LA Opera’s 2009/10 Season announced, highlights include Three Complete Ring cycles

Season opens September 12, 2009, with the regular season continuing through April 25, 2010, and concluding with three full cycles of the Ring following from May 29, 2010, through June 26, 2010

Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, and his team have prepared an artistically diverse and adventurous season that features eight operas, including four Company premieres and one U.S. premiere. Six productions will be conducted by James Conlon, the Company’s Richard Seaver Music Director. Season highlights include new productions of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, the final two installments of Wagner’s four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen. These two works will enter the Company’s repertory individually, returning as the season concludes with
three complete Ring cycles, the first ever to be presented in Los Angeles, celebrated with the citywide Ring Festival LA.

The season will feature the Company premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Tamerlano, starring Plácido Domingo, and the U.S. premiere of Franz Schreker’s The Stigmatized (Die Gezeichneten) as part of the Company’s Recovered Voices project, which highlights the works of composers affected by the Holocaust. This will be the first time that an opera by Schreker will be staged in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, the season features appearances by several of the most celebrated singers of our time, including tenors Giuseppe Filianoti and Juan Diego Flórez, soprano Anja Kampe, baritone Nathan Gunn and bass Ruggero Raimondi, as well as recitals by two of America’s greatest vocalists: baritone Thomas Hampson and soprano Renée Fleming.

The season features eight operas and two recitals for a total of 50 performances. Productions include:

The season will conclude with three presentations of Wagner’s complete Ring cycle (Der Ring des Nibelungen). James Conlon, LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director, will conduct all but two productions, with William Lacey conducting Tamerlano and Michele Mariotti conducting Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Grant Gershon will be the Associate
Conductor / Chorus Master throughout the season.

“Even during this challenging era, we have managed to create an artistically satisfying season of which all of us at LA Opera should be proud,” said Plácido Domingo. “Our season will include well-known masterpieces as well as rarely heard operas by Handel and Schreker. We are also looking forward to the final two installments — Siegfried and Götterdämmerung — of Wagner’s monumental four-opera Ring cycle, with three complete Ring cycles to follow at the conclusion of the season.I am especially proud to present many of the greatest talents from the international operatic scene on our stage."

“Next season’s productions of the second half of Wagner’s Ring, followed by the first complete Ring cycles in our city, coupled with the county-wide Ring Festival LA, comprise a landmark in the artistic history of Los Angeles,” said James Conlon. “When I came to LA Opera in 2006, I had hopes that Los Angeles would become a hub of Wagnerian activity, and I am proud that we are well on our way. This is a significant moment for me personally also, as this is the first Ring cycle I will have conducted in the United States. I am equally gratified to present Franz Schreker’s The Stigmatized
(Die Gezeichneten). Schreker’s 13 operas were immensely successful between 1910 and 1930, with productions mounted in dozens of European cities. However, to this day, not a single Schreker opera has been staged in the Western Hemisphere. I am proud that LA Opera will host this American premiere. The Stigmatized is part of our ongoing Recovered Voices project, in which we present significant early 20th-Century operas that disappeared from the stage during the Nazi era in Europe. I am deeply appreciative for the continuing, enthusiastic support from LA Opera’s leadership for
this important and artistically rewarding project.”

“This season is a testament to Plácido Domingo’s artistic vision and to the unwavering support and guidance of our incredible Board of Directors,” said Chairman and CEO Marc I. Stern. “We are only too aware of the challenges that we face in these troubled times, but we are unwavering in our commitment to present opera of the highest possible caliber to our audiences, and I am pleased that Los Angeles will continue to be the home of world-class performances.”

LA Opera’s 2009/10 Season will open on Saturday, September 12, 2009, with a revival of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) (seven performances: September 12 through 30, 2009) conducted by James Conlon. The cast will include tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino, soprano Nino Machaidze in her U.S. debut as Adina, baritone
Nathan Gunn as Sergeant Belcore and bass Ruggero Raimondi as Doctor Dulcamara. The charming production was originally created by director Stephen Lawless for LA Opera in 1996 and revived in 1999, and has proven popular elsewhere as well, with acclaimed performances in Washington, Geneva, Madrid and Houston.

James Conlon conducts Siegfried (five performances: September 26 through October 17, 2009), the third installment of the Company’s new Ring cycle, directed and designed by Achim Freyer. Tenor John Treleaven will perform the title role, with soprano Linda Watson as Brünnhilde, bass Vitalij Kowaljow as the Wanderer (Wotan), tenor Graham Clark as Mime, bass Eric Halfvarson as Fafner, baritone Oleg Bryjak as Alberich, mezzo-soprano Jill Grove as Erda and soprano Stacey Tappan as the Woodbird.

LA Opera commemorates the 250th anniversary of the death of George Frideric Handel with the Company premiere of Tamerlano (five performances: November 21 through December 1, 2009). Tenor Plácido Domingo returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage for his 21st role at LA Opera, as the Sultan Bajazet opposite countertenor Bejun Mehta in the title role. The cast also includes soprano Sarah Coburn (Asteria) and mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon (Andronico). Conductor William Lacey will lead an orchestra that will include such period instrumentation as two harpsichords, two theorbos and baroque guitar. The highly acclaimed production originated at Washington National Opera, where it was seen in 2008. Earlier that same year, when Plácido Domingo made his role debut as Bajazet at the Teatro Real in Madrid, it became the 126th role of his career.

A perennial favorite, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (ten performances: November 29 through December 19, 2009) returns to the LA Opera stage in a delightful Emilio Sagi production from the Teatro Real in Madrid. Baritones Nathan Gunn and Lucas Meachem share the role of the wily Figaro, with tenors Juan Diego Flórez and Dmitry Korchak as Count Almaviva, and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and soprano Sarah Coburn alternating in the role of Rosina. Michele Mariotti will conduct.

The conclusion of Wagner’s four-part Ring cycle, Götterdämmerung (five performances: April 3 through 25, 2010), is conducted by James Conlon in another new production directed and designed by Achim Freyer. Soprano Linda Watson and tenor John Treleaven return as Brünnhilde and Siegfried, respectively, with bass Eric Halfvarson as Hagen, baritone Gordon Hawkins as Alberich, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung as Waltraute, bass-baritone Alan Held as Gunther and soprano Jennifer Wilson as Gutrune.

James Conlon conducts the U.S. premiere of The Stigmatized (Die Gezeichneten) by Franz Schreker (four performances: April 10 through 24, 2010). The Stigmatized is part of the Company’s celebrated multi-year Recovered Voices project, devoted to reviving the works of composers who were suppressed by the Third Reich. This will be the first
Schreker opera to be staged in any manner in the Western Hemisphere. The cast includes tenor Robert Brubaker, soprano Anja Kampe and baritones Martin Gantner and James Johnson. The work will be staged by Olivier Tambosi, who directed LA Opera’s 2007 production of Jenufa.

From May 29 through June 26, 2010, LA Opera will present three full presentations of Wagner’s four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen, the first time that the complete Ring cycle will be seen in Los Angeles. LA Opera is partnering with more than 50 of the city’s premiere cultural and educational organizations to present Ring Festival LA (April 15 through June 30, 2010) a citywide festival that will include a wide variety of special exhibitions, performances, symposia and special events.

The season will also feature recitals by two of the greatest artists of our time. Baritone Thomas Hampson, who last appeared with LA Opera as Marcello in La Bohème in 1987, will make his long awaited return with a recital on October 3, 2009. On December 12, 2009, soprano Renée Fleming will return for her third recital presented by LA Opera and her first appearance here since opening the 2006/07 season in La Traviata.

Classical KUSC FM 91.5 will once again broadcast LA Opera on Air, a series of radio broadcasts from the Company’s current 2008/09 Season recorded live in performance. The radio broadcasts, which will be distributed nationally by the WFMT Radio Network and internationally via XM Satellite Radio, are scheduled to begin airing on Classical KUSC FM 91.5 on May 9, 2009, after the final Metropolitan Opera broadcast of the
spring, and will be hosted by Duff Murphy.

LA Opera’s acclaimed education and community outreach programs for the 2009/10 Season include In-School Operas performed by professionals and students together, free student matinee performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia on the main-stage and special performances of Who Wants to Be an Opera Singer? in the Grand Hall and on tour in venues throughout Southern California. Other highlights include “Opera Tales” productions, touring to numerous public libraries throughout the county, as well the expansion of regular Library Project offerings, accredited In-Service Teacher Trainings,
Opera Camp, Voices for Tolerance choral training and other community education programs and partnerships.

Subscriptions for the 2009/10 Season are available by phone and by mail and range in price from $100 to $1,425. Subscribers can receive up to 35% off of the price of single ticket prices. Single tickest are on sale at the LA Opera Box Office, by phone at (213) 972-8001 or ONLINE. For further information, visit LA Opera’s website 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

Source: LA OPERA

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