From Ralph Lemon's upcoming appearance at REDCAT Photo: Ralph Lemon
November is shaping up to be the most exciting month of the fall performing arts season here in Los Angeles. In fact the last two weeks of the month have the potential to be some of the best of the whole year. Of course you should never count your chickens before they hatch, but this is definitely a good Thanksgiving weekend to stay around town. Let’s start off with the much anticipated return of Esa-Pekka Salonen for two weeks of performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Many are hoping that Salonen can recapture the magic which has sorely been missing from the L.A. Phil since his departure in the spring of 2009. (The debate over the many shortcomings of Salonen’s replacement, Gustavo Dudamel, rages elsewhere on Tim Mangan’s blog
these days.) Salonen’s first program on the 19th
will include the U.S. Premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Graffiti
and a concert performance of Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle
with Anne Sofie von Otter and Willard White. The next weekend on the 26th
will include selections from Wagner as well as Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Wagner
. The guest vocalist for that evening will be Bryn Terfel who will also give a solo recital
at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the 22nd. The L.A. Phil will also collaborate with two notable visiting conductors: Pablo Heras-Casado
in a Stravinsky and Takemitsu program on the 5th and Susanna Mälkki
with the music of Turnage and Strauss over the weekend of the 12th. The WDCH will also host an evening of music from George Crumb
as part of the Green Umbrella new music series on the 16th and the Venice Baroque Orchestra
playing Vivaldi and Glass on the 5th.
A scene from L.A. Opera's upcoming Rigoletto Photo: Terrence McCarthy/SF Opera
The other major event this month besides the return of Salonen is the opening of the most anticipated production of the year’s LA Opera season as a brand new Lohengrin
rides its swan into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on the 20th. James Conlon will conduct Lydia Steier’s production with a cast including Ben Heppner, Solie Isokoski, and Dolora Zajick in her role debut as Ortrud. One week later, Verdi’s Rigoletto
opens in a cast led by George Gagnidze. The other major opera events for my November will occur in San Francisco where I’ll at long last get to see Placido Domingo sing Cyrano de Bergerac
and the unparalleled Karita Mattila star in Janacek’s The Makropulos Case
over the weekend of the 12th.
There’s other great music on tap around town as well. Monday Evening Concerts will kick of its new season on the 15th with an appearance by Russian piano legend Alexei Lubimov
in recital. And for contrast the always exemplary Los Angeles Master Chorale
will offer up a cappella French works on the 7th. Vicki Ray will play Feldman
for Piano Spheres on the 30th and the hottest baritone around, Paulo Szot
, finally makes his scheduled appearances at the Broad Stage on the 27th and 28th.
There’s no shortage of interesting theater and dance as well. Leading the way in this category is the REDCAT downtown which welcomes Ralph Lemons/Cross Performance starting on the 10th with How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
. Dutch theater rebels Wunderbaum will also make a return appearance there starting on the 17th with Venlo
. More conventionally, Randy Newman’s new musical Harps and Angels
will open at the Mark Taper forum on the 10th and the first stop outside of New York for the musical Next to Normal
will happen at the Ahmanson with Tony –winner Alice Ripley on the 23rd. Also on my November theater agenda are Gina Gionffrido’s Becky Shaw
at South Coast Repertory, McCraney’s Marcus, or The Secret of Sweet
at A.C.T. San Francisco, and last but not least an afternoon of Kabuki
sponsored by the Japanese America Community and Cultural Center on the 6th in downtown L.A. There’s likely to be some very good stuff here, so don’t let November pass you by.
Labels: In the Wings