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Los Angeles/Orange County: Opera

Opera in Los Angeles can be an elusive beast. When the story broke about LA Opera receiving a $14 million bailout from the city for their production of the Ring cycle, many Angelinos responded by asking, “we have an opera?” The answer, friends, is yes, you’ve got a glorious one, headed by the knock-out team of Plácido Domingo and James Conlon. Housed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, LA Opera offers a solid mix of classics and new or lesser-known works every season, almost always with innovative staging. (Do a Google Image search of “LA Opera Ring Cycle” for proof, if necessary.)

Across town, the Long Beach Opera focuses on new repertoire and innovative performances, with seasons as likely to include hits from John Adams and Philip Glass as they are to feature performances staged in an aquarium.

Student performances certainly deserve attention here as well, as singers from USC’s Thornton School of Music receive mentoring directly from the stars downtown and the Center for New Performance at Cal Arts regularly presents productions around the city. With a little digging – and help from the enormous number of tiny, independent theatres in Los Angeles – fans of opera can find staged and unstaged local performances put on by new names and faces almost daily. (Nick Norton)

Los Angeles Opera: Opera Around Los Angeles

Below are our Los Angeles Opera recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, company/venue history and other points of interest in Los Angeles Art.

Long Beach Opera

Founded in 1979, Long Beach Opera has the distinction of being the oldest opera company in the Los Angeles area, antedating its larger sibling, Los Angeles Opera, by eight years.

There’s little doubt about the niche the company fills in the Southern California operatic world: Long Beach has made the decision to emphasize rarely performed works. Its 2009 season, for example, included the American premiere of Vivaldi’s Motezumaplus a trio of company premieres: …more…

Los Angeles Opera

In just over 20 years of existence, the Los Angeles Opera has become the fourth largest opera company in the United States and gained international recognition. The company has a celebrity for its general director, famed tenor Plácido Domingo, who actually starred in LA Opera’s premiere production of Verdi’s Otello in 1986. Domingo has also sung in over 100 performances with the Opera and conducted many other performances. LA Opera …more…