From LBO Press Release, May 19, 202o
Long Beach Opera website
The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies
Directed & Designed by Andreas Mitisek
Conducted by Stephen Karr
January 23, 30, 31
Les Enfants Terribles by Philip Glass
Directed by James Darrah
Conducted by Christopher Rountree
March 20, 27, 28
Pierrot Lunaire / Voices From the Killing Jar
By Arnold Schoenberg / Kate Soper
Directed by Danielle Agami & Zoe Aja Moore
Conducted by Jenny Wong
April 17, 18
Comet / Poppea
Composed by George Lewis and Claudio Monteverdi
Libretto by Douglas Kearney
Directed and conceived by Yuval Sharon
June 20, 26, 27
Long Beach | May 19, 2020 – While acknowledging that the landscape for future performing arts events is currently uncertain, Long Beach Opera is forging ahead with plans for its 2021 “Season of Solidarity” beginning in January. Both LBO and Interim Artistic Advisor Yuval Sharon believe that collaboration and creative thinking will be the key to returning to performing arts activities, and understand that adaptability may be necessary to return to the important work of connecting individuals and communities through live, in-person artistic expression.
Long Beach Opera announces four productions for its 2021 “Season of Solidarity”. This season will feature collaborations with organizations and artistic leaders from throughout Los Angeles County and beyond, bringing together some of today’s most adventurous and collaborative thinkers on the contemporary music scene.
Yuval Sharon, Artistic Director of The Industry and described by The New York Times as opera’s ”disrupter in residence,” serves as the company’s Interim Artistic Advisor, curating the 2021 season. Sharon also directs the final production of LBO’s season, the World Premiere co-production of his latest project Comet/Poppea, which explores race, power, and apocalypse through a radical intertwining of two searing works by Monteverdi and the renowned composer George Lewis.
Jennifer Rivera, C.E.O. and Executive Director of Long Beach Opera said, “Artists must continue to create, plan, dream and imagine all the creative scenarios that will once again allow audiences and artists to come together. Hope and creativity are more important now than ever before, and as such, LBO plans to move forward with our planned performances, but also to adapt to whatever environment exists when January 2021 arrives. Between Long Beach Opera and Yuval Sharon’s productions for The Industry, opera has existed in parking lots, train stations, swimming pools, automobiles, and city streets during the past four decades in Los Angeles County. Together, we plan to continue to find creative ways to bring the incredible collaborative art form of opera to people in our community.”
LBO is proud to be able to start the 2021 season with the production that was originally meant to be part of Andreas Mitisek’s final season as Artistic Director: the Los Angeles premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse on January 23, 30 & 31 2021. With Davies’ haunting score, this tale of mystery and loss is captured in a jaw-dropping new production directed and designed by Mitisek at the Aqauarium of the Pacific’s new Honda Pacific Visions Theater.
LBO continues its commitment to producing the work of Philip Glass with the LBO premiere of Les Enfants Terribles. Glass’s hypnotic meditation on youth receives a powerful, dance-driven production by director James Darrah originally produced at the One Festival at Opera Omaha. The production, featuring a score with three overlapping pianos, will be conducted by L.A. favorite Christopher Rountree, Artistic Director of the popular wild Up ensemble. Performances are March 20, 27 and 28 at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre.
For LBO’s third offering, women reframe their own operatic portrayal in a double bill that pairs the most radical monodrama of the last century with one of this century’s most exciting new voices.
Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire will perform on the same program as Kate Soper’s Voices from the Killing Jar in three performances April 17 & 18, in a co-production with the The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Pierrot Lunaire will be performed by LBO favorite Peabody Southwell and staged by Danielle Agami in collaboration with her internationally recognized dance company Ate9. Soper’s Killing Jar will be performed by Laurel Irene in a new production by L.A. based director Zoe Aja Moore. Both works will be conducted by Jenny Wong, LA Master Chorale’s Associate Conductor who recently co-conducted The Industry’s acclaimed piece Sweet Land.
The season closes with Comet / Poppea, conceived and directed by Sharon. Using Monteverdi’s final masterpiece The Coronation of Poppea as a point of departure, composer George Lewis is creating a new work based on the W.E.B. Du Bois short story “The Comet,” which tessellates with the vastly different world of Poppea. The work, which also interrogates the very foundations of opera, will have a libretto by Douglas Kearney, of The Industry’s Crescent City and Sweet Land.
LBO is co-producing Comet/Poppea with lead producers Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan, The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and American Modern Opera Company, and comes to Long Beach after debuting in New York earlier that month.
“Although I was already planning a season of collaborations for LBO prior to the corona virus, the new world we find ourselves in has given that emphasis on collaboration a new significance. So I am energized and humbled that so many artists and arts organizations, both local (like The Industry, wild Up, Ate9, The Wallis) and national (like Opera Omaha, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and AMOC) are so eager to join me and LBO in re-claiming our essential place in the life of this community.” – Yuval Sharon
The announcement of LBO’s new season comes on the heels of composer Anthony Davis receiving the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music for The Central Park Five, which had its world premiere in June of 2019 at Long Beach Opera. This is the first time a new work produced by Long Beach Opera has received the Pulitzer.
Information about season tickets can be found at longbeachopera.org.