Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In the Wings - July 09

June 30, 2009

Pavol Breslik and chorus in Lucrezia Borgia
Photo: Wifried Hösl/Bayerische Staatsoper 2009

It’s July and I’m getting out of Dodge for awhile. But never fear, Out West Arts always take you along for the ride. In the broadest sense of “West”, Out West Arts and I will be off to London and Munich for a couple of weeks in the first half of the month and will be bringing you reports from the road. First up is London which will be jam-packed with events. On the theater side will be revivals of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Duke of Yorks Theater, Stafford’s War Horse at the New London Theater, and the National Theater’s new production of All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Marianne Elliott who gave us 2007's fantastic revival of Saint Joan. I can't ignore all of the big celebrities on London stages right now, however, so we'll also thrown in Helen Mirren in the new Nicholas Hynter-directed production of Phédre. Then, I’ll get down to some opera. Perhaps the performance I’m most looking forward to will be English National Opera’s UK premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin at the London Coliseum, which will be staged by Cirque du Soleil's own Daniele Finzi Pasca. And not to leave out the Royal Opera, I’ll catch their upcoming revival of Un Ballo in Maschera with Ramon Vargas and the incredibly star-studded Il Barbiere di Siviglia with JDF, DiDonato, Alessandro Corbelli and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Basilio of all things.

With not a moment to spare, it;s off to one of my favorite opera cities, München, for a whole week of shows from the Bayerische Staatsoper. Included in this run: a revival of Werther with Kassarova and Beczala, Jenufa with Eva-Marie Westbroek, an Edita Gruberova-headlining Lucrezia Borgia, and a new Nagano-conducted Lohengrin with Anja Harteros and über-hot Jonas Kaufmann. And to top it off, how about Pfitzner’s Palestrina because, like, where else am I ever going to see it?.

Juho Pohjonen
Photo: Marco Borggreve 2009

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the second half of the month will mean back to work and back to L.A. where summer will finally really be getting under way. Of course, summer in L.A. is all about the Hollywood Bowl, and I’ll be contending with the crappy acoustics and stack parking for a number of shows including Marin Alsop leading the L.A. Philharmonic in Mahler’s 5th Symphony on the 28th. The Philip Glass ensemble will appear on the 23rd for an all Glass program including the soundtrack to Koyaanisquatsi. And intriguingly, Lionel Bringuier will lead the L.A. Philharmonic in a program that includes Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto, to be played by someone other than Yefim Bronfman, specifically Juho Pohjonen, on the 21st. All this and Tori Amos on the 17th at the Greek theater and Grace Jones on a bill with Of Montreal on the 26th. What’s not to love?


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