Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

A new season begins

September 07, 2006

Well out on the West Coast the opera season has finally arrived with both LA and SF kicking off this week-end with big names, expensive cocktails and plenty of talk about money. Eli and Edythe Broad continue their single-handed revitalization of arts and culture in LA by donating 6 million to LA Opera for a Ring cycle sometime this decade apparently. They get their name on the General Director's position and we get a “moderate” production, in Domingo’s words, as reported by the NYT. Of course this is sure to fuel the controversy amongst local commentators like Christopher Knight of the LA Times about Broad’s generosity and his tendency to keep his hands and/or name on everything no matter how public or publicly funded it may be. But who am I to complain? As long as opera and the arts have such little public sector support here in the US, as compared to their counterparts in Europe and elsewhere, we will have to continue to take it where we can get it. And we will have to continue with unimaginative, conservative, and largely unoriginal work. However, Broad’s pockets are deep and if he wants to spend it on stuff I like, so be it. Plus, I’ve always wondered what Wagner in moderation would sound like.

Speaking of shelling out money for the arts, I, too, am growing excited about the coming season and have more or less mapped out a very busy schedule of things worth seeing. Here is what I've decided on for Fall 06:


Verdi - La Traviata
at LA Opera with Conlon/Fleming/Villazón/Bruson

Verdi - Don Carlo
at LA Opera with Conlon/Licitra/Zajick/Raspagliosi

Verdi - Un Ballo in maschera
at SF Opera with Armillato/Voigt/Haddock


Wagner - Ring Cycle
at OCPAC with Gergiev and the Marinsky Ensemble

Massenet - Manon
at LA Opera with Domingo/Netrebko/Villazón

Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov
at OCPAC with Gergiev and the Marinsky Ensemble

Wagner - Tristan und Isolde
at SF Opera with Runnicles/Brewer/Moser

Verdi - Rigoletto
at SF Opera with Lord/Dunleavy/Gavanelli


Puccini - Manon Lescaut
at SF Opera with Runnicles/Mattila/Didyc

Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia
at SF Opera with Barbacini/Gunn/McHardy


Montiverdi - L'incoronazione di Poppea
at LA Opera with Bicket/Graham/Daniels/Von Stade

Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel
at LA Opera with Gilbert/Schaufer/Kanyova

Tan Dun - The First Emporer
at Met NYC with Dun/Futral/Domingo/Groves

Bellini - I puritani
at Met NYC with Summers/Ntrebko/Cutler

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