Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

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

In The Wings - March '10

March 03, 2010

Sally Dexter in Jonathan Kent's production of The Fairy Queen form Glyndebourne 2009
Photo: Tristram Kenton

For better or worse, my March will be dominated by out of town opera. Over the 5th and 6th I’ll be in Chicago for Lyric Opera's new production of Berlioz’ beautiful La Damnation de Faust with Susan Graham and Paul Groves and a well-cast Le Nozze di Figaro with Mariusz Kwiecien, Danielle de Niese, Joyce DiDonato, and Anne Schwanewilms. A little bit further away in New York at the end of the month I’ll be checking out the latest from the Metropolitan opera including Verdi’s Attila, Shostakovich’s The Nose, and the new production of Thomas’ Hamlet with the dreamy Simon Keenlyside and the just announced Marlis Petersen who'll be taking over for an ailing Natalie Dessay. (I love Dessay, but Petersen's recent Lulu in Chicago was a formidable bit of performance.) While in town I’m also seeing Purcell’s The Fairy Queen from William Christie and Les Arts Florissants at BAM and La Traviata with Angela Gheorghiu. There’ll probably be something else on the agenda, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. But I’ll let you know. San Diego may be a little closer to home, but I can never get enough French opera (And really, who can?) so I’ll be checking out Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette on the 13th starring hunky Stephen Costello and Allyn Pérez.

Lise de la Salle
Photo: Stéphane Gallois

As for Los Angeles and surrounding environs, the big opera tickets will have to wait for next month, but Long Beach Opera will not leave us hanging by venturing into John Adams’ Nixon in China on the 20th. The Los Angeles Philharmonic will be contributing some promising programs with pianists of all stripes this month starting on the 4th with the return of James Conlon who’ll lead an all Prokofiev evening with the First Piano Concerto played by Lise de la Salle. The next weekend brings Edo de Waart and pianist Joyce Yang, this time playing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto and Strauss. And to round out the trifecta, we’ve got Lars Vogt playing under Robin Ticciati in Grieg’s Piano Concerto starting on the 18th. And if you want another big keyboard name to round out the month, there’s the ever-present Emanuel Ax in a recital with Dawn Upshaw on the 23rd before his Chopin performances the following weekend.

Frank Denyer
Photo: Keshav Nigam

If new music is what you yearn for, the two bet choices will likely be the “Green Umbrella” Program at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the 9th focusing on the work of Peter Eötvös. Meanwhile, Monday Evening Concerts will offer up the decidedly less familiar work of Frank Denyer on the 8th. But if your looking for the more familiar, you might want to check out the LA Master Chorale in Bach’s St. Mathew Passion on the 7th or the all Ravel Program at UCLA’s Royce Hall from the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with Anne Sofie von Otter. And speaking of vocalists and UCLA, Ian Bostridge will be making appearance on the West side as well on the 24th. And if you want to go back in musical time even further, the Anonymous 4 will be downtown at WDCH on the 17th.

Where else could I possibly be? Well there’s A Noise Within’s production of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing! on the 21st and Boston Court Theater’s premiere of the latest from Luis Alfaro, Oedipus el Rey on the 14th. Reprise will bring us Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum on the 20th. And how about Rosanna Gamson’s latest dance piece TOV at the REDCAT on the 19th. So don’t say you haven’t been warned.


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