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: Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Orff’s The Clever One and The Emperor of Atlantis by Viktor Ullman. Audiences seem to be buying into what the company has to offer. Attendance has steadily increased and the annual budget has more than doubled in the past few years.
The company also features decidedly non-traditional venues. Thus a recent production of Grigory Frid’s The Diary of Anne Frank was staged in parking garages in Long Beach and Los Angeles. “I don’t want a theater,” said general director/artistic director Andreas Mitisek, who assumed his dual roles in 2004. “… in a theater you are always performing in the same space. I want to produce opera in other spaces to keep our audience moving. In these days with gas prices rising, I think we should in some way be able to come to our audiences. I want to keep the option of using theatrical spaces.”
Long Beach Opera Information
- Public Transportation: Depends on venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue, but generally good
- Performances/Programs: Four–five per season with multiple performances of each
- Ticket Prices: $29–$150, with prices varying by seat selection
- Subscriptions: Four-show subscription $98–$540, depending on seats selected. First time subscriber season discount 50%; 2nd year, 30%; 3rd year and beyond, 10%
- Membership: Donations from $50–$10,000+ are welcome.