PLÁCIDO DOMINGO ANNOUNCES
LA OPERAS 2010/11 SEASON
Il Postino (Daniel Catán; World Premiere)
Le Nozze di Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Lohengrin (Richard Wagner)
Rigoletto (Giuseppe Verdi)
Il Turco in Italia (Gioacchino Rossini)
The Turn of the Screw (Benjamin Britten)
James Conlon to conduct four productions;
Plácido Domingo, Grant Gershon and Israel Gursky will also conduct Stars of the season include Sir Thomas Allen, William Burden, Charles Castronovo, Vladimir Chernov, Sarah Coburn, Plácido Domingo,
George Gagnidze, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Paolo Gavanelli, Ben Heppner, Soile Isokoski, Nino Machaidze, Ann Murray, Daniel Okulitch, Marlis Petersen, Patricia Racette, Martina Serafin,
Kristinn Sigmundsson, Bo Skovhus and Dolora Zajick
Season highlights also include all-star 25th Anniversary Gala and recitals by René Pape, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Jonas Kaufmann
(LOS ANGELES, CA) January 27, 2010 – Plácido Domingo, LA Operas Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, announced the details of the Companys 2010/11 season today. The Companys 25th Anniversary Season includes two operas never before produced by LA Opera including one world premiere, two of the Companys most acclaimed productions in revival, and two tragic masterpieces returning in productions new to Los Angeles. Four productions will be conducted by James Conlon, the Companys Richard Seaver Music Director. The season will open with the world premiere of Daniel Catáns Il Postino, based on the acclaimed 1994 film and starring Mr. Domingo as the poet Pablo Neruda. Other season highlights include the Company premiere of Gioacchino Rossinis Il Turco in Italia as well as revivals of highly acclaimed productions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Le Nozze di Figaro and Richard Wagners Lohengrin. Giuseppe Verdis Rigoletto and Benjamin Brittens The Turn of the Screw will return to the Companys repertoire in productions new to Los Angeles. The season will also feature recitals by three of the most important artists of our time: bass René Pape, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky and tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
The 2010/11 season will open on September 23, 2010, and continue through March 30, 2011. During this time, LA Opera will present six operas, one gala concert and three recitals for a total of 42 performances. Productions include the highly anticipated season-opening world premiere of Daniel Catáns Il Postino (The Postman) starring tenor Plácido Domingo as Pablo Neruda and tenor Charles Castronovo in the title role; a revival of Mozarts beloved Le Nozze di Figaro, with a cast that includes baritone Daniel Okulitch, sopranos Marlis Petersen and Martina Serafin and baritone Bo Skovhus; a revival of Wagners Lohengrin featuring tenor Ben Heppner in the title role, soprano Soile Isokoski as Elsa and mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick in her role debut as Ortrud; Verdis Rigoletto starring baritone George Gagnidze, soprano Sarah Coburn and tenor Gianluca Terranova; the Company premiere of Rossinis Il Turco in Italia starring soprano Nino Machaidze, who made her triumphant U.S. debut in 2009 in LA Operas LElisir dAmore, as well as baritones Paolo Gavanelli and Sir Thomas Allen; and Brittens The Turn of the Screw starring soprano Patricia Racette, William Burden and Ann Murray. LA Operas Richard Seaver Music Director, James Conlon, will conduct four of the seasons productions, with Grant Gershon, the Companys Associate Conductor and Chorus Master, conducting Il Postino and Plácido Domingo and Israel Gursky conducting Le Nozze di Figaro.
Throughout the season, members of LA Operas Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program will fill important featured roles and understudy leading roles.
Mr. Domingo also announced that Classical KUSC FM 91.5 will once again broadcast and stream LA Opera on Air, a series of radio broadcasts from the Companys 2009/10 season recorded live in performance, including the current seasons complete Ring cycle. The radio broadcasts, which will be distributed nationally by the WFMT Radio Network and internationally via the European Broadcast Union, are scheduled to begin airing and streaming at www.kusc.org on May 22, 2010, at 10am, after the final Metropolitan Opera broadcast of the spring. Once again, the series will be hosted by KUSCs Duff Murphy. This endeavor continues to be made possible by a generous major grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, spearheaded by the efforts of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
“As LA Opera reaches its 25th anniversary year, this important milestone gives us the opportunity to look forward as well as back, by presenting beloved favorites alongside exciting works that have not previously been produced by LA Opera,” said Plácido Domingo. “It is very important to me that we continue to solidify the Companys reputation for presenting imaginative productions and challenging works, so I am especially excited to participate in the world premiere of an opera by one of todays most important composers. Even during this difficult economic era, we have assembled a diverse and satisfying season that lives up to LA Operas artistic standards of excellence, featuring the debuts of important artists, the returns of world-class singers who have already proven themselves on our stage, and some of the most exciting operas in the repertoire. I am also deeply appreciative of our generous family of supporters, especially our dynamic Board of Directors, under the extraordinary leadership of Chairman and CEO Marc I. Stern and President Carol F. Henry. I am also grateful to our Chief Operating Officer Stephen Rountree and to the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County for their support.”
“I am looking forward to a season that upholds LA Operas high measure of artistic distinction and ambition,” said James Conlon. “The great masterworks of Italian and German opera are essential elements in every opera companys season. It is critical also to balance the standard repertoire with new works and lesser known operas. I am particularly pleased to revive an early LA Opera tradition of performing works by Benjamin Britten, whom I consider one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century and in the entire history of English opera. Beginning with The Turn of the Screw, LA Opera will embark on a four-year initiative to celebrate the coming centenary of the composers birth. With a world premiere, three staples of every opera season-Mozart, Verdi and Wagner-and a lesser known Rossini opera, I think that we have succeeded in creating a season that will have broad appeal to all audiences, especially those who will be coming to the opera for the first time.”
“In just a quarter-century of existence, LA Opera has become a leader among the worlds opera companies,” said Marc I. Stern. “Thanks to the inspired leadership of Plácido Domingo and James Conlon, I have every expectation that the next 25 years to come will see the Company climbing even higher on the international ladder of operatic success. Our devoted audiences, our generous supporters and our first-rate Board of Directors deserve nothing less, so all of us at LA Opera are determined to make that happen.”
“This is an exceptionally challenging time for the performing arts,” said Stephen D. Rountree. “It is essential for us to maintain the highest artistic standards while remaining fiscally prudent. The coming season may be shorter than those of recent years, but it is strictly a reduction in quantity-not quality.
This also makes the full season more affordable for our subscribers. That we have been able to continue operating at the level our audiences expect of us is due to the inspirational support of our many donors, our employees-who have been living with reduced wages-and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.”
LA Operas 2010/11 season will open on Thursday, September 23, 2010, with the world premiere of Mexican composer Daniel Catáns Il Postino (The Postman). Based on the internationally popular 1994 Italian film of the same name and on the 1985 novel Ardiente Paciencia by Antonio Skármeta, Il Postino stars tenor Plácido Domingo as the exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Tenor Charles Castronovo sings the title role of Mario Ruoppolo, a shy postman who discovers poetry and, with it, the courage to pursue his dreams. Mr. Castronovo began his career as a chorister and then resident artist with LA Opera, where he has been seen in more than 100 performances of numerous roles, and he now regularly appears in the worlds most important opera houses. The superb cast also includes soprano Amanda Squitieri as Beatrice Russo, the beautiful cafe waitress who inspires Marios love, Chilean soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domâs as Matilde Neruda, Russian baritone Vladimir Chernov as Giorgio, the postmaster, and Spanish mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola-Herrera as Donna Rosa, Beatrices aunt. Catáns rich, melodic score, commissioned by LA Opera, will be brought to life in a beautiful production by director Ron Daniels, a renowned interpreter of opera, theater and film. The design team includes Tony Award-winning scenery and costume designer Riccardo Hernandez, lighting designer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner Jennifer Tipton, and video artist Philip Bussmann. Following his acclaimed house debut leading La Traviata in 2009, Grant Gershon will conduct. (Six performances: September 23 through October 16, 2010)
Plácido Domingo conducts Mozarts Le Nozze di Figaro, which returns in a revival of the popular Ian Judge production previously presented in 2004 and 2006. Baritone Daniel Okulitch (The Fly) returns as Figaro, with the role of Susanna shared by sopranos Marlis Petersen (in her Company debut) and Rebekah Camm. Danish baritone Bo Skovhus and Austrian soprano Martina Serafin make their Company debuts as Count and Countess Almaviva, and mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupić makes her LA Opera debut as Cherubino. Israel Gursky will conduct on October 14 and 17. (Seven performances: September 26 through October 17, 2010)
James Conlon conducts a revival of Lohengrin, the seventh Wagner opera he will have conducted for LA Opera, featuring the Company debut of superstar Canadian heldentenor Ben Heppner in the title role. The production, created by director Maximilian Schell for LA Opera in 2001, features several other internationally acclaimed Wagnerian artists, including Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski in her Company debut as Elsa and Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson as King Heinrich. The sensational mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick returns to make her role debut as the scheming Ortrud, with baritone James Johnson as Telramund. (Six performances: November 20 through December 12, 2010)
Verdis beloved masterwork Rigoletto returns to the repertoire, conducted by James Conlon. The title role will be performed by Georgian baritone George Gagnidze in his Company debut, with soprano Sarah Coburn as Gilda and Italian tenor Gianluca Terranova as the Duke of Mantua. The evocative perspectives and elaborate period costumes of the production, which originated at San Francisco Opera, were created by acclaimed opera and theater director Mark Lamos, scenery designer Michael Yeargan and costume designer Constance Hoffman, who took their inspiration from the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio De Chirico. (Seven performances: November 27 through December 18, 2010)
One of Rossinis lesser known comic masterpieces, Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy), receives its Company premiere under the baton of James Conlon. Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, who made a sensational U.S. debut in LA Operas 2009 production of LElisir dAmore, returns as Fiorilla. The impressive cast also includes Italian baritone Paolo Gavanelli as Geronio, Russian tenor Maxim Mironov as Narciso, Italian bass-baritone Simone Alberghini as Selim, British baritone Sir Thomas Allen as Prosdocimo and mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Zaida. Director Christof Loys riotous production has previously won high acclaim in Munich, Hamburg and Vienna. (Six performances: February 19 through March 13, 2011)
James Conlon conducts Benjamin Brittens The Turn of the Screw, a work last presented by the Company in 1991. This production marks the launch of a new programming initiative to present Brittens works as we approach the centennial of the composers 1913 birth. Planned future productions will include Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia, leading up to the presentation of a major-and rare-Britten work in the centenary. LA Opera has been regarded as a major proponent of the operas of Britten since its early years under founding general director Peter Hemmings, having produced six of the composers operas at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as well as acclaimed family performances of Noyes Fludde at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, led by Mr. Conlon, in 2007 and 2009. The production will feature soprano Patricia Racette in her role debut as the Governess. The cast will also include tenor William Burden as Peter Quint, mezzo-soprano Ann Murray as Mrs. Grose and soprano Tamara Wilson as Miss Jessel. The technically elaborate production, which originated at the Glyndebourne Festival, is directed by Jonathan Kent. (Six performances: March 12 through 30, 2011)
In addition to the six mainstage productions, major highlights of the 2010/11 season include an all-star 25th Anniversary Gala on April 2, 2011. Details will be released in the spring. The season will also feature recitals by three of the greatest artists of our time. On January 15, 2011, German bass René Pape returns to LA Opera in recital, his first LA Opera appearance since his 2007 debut in the Verdi Requiem. Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who has previously appeared with LA Opera in a 2004 recital and a 2006 concert, will make his eagerly anticipated return with a recital on February 10, 2011. German tenor Jonas Kaufmann will make his first appearance with the Company with a recital on March 11, 2011.
LA Operas education and community outreach programs continue to receive international acclaim and the 2010/11 season presents over 20 offerings. Highlights include In-School Operas performed by professionals and students together; special performances for elementary and secondary students at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and on tour in venues throughout Southern California; “Opera Tales” family productions touring to numerous public libraries throughout the county, as well as the Library Projects popular opera talks; accredited Professional Development for Teachers; the Voices for Tolerance choral music program; and many other community education programs and partnerships. A complete listing of education and community programs will be available in the spring.
The complete 2010/11 season schedule is attached. For further information, please visit LA Operas website at www.laopera.com or call Audience Services at (213) 972-8001. All performances will take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For disability access, call (213) 972-0777 or e-mail email@example.com.
All programs, artists and dates are subject to change.
Artist headshots and production photographs are available on the Los Angeles Opera Press Gallery: http://www.laopera.com/press/photo.htm