Malibu Seen

0
244
 

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE ARIA

The Los Angeles Opera has announced its 2006-07 season with James Conlon making his debut as the company’s new music director. The opera kicks off its 21st season on Sept. 9 with a splashy two-day celebration that’s very, very Verdi.

Up first, opera fans take in that timeless crowd pleaser “La Traviata.” Three of the music world’s biggest names team up for the extravaganza with soprano Renée Fleming, tenor Rolando Villazón and baritone Dimitri Hvorostovky taking center stage.

The following day, there’s more in store with Verdi’s classic “Don Carlo.” The production boasts an all-star international line-up with Salvatore Licitra, Annalisa Raspagliosi, Dolora Zajick, Ladro Antaneli, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Eric Halfvarson singing the leads.

In addition to faves like “La Trav” and “DC,” the company plans to introduce several modern productions and lesser known works.

The season continues with Massenet’s decadent French drama, “Manon”, with Villazón and Anna Netrebko.

In November, things start to get Grimm as Alan Gilbert conducts the classic children’s fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel”, with character tenor Graham Clark playing the evil witch and designer Douglas Fitch making enchanted forests with gingerbread houses come to life.

For a taste of Broadway, there’s the “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.” Kurt Weill’s lyrical satire mixes opera with contemporary music hall songs and has Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald taking their acts to L.A.

Wagner fans won’t want to miss the romantic masterpiece “Tannhauser,” starring Peter Seiffert, Petra Maria Schnitzer and Franz Josef Selig. On a lighter note, the San Francisco Opera brings us “The Merry Widow”, starring Susan Graham.

For a little Gershwin, The Washington National Opera will jazz things up with “Porgy and Bess.” Kevin Short and Indira Mahajan will step into the limelight singing American originals like “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.”

Even General Director Placido Domingo will be taking the stage in Frederico Moreno’s “Luisa Fernanda.” The Spanish operetta is the last of the great romantic zarzuelas. Given the fact that Domingo’s parents were both zarzuela singers in their native Spain, it’s a role that Placido has in his blood.

So whether you like it somber and serious or nice and light, the upcoming L.A. Opera season is something to sing about.