Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond
In the Wings - Sep '12
September 11, 2012
September is already fully upon us and the Fall season is raging our way. After a particularly lazy summer here at Out West Arts, things are heating up again and what better way to start that a preview of the things you shouldn’t miss before we’re already in October. The big event this month is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the U.S. operatic season. Los Angeles Opera Artistic Director and superstar Placido Domingo will take on his 140th role when he appears again in a baritone part in Verdi’s I due Foscari on September 15th. He’ll be joined by a great international cast including Francesco Meli and Marina Poplavskaya under Music Director James Conlon in a new production that will travel with Domingo around the world including appearances at the Royal Opera House in London. LAO will also present a star studded production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Ildebrando D’Arcangelo in the title role and both Julianna Di Giacomo and Angela Meade making their company debuts sharing the role of Donna Anna. Meanwhile in San Francisco, Music Director Nicola Luisotti is heading up a revival of Verdi’s Rigoletto with two casts including among others Željko Lučić and Aleksandra Kurzak that will wrap up just in time for the not to be missed Joyce DiDonato to arrive as Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi starting on the 29th.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic will return to Walt Disney Concert Hall at the end of the month as well for the opening performances of their season under Gustavo Dudamel. After a Gala opener on the 27th, Dudamel will take his first crack locally at a specialty of the orchestra under his predecessor Esa-Pekka Salonen with Starvinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. The members of L.A.’s favorite indie orchestra collective, wildUp, will also continue their widely regarded and very exciting residency at the Hammer Museum this month with a solo recital from pianist Richard Valittuto on the 15th with music both new and older from the likes of Cage, Stockhausen and others. But perhaps the biggest new music event of the month will take place in Carlsbad starting on Sep 21st when the Calder Quartet will usher in this year’s installment of their own Carlsbad Music Festival which promises to be just as adventuresome as previous years. The three days of programming will feature appearances by Timo Andres, Matt McBane, Sara Watkins, Wu Man, and a performance of Michael Gordon’s excellent Timber for wood percussion instruments by the Mantra ensemble on the 22nd. The Calder Quartet of course will wrap the weekend up with a show to include work from this year’s Composers Competition winner Andy Akiho.
On the theater side there are six shows not to miss. REDCAT will kick of its fall with an appearance from Gob Squad who collectively will recreate Warhol’s Factory with a multi-media piece entitled Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had it so Good)starting on the 20th. Meanwhile, the Geffen Playhouse returns with the local premiere of another well received new play from Lynn Nottage on the 26th with By the Way, Meet Vera Stark that is rightly highly anticipated. And though it would require a trip to San Francisco, you’d be foolish to miss the West Coast premiere of the recent Broadway production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart which opens on Sep 13th. The unwieldy monikered CAP UCLA series also will bring two performances of one of this years highlights on the 21st with the Théâtre de la Ville-Paris who’ll bring Ionesco’s Rhinoceros to the stage at Royce Hall on the 21st. I would also mention that Shakespeare’s more rarely performed Cymbeline will make a local appearance at the start of the A Noise Within season when in kicks off in Glendale on the 22nd. And finally for those in San Diego, Th Old Globe will present the world premiere of a new musical by Jay Kuo, Allegiance, set during the 20th Century internment of Japanese Americans in California starring George Takei, Lea Salonga, and Telly Leung. As usual this list only scratches the surface, but hopefully it sets you out in the right direction. Stay tuned for more.