Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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In The Wings - February '11

February 02, 2011

Nino Machaidze in the Christof Loy production of Il Turco in Italia
Photo: Armin Bardel

The event I’m most anticipating in February is the return of Nino Machaidze to Los Angeles Opera to star in Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia starting on Feb 19. What’s better yet is that this wonderful soprano will star in a Christof Loy production imported from Munich that will also feature the super Paolo Gavanelli and Thomas Allen. It’s not the only event LAO will host this month, which will also include the second in the company’s all-hunk recital series when Dimitri Hvorostovsky comes to town on Feb 10. Many of February's other highlights for me are also operatic and I’ll be headed to New York ever so briefly to catch Adams’ Nixon in China and the return of Susan Graham and Placido Domingo in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride both on the 12th at The Metropolitan Opera. (Nixon in China will be featured in a broadcast on Feb 12th as well, so it will be available much closer to home than New York.) The only bad news here is that it will force me to miss the lovely Joyce DiDonato when she arrives at the Broad Stage on the 11th in Santa Monica. And if you still haven’t caught it, Long Beach Opera will offer two more performances of Cherubini’s Medea on the 5th and 6th of the month as well.

The JACK Quartet
Photo: Stephen Poff

On the music front, the pick of the month will be the return of the JACK Quartet to Monday Evening Concerts, this time with the lights on, to play a Valentine’s Day program of Cage, Cassidy, and Radulescu. Ain’t love grand? Meanwhile, Piano Spheres will present an evening of duets from Liam Viney and Anna Grinberg on Feb 8. There’s an awful lot of jazz and jazz-related projects around town as well. REDCAT will host a new “free-jazz opera” from George Hermes entitled The Artist’s Life Feb 3 through 5 before welcoming the Mark Dresser Trio on the 7th. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will get in on the act as well after returning from their recent European tour with a new commission from Wynton Marsalis who’ll appear alongside conductor Leonard Slatkin on the weekend of the 11th. Less jazzy, but just as noticeable will be Lionel Bringuier leading the orchestra the following weekend of the 18th with Gautier Capuçon in the Schumann Cello Concerto and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 5. Oh, and not to be forgotten, Lisa de la Salle and Louis Langrée will appear with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on weekend of the 25th with works from Ravel and Beethoven.

Kevin Anderson in The Break of Noon
Photo: Michael Lamont/Geffen Playhouse 2011

On stage, Center Theater Group will bring Jane Fonda to the Ahmanson in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations all month long after her recent Broadway success. And for challenge-seeking audiences, the company will host Tim Crouch’s The Author at the Kirk Douglas Theater starting Feb 15. While on the Westside, the Geffen Playhouse will open up the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon as of Feb 3. And, if you still haven’t seen Spring Awakening!, (you should) you’ve got another week’s worth of chances starting on Feb 8 at the Pantages. There’s dance as well with Association Noa/Vincent Mantsoe at REDCAT Feb 9 and Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Feb 25. And, if all else fails, you can always catch L.A.’s own Local Natives in their debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown on the 26th. Have a great February.


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