Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

Coming Up (Like a Flower)

April 12, 2008


I’m finally getting around to updating some of my blog stuff and thought I’d point out some events on the horizon that are worth looking into. One highlight is this coming Monday when the Monday Evening Concert Series at Zipper Hall downtown will feature the music of German composer Helmut Lachenmann who will be in attendance for the performance, which will include Ein Kinderspiel, Allegro Sostenuto, and the West Coast premiere of Mouvement. My first exposure to Lachenmann was through the excellent ECM recording of his opera Das Mädchen mit dem Schwefelhölzern which you can read more about here. He’s been in the U.S. where he is a visiting professor at Harvard this semester, and getting a chance to see him here in L.A. is definitely a special and rare opportunity. In preparation for the concert, the Goethe-Institut on Wilshire will host a screening of Bettina Ehrhadt’s documentary ”Where I have never been before:” the Composer Helmut Lachenmann on Sunday Morning at 11AM complete with a bonus live performance of his Das Niente by Shizuyo Oka. For those of who can’t make Sunday check out the clip above.

Meanwhile, there is important new and contemporary opera on DVD over the last two months, many of which I’ve highlighted over in the Top 5 column. Most exciting among these is the release of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland filmed live at the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2007 with Sally Matthews, Piia Komsi, Gwyneth Jones and Dietrich Henschel under the baton of Kent Nagano. It was one of my highlights of last year featuring several great performances, and this is an excellent opportunity to see Achim Freyer’s wild and woolly production. Freyer is a favorite here in L.A. and as you may remember he will be directing L.A.’s new Ring cycle starting in 2009. The DVD comes out (I detest the use of the word “drops” in this context ever) on April 29th but in the meantime you can check out the second clip. So get out there. You snooze, you lose.

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