Photo by Ken Howard/LA Opera
It’s time for a new season of LA Opera On-Air with KUSC’s resident opera expert Duff Murphy. Tune in Saturdays at 10AM as Duff takes you through some of LA Opera’s most exciting productions. See what’s coming up below.
Saturday, May 12, 10 AM
The dazzling Ana María Martínez returns to Los Angeles as opera’s most seductive temptress. Nobody—not even a lover—can tame Carmen, who bursts into life on the stage with an intoxicating whirl of thrilling choreography, vivid orchestrations and heart-stopping drama. Bizet’s unforgettable score is an endless parade of one great melody after the other, from the languid allure of Carmen’s sensual songs to the macho boasts of the dashing bullfighter.
Saturday, May 19, 10 AM
As an aging king descends into madness, his bloodthirsty daughter begins a reign of terror, leaving a defenseless populace to battle for freedom from their oppressors. A monumental opera that made Verdi a national hero, Nabucco boasts a bold score that goes straight to the heart, highlighted by the immortal chorus of the Hebrew slaves.
The powerful tale is loosely based on the historical and biblical figure of Nebuchadnezzar, a mighty king whose madness is cured by divine intervention. In Thaddeus Strassberger’s production, the towering drama is exquisitely presented as it might have been staged at its 1842 premiere at Teatro alla Scala. Plácido Domingo continues his astonishing exploration of the Verdi baritone repertory with his portrayal of the title role, with one of today’s brightest stars, Liudmyla Monastyrska, making her company debut as the king’s power-hungry daughter, Abigaille.
Saturday, May 26, 10 AM
In the Roman Empire, a clandestine love affair brings two mortal enemies together during a time of war. But when Norma discovers that her beloved now loves another, a fiery new battle begins as betrayal, anguish and fury take the reins.
A superlative quartet of soloists is led by the extraordinary Angela Meade—hailed by Opera News as “a voice to be reckoned with”—in the iconic title role, opposite the Adalgisa of mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, this year’s winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. From the sublime “Casta diva” to the blazing finale, Norma delivers an overwhelming feast of vocal fireworks.
Saturday, June 2, 10 AM
Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci
Two legendary directors combine forces for a sensational production. First, Plácido Domingo stars as Gianni Schicchi in Woody Allen’s riotous staging of Puccini’s comic masterpiece, conducted by Grant Gershon. When greedy relatives descend upon their kinsman’s deathbed, they enlist Gianni Schicchi to rewrite the will to their benefit. Handed an opportunity too good to resist, the devious Schicchi turns the tables, securing the future happiness of two young lovers in the process.
After the intermission, Plácido Domingo conducts the conclusion of the double bill, Franco Zeffirelli’s epic production of Pagliacci starring Marco Berti, Ana María Martínez and George Gagnidze. Filling the stage with hair-raising drama, the action plays out in a breathtaking contemporary urban landscape. When a cuckolded husband takes his revenge, his desperate wife must fight for her life in front of a cheering, oblivious audience.
Saturday, June 9, 10 AM
Epic in every sense of the word, Moby-Dick came to Los Angeles after a series of sold out triumphs around the world. Returning as Captain Ahab is the sensational Jay Hunter Morris, whose “fiery brilliance in his resplendent upper range captured both Ahab’s inner strength and demonic possession” (SanDiego.com). Based on Herman Melville’s classic novel, Jake Heggie’s sweeping, gorgeously detailed score has already taken its rightful place as a true contemporary masterpiece.
With astonishing visual effects and a magnificent musical score, one of the very greatest of all American novels comes thrillingly to life on the stage. A fanatical sea captain’s unrelenting obsession for revenge drives his entire crew into the face of death and destruction as they explore the vast and mysterious oceans in search of a monster.