Despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and protective stay-at-home orders that have stopped local performing arts events, Long Beach Opera (LBO) Interim Artistic Advisor Yuval Sharon said it is important to connect individuals and communities through live, in-person artistic expression, using precautionary measures when it is safe to do so.
Long Beach Opera plans four productions for its 2021 “Season of Solidarity” with collaborations with organizations and artistic leaders from throughout Los Angeles County and beyond.
“Although I was already planning a season of collaborations for LBO prior to coronavirus, the new world we find ourselves in has given that emphasis on collaboration a new significance,” said Sharon, who is also the artistic director for The Industry, a Los Angeles-based experimental production company.
“So I am energized and humbled that so many artists and arts organizations, both local (like The Industry, wild Up, Ate9, The Wallis) and national (like Opera Omaha, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and AMOC) are so eager to join me and LBO in reclaiming our essential place in the life of this community.”
LBO CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Rivera said, “Between Long Beach Opera and Yuval Sharon’s productions (as artistic director) for The Industry, opera has existed in parking lots, train stations, swimming pools, automobiles, and city streets during the past four decades in Los Angeles County. Together, we plan to continue to find creative ways to bring the incredible collaborative art form of opera to people in our community.”
Founded in 1979, LBO is the oldest professional opera company in the Los Angeles/Orange County region with a performance history of more than 110 operas, ranging from the earliest works of the 17th Century to operas of the 21st Century.
Rivera emphasized the need for artists to “continue to create, plan, dream and imagine all the creative scenarios that will once again allow audiences and artists to come together.” She said, “Hope and creativity are more important now than ever before, and as such, LBO plans to move forward with our planned performances, but also to adapt to whatever environment exists when January 2021 arrives.”
The four 2021 season performances include:
● A production that was originally meant to be part of Andreas Mitisek’s final season as artistic director: the Los Angeles premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’s “The Lighthouse” on January 23, 30 and 31, at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s new Honda Pacific Visions Theater;
● A showcase of the work of Philip Glass with the LBO premiere of “Les Enfants Terribles’” conducted by Christopher Rountree and featuring three overlapping pianos March 20, 27 and 28, at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre;
● A double bill conducted by Jenny Wong: Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” will be performed by Peabody Southwell and staged by Danielle Agami and her dance company Ate9, in the same program as Kate Soper’s “Voices from the Killing Jar” performed by Laurel Irene and directed by Zoe Aja Moore, in three performances on April 17 and 18, as a co-production with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills;
● The season closes June 20, 26 and 27, with Sharon directing a composition by George Lewis called “Comet/Poppea” with a libretto by Douglas Kearney at a venue to be announced at a later date by coproducers Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan.
The announcement of LBO’s new season follows news that composer Anthony Davis received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music for “The Central Park Five,” which had its world premiere in June of 2019 at Long Beach Opera, marking the first time a new work produced by LBO has received the Pulitzer.
Tickets and other information can be found at Long Beach Opera’s official website.