Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In the Wings - Oct '10

October 03, 2010

Daniel Harding who'll appear with the Dresden Staatskapelle this month Photo: Harald Hoffmann

October is a particularly promising month on the performance front both in Los Angeles and around the country. Probably first and foremost on the horizon is the opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic season on Oct 7, the second under music director Gustavo Dudamel. He and the orchestra have a pretty full plate this season and perhaps something to prove after the conductor had his hat handed to him by most music critics on the ensemble’s American tour at the end of last season. There will only be two weeks of performances under Dudamel in the fall after the gala opener which will feature a number of crowd pleasing nuggets from Juan Diego Flórez. The show most worth seeing, and perhaps the most important of the whole season, will feature Messiaen’s Turangalila-symphonie over the weekend of Oct 14th. As a companion piece, there will be a performance of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps in the L.A. Phil chamber music program on Oct 12 as well. The other L.A. Phil performance I would recommend this month will occur over the weekend of the 22nd when Charles Dutoit will lead an excellent cast in Berlioz’ choral symphony, Roméo et Juliette. Fans of Bang on a Can may also want to check out the L.A. Phil's New Music Group on Oct 19 when they'll present works from the influential New York collective's founders. There’s also one excellent visiting orchestra in town next month when the Dresden Staatskapelle appears in Orange County at the Segerstrom Concert Hall on Oct 27 under Daniel Harding with Brahms’ Second Symphony and a Beethoven piano concerto.

Olga Wehrly and Tadhg Murphy in Penelope Photo: Robert Day

If you are in the mood for things more operatic, there is still plenty of time to check out the two very find productions L.A. Opera has on stage, Il Postino and Le Nozze di Figaro. While I’m out of town this month, I’ll be stopping in at the Metropolitan Opera on the 9th for Robert LePage’s new vision of Wagner’s Das Rheingold followed by the premiere of the company’s new Boris Godunov on the 11th to see if it survived the recent director transplant from Peter Stein to Stephen Wadsworth. At the end of the month, I’ll also be visiting the beautiful Winspear Opera House in Dallas for a Don Giovanni, starring the ever higher-profile Paulo Szot (Oct 29) and the premiere of a new production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Oct 30).

A scene from the Elevator Repair Service's Gatz Photo: Chris Beirens

October is also packed with exciting theater events all over the country. New York will host a new production of Kushner’s Angels in America at the Signature Theater (Oct 8 and 9) as well as the Elevator Repair Service’s production of GATZ (Oct 10), which will be presented at The Public Theater. Also off Broadway but equally exciting is the U.S. Premiere of another Druid Theater production from playwright Enda Walsh whose Penelope will surface on Oct 31. Elsewhere, Berkeley will be one of a few U.S. cities to host The Tricycle Theater’s massive trilogy Afghanistan: The Great Game consisting of 12 short plays by a collection of authors on the history and culture of this long war-torn region (Oct 24). Los Angeles also has a number of—hopefully—worthwhile events including the premiere of Leap of Faith the new musical from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater starring Raúl Esparza and Brooke Shields, which opens on the 3rd. Center Theater Group’s other opening this month is Venice, a new piece from Matt Sax and Eric Rosen, which kicks off on Oct 7 at the Kirk Douglas Theater. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will return to the Broad Stage this month as well with their version of The Merry Wives of Windsor (Oct 14). And I would be remiss not to mention Sarah Ruhl’s great In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, which is running alongside Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw (Oct 22) in Orange County at the South Coast Repertory Theater.

And in the non-play performance category there’s a few other things worth noting. Laurie Anderson will return to UCLA’s Royce Hall for a single performance of her latest Delusion on the 21st. Meanwhile at REDCAT downtown, Tere O’Connor Dance will present Wrought Iron Fog starting on the 14th and will welcome pianist Alfred Brendel in conversation on the 28th about music and everything. My work here is done.



And up in SF, Rufus will be performing with the SFSO in a concert Mid-November while in early December John Adams will be doing El Nino with Dawn Upshaw, Michelle de Young, and many others.
So jealous about the new production of Boris Godunov! In any case, we'll be looking for you in the audience during the HD broadcast of Rheingold - please wear something flashy.
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