Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In The Wings - September '10

September 08, 2010

A set concept from Il Postino; Set Designer Riccardo Hernandez

I should probably comment on September’s upcoming events before it gets too late to make it worthwhile. As is usually the case, now that the holiday weekend is passed, there are a lot of new performances on the horizon as the fall season gets under way both here in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Probably the most anticipate event this month will be the opening of Los Angeles Opera’s 25th season with the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s treatment of Il Postino starring company artistic director Placido Domingo as Pablo Neruda on the 23rd. The music direction for this big event will fall to the company’s Associate Conductor Grant Gershon who’ll be having a very busy month since he’ll also be opening the Los Angles Master Chorale season the following Sunday the 26th with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. It’s one of LAMC’s most exciting programs this season and there are only a few tickets left that aren’t behind the chorus so act fast if you don’t already have tickets.

Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale Photo: LAMC

There’s other opera both in and out of town. LA Opera will also open up a revival of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro on the 26th which will be conducted by Placido Domingo and has a good cast with Bo Skovhus, Marlis Petersen, and Daniel Okulitch. Up in the bay area, Opera San Jose will be offering the West Coast Premiere of David Carlson‘s Anna Karenina that I will see on the 17th. San Francisco Opera will be on the agenda for the same weekend with their two season opening productions, Verdi’s Aida with Dolora Zajick and Massenet’s Werther with Ramon Vargas and Alice Coote.

From In the Solitude of Cotton Fields Photo: Maciek Zorawiecki

On the theater side, REDCAT downtown will be offering two productions with promises of visual riches. On the 16th, the Sardono Dance Theater and Jennifer Tipton will present a world premiere dance piece, Rain Coloring Forest. The following weekend, RadosŁaw Rychcik/Stefan Zeromski Theatre will present a two-man art-rock inspired work, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields on the 23rd. Decidedly less experimental will be the big ticket offerings from Center Theater Group including the world premiere of a new musical, Leap of Faith based on the Steve Martin comedy, but now starring Raul Esparza and Brooke Shields at the Ahmanson Theater on the 11th. At the Mark Taper Forum, the Judith Ivey-starring revival of Williams’ The Glass Menagerie will arrive in L.A. after a very well reviewed New York run. I’m also planning to head to South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa at some point to catch their well-cast revival of Shaw’s Misalliance after it opens on the 10th.

There is other music to be hear around town in September. Gloria Cheng will open up the Piano Spheres season at Zipper Concert Hall with a recital on the 28th. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will finish up their Hollywood Bowl season with a few last shows including a Stravinsky and Adams double bill under Bramwell Tovey on the 8th including a performance from L.A.’s own Diavolo Dance Theater. And for those who like their music amplified, there’s New York’s Scissor Sisters on the 11th at the Hollywood Palladium and last but far from least, perhaps the most exciting rock bill of the whole year, Sonic Youth with the recently reunited Pavement closing out the month on the 30th at the Hollywood Bowl. My work here is done. The rest is up to you.


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