prepares to leave for a visit to a fictitious old admirer. In fact, Stella, unable to believe Blanche’s accusations against Stanley, is packing Blanche’s clothes for her to take to the asylum when the doctor arrives.

This synopsis was written by the late Colin Graham, who directed the world premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire, and is reproduced here with the permission of San Francisco Opera. 


Three hours and 20 minutes, including two intermissions.

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Pre-Performance Talks

Get the full story by joining other opera-goers at our complimentary pre-opera talks in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. One hour before the performance begins, our engaging speakers will present an entertaining and informative talk on A Streetcar Named Desire. These talks are free of charge to everybody attending the performance, and no reservations are required.