Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In The Wings - March '11

February 28, 2011

Jonas Kaufmann Photo: Uli Webber

March is all about opera this year. There’s a wide variety of things operatic to choose from both locally and around the country as many of the nation's companies head into the home stretch of their seasons. Where to start? Well, if you haven’t seen L.A. Opera’s production of Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia, it should be first priority as you may not see a better one anywhere this year. There are four more performances through the 15th. The other hot ticket in town this month will be a one night only appearance by tenor Jonas Kaufmann making his local recital debut at L.A. Opera on the 11th. And, if you’re coming from out of town, you might as well make it a weekend with the opening performance of Jonathan Kent's production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw starring American soprano Patricia Racette on the 12th. If you're looking for something even more hot off the opera presses, though, you should head down to Long Beach where Andreas Mitisek’s adventurous company will be presenting fully staged performances of Glass’ Akhnaten on March 19 and 27.

Ryan Fletcher and Vicki Manderson in Beautiful Burnout Photo: Gavin Evans

Out of town opera looks promising as well. I’ll be in Chicago on the 4th for Lyric Opera Chicago’s premiere of Handel’s Hercules starring none other than Alice Coote, Eric Owens, and David Daniels under the direction of Peter Sellars. The company is also continuing its well-received run of Lohengrin with Johan Botha who will be joined while I’m there with the up-and-coming Amber Wagner as Elsa. Later in New York, the most promising moment of the month will be the Vladimir Galouzine and Karita Mattila-led Queen of Spades at the Metropolitan Opera, which I’ll see on the 18th just before the final performance of Natalie Dessay in the company’s Lucia di Lammermoor revival on the 19th. (This show will also be broadcast to theaters around the country in HD.) On the theater side, that quick visit will also include the return of the National Theater of Scotland with Beautiful Burnout at St. Ann’s Warehouse and the new Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, which is being imported from London in a fantastic production seen there in 2009.

Emanuele Arciuli

Back in Los Angeles, new and contemporary music abounds this month. REDCAT, the downtown home for artistic adventure, presents two intriguing piano recitals, the first from Danny Holt on the 9th and later from Emanuele Arciuli on March 24. The L.A. Philharmonic will host the Emerson Quartet playing the local premiere of a new string quartet from Thomas Adès on the 14th and the following evening will present contemporary works from Anders Hillborg and the fascinating Unsuk Chin. (When will her Alice in Wonderland opera see its local premiere?) And don’t forget about Monday Evening Concerts, which pairs work from Rolf Riehm with Heinrich Schütz’ St John Passion on the 28th. But perhaps the most star-studded new(er) music event this month will take place on the 29th when the L.A. Philharmonic presents a program in tribute to the late Ernest Fleischmann that will include music from and appearances by both Esa-Pekka Salonen and Pierre Boulez.

The Scharoun Ensemble Photo: Gantschi

There are a number of noteworthy visitors this month as well. The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin arrives at Walt Disney Concert Hall on March 2. The next evening you can see the eight Berlin Philharmonic musicians that make up the Scharoun Ensemble at UCLA’s Royce Hall. That same evening down in Orange County the Vienna Philharmonic will appear at the Segerstrom Concert Hall with Mahler’s 6th Symphony. The St. Petersburg Philharmonic will come to L.A. under Yuri Temirkanov with cellist Alisa Weilerstein on the 22nd with Shostakovich and Brahms. Pianists abound as well with Yefim Bronfman in a solo recital on the 9th and the always spellbinding Martha Argerich is scheduled to play Beethoven’s 1st Piano Concerto with the L.A. Philharmonic the weekend of the 17th. And speaking of the L.A. Phil, Dudamel is back in town again for the Argerich program, Bruckner’s 7th Symphony and an evening of Tchaikovsky works inspired by Shakespeare. The latter complete with cameras, ‘natch.



I'm totally going to throw my panties at Jonas Kaufmann.
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