Long Beach lands big fish

The Bayreuth director Yuval Sharon has been asked to plan the 2021 season for Long Beach Opera, a serious grown-up job.

‘Any other opera company in America would be completely blindsided by the projects that I’m proposing,’ Sharon tells the LA Times. ‘Every other opera company would turn ghost white at the thought of this kind of season. I think it’ll be great.’


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  • My first thought at seeing the headline was that this was good news, until I saw his “no other opera” comment which makes it obvious he sees presenting opera as some sort of battle. I have no interest in seeing or supporting opera that is intended to make other companies go ghost white. I want to see opera created for the audience. It’s not a boxing match, Sharon, it’s art. Long Beach would have been better off contracting Beth Morrison.

  • Lest we forget, Long Beach Opera’s long standing success with both press and public should be accredited to StageDirector Christopher Alden, who, along with his twin brother StageDirector David Alden served as pioneers in bringing Regie Theater to the USA along with LBO’s adventurous leader, Michael Milensik.

  • This from Long Beach Opera’s website might be of interest to those who are not familiar with this cutting edge little company: “Founded in 1979, the Long Beach Opera is the oldest operatic producing company in the metropolitan Los Angeles/Orange County region. Following a period of early growth marked by the presentation of repertory staples, Long Beach Opera took a radical departure from the operatic mainstream. Under Milenski’s guidance, the company developed an alternative vision for opera – to present striking visual drama that would speak directly to contemporary audiences while maintaining the highest musical standard. That new era was launched by two important productions in 1983-84: Britten’s Death in Venice and Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea starring Catherine Malfitano, a production the Los Angeles Times’ chief music and dance critic Martin Bernheimer called LBO’s “wild, wonderful Poppea.” Both operas were staged by the maverick director Christopher Alden, whose career was given major impetus by his partnership with LBO. In 2004, Michael Milenski retired after 25 seasons at the helm of LBO and was succeeded by Austrian conductor Andreas Mitisek, who has continued LBO’s longstanding artistic philosophy of presenting an expanded vision of opera.”

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