Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In The Wings - July '10

July 03, 2010

Paul Groves as Faust in Chicago. Next up, he's Santa Fe's Hoffmann
Photo: Robert Kusel/LOC 2010

Before I forget, I should mention some of the July performances I’m most looking forward to around town and elsewhere. The centerpiece of the month will be two weekend visits to New Mexico for this year’s Santa Fe Opera Festival. On the 24th the company will present the world premiere of Lewis Spartlan’s Life is a Dream under the baton, I wager, of a resurgent Leonard Slatkin. The following weekend features the premiere of a new production of Britten’s Albert Herring with Alek Shrader and Christine Brewer. Also on the schedule are a revival of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, featuring Kelly Kaduce, and a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, starring Paul Groves and Kate Lindsey among others. Of the may great things about Santa Fe, one of my favorites is the brilliant timing of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival that coincides with the opera season and includes guest appearances of notable performers and vocalists from around the world. I’ll have time for two shows this year, a solo recital from pianist Simone Dinnerstein on the 31st and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Groves and Susan Graham on the 25th.

Katia and Marielle Labèque
Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

Much of the rest of the month will be taken up with a slew of local theater events now that there is time, what with the conclusion of L.A. Opera’s recent Ring cycle. Most notably, Center Theater Group will present the local premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore starring Chris Pine that is currently in previews at the Mark Taper Forum. On a much smaller scale CTG will offer a solo performance from Dael Orladersmith, Stoop Stories, starting the 7th at the Kirk Dougals Theater in Culver City. For more family friendly fare there is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s touring production of In the Heights, which will wrap up its run at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood on the 25th. The always interesting Antaeus ensemble will present their first full-fledged Shakespeare production, King Lear throughout July and August while Hollywood’s Fountain Theater is currently offering Michael Hollinger‘s string quartet drama Opus. And before it wraps up on the West side, I’ll also catch the Odyssey Theater’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House. The Odyssey will also present another in their series of successful Alan Ayckbourn productions with Bedroom Farce starting on the 17th.

Joanna Newsom
Photo: Annabel Mehran

There is a smattering of other events of note. The always underwhelming Hollywood Bowl season will pick up steam this month and my first visit to the Bowl will be to see Katia and Marielle Labèque play Mozart under Nicholas McGegan on the 22nd. Dudamel will cruise back into town just two weeks later with a concert performance of Bizet’s Carmen on Sunday, August 1, as well. Of course, summer always brings a variety of popular music acts to town and my two favorites this month are MGMT who’ll appear at the Greek Theater on the 16th and Joanna Newsom who’ll appear in support of her latest recording Have One on Me at the Orpheum Theater downtown on the 31st. Until next month, that is all.


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