Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond
In the Wings - Dec '11
December 03, 2011
December brings its usual combination of holiday fare to Los Angeles stages this month. But even if you’re not in a holiday mood, there are plenty of things to choose from in town. Probably the one must see show is the latest appearance of Esa-Pekka Salonen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic this weekend where he’ll lead a cast of exciting young singers such as Ryan McKinny, Eugene Brancoveanu, Timur Bekbosunov, and Michael Fabiano in the world premiere of the recently discovered fragments of Shostakovich’s abandoned opera Orango with a completed orchestral score by Gerard McBurney. This will be paired with Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony and will also mark the return of Salonen’s friend and theatrical collaborator Peter Sellars to the WDCH. There are a number of other good shows this month as well from the Los Angeles Philharmonic including a Mozart program led by Bernard Labadie the weekend of the 16th. And if you need your end of the year Messiah fix there are two excellent choices: the Los Angeles Master Chorale will perform it with your assistance on the 12th or without on the 18th, or you could hear the recently Grammy-nominated Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra give their version on either the 13th or 14th.
Of the new theater offering’s this month, the one I’m most excited about is the local premiere of the Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis' musical Fela! on the 13th. The show on the life of artist Fela Kuti comes complete with a live band on stage and was fantastic both in New York and London and promises to be so here as well. There is also two new shows worth considering in San Diego. The Old Globe opens up Some Lovers, a new Burt Bacharach musical written by Spring Awakening’s Steven Sater on the 8th. Meanwhile the La Jolla Playhouse will offer a pre-Broadway run the the latest revival for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Back in Los Angeles there are plenty of other ongoing productions to catch as well and I’m going to take a look at A Noise Within’s Desire Under the Elms on the 11th and the Olympia Dukakis vehicle Vigil at The Mark Taper Forum on the 17th.