Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In the Wings - January '10

January 10, 2010

Luciano Chessa who'll appear at this week's Monday Evening Concert

The holidays are over, and, while we all get our bearings back, there’s plenty on the agenda to consider for the month of January. (Sorry this is a wee bit late, but I’m just getting caught up myself.) Here in Los Angeles, you can always count on the Los Angeles Philharmonic to come through with events in the first weeks of the year. There are two weeks of shows under the guidance of Lorin Maazel, the first a program of Richard Strauss operatic tidbits and Sibelius followed the next week by Bruckner’s 8th Symphony. At the end of the month they’ll host Vasily Petrenko and the great Piotr Anderszewski playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The Walt Disney Concert Hall will also welcome three other pianists of note, André Watts (who I already wrote about here), Richard Goode on the 19th, and Emanuel Ax who’ll appear in a double recital with Yo-Yo Ma on the 27th.

Perhaps piano is not your thing? Then you might consider the largely a cappella program from the LA Master Chorale on the 31st which will include two local premieres from Nico Muhly. Speaking of newer music, Monday Evening Concerts will be offering “Mostly Californian” on Monday the 11th with works from three living Californians, Clint McCallum, Michael Pisaro, and Luciano Chessa. Meanwhile, the Westside’s own Jacaranda series will present a variety of 20th-century British and Irish composers’ works on the 16th including Thomas Adès, Harrison Birtwistle, and Gerald Barry.

Grupo de Rua
Photo: Bruno Betrao

There are a number of notable out-of-towners performing in Los Angeles this month. Brazilian dance innovators Grupo de Rua will be at the REDCAT with H3 starting on the 19th. Pee-Wee Herman will finally kick off some live comeback shows downtown at Club Nokia on the 12th after last year’s tease that will hopefully live up to all the anticipation. But even if it fails, there are a couple of shows nearby a the Nokia Theater on the 29th and 30th from comedian Eddie Izzard that may get the job done.

Jose Cura and Sondra Radvanovsky in Stiffelio
Photo: Ken Howard/Met Opera 2010

Opera-wise, Los Angeles is a bit of a ghost town this month due to the reduced 09/10 season. There will be a couple of notable Ring Festival L.A. events in the build up to this big attraction this spring. And, of course, we will probably have 10/11 announcements from both L.A. and San Francisco this month as well. But there are some good out of town options. San Diego Opera will kick off its season January 30th with La Bohème starring Piotr Beczala and Ellie Dehn. While you're down south you may also want to catch the premiere of the latest musical from the mind of Duncan Shiek, Whisper House, which will be on stage at the Old Globe Theater as of the 13th. I’ll also be back in New York to catch up on the activity of L.A. Opera’s director, Placido Domingo, as he takes over the Metropolitan Opera, conducting Verdi’s Stiffelio, starting on the 11th, while starring in Simon Boccanegra on alternating evenings beginning on the 18th. So don't just sit there, do something.


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