Ballet: Alberta Ballet’s “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” at Royce Hall

By Jane Rosenberg Sarah McLachlan’s fans turned out in vast numbers last night for Alberta Ballet’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, a ballet by company director, Jean Grand-Maître, set to McLachlan’s folk-pop songs. McLachlan also provided the art for the vast backdrop of video projections. The result: an entertainment more conducive to a Grammy awards night stage… Read More Ballet: Alberta Ballet’s “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” at Royce Hall

Live Opera: LA Opera Off Grand Presents “Figaro! (90210)” at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

By Jane Rosenberg Hollywood.  In a love letter to multicultural America and specifically Los Angeles, librettist Vid Guerrerio creates an hilarious, timely, and heartfelt rendition of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s take on Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro. One need go no farther than Barnsdall Park in Hollywood to find a delicious musical confection worthy of the… Read More Live Opera: LA Opera Off Grand Presents “Figaro! (90210)” at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

2014 Remembered: Memorable Opera and Dance Performances

By Jane Rosenberg Los Angeles may be suffering the effects of a drought, but the year was a deluge of notable performances in opera and dance. Team a dynamic conductor, James Conlon, with a great coloratura soprano, Albina Shagimuratova, and add the glass harmonica played by rare musical instrument soloist, Thomas Bloch. The result: Lucia… Read More 2014 Remembered: Memorable Opera and Dance Performances

LA Opera: “Florencia en el Amazonas” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg Lush orchestration, fervent arias, soaring high notes: these are the hallmarks of Daniel Catán’s opera, Florencia en el Amazonas. Earnest in its desire to please and enlighten, what the score and libretto lack in conveying the wildness of the Amazon is compensated for by L A Opera‘s singers and musicians embracing the… Read More LA Opera: “Florencia en el Amazonas” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Opera: LA Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas” and “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg Two opera tales of thwarted love: one, Dido and Aeneas, in which a heroic queen loses her lover and her kingdom; the other, Bluebeard’s Castle, in which a doomed aristocrat loses his bride and his salvation. Both operas constitute the very definition of tragedy, a form that the Oxford English Dictionary defines… Read More Opera: LA Opera’s “Dido and Aeneas” and “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Opera: LA Opera’s “Thaïs” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg Orientalism, sin, sex, and religion: Jules Massenet’s opera, Thaïs, has it all (and a thrilling Placido Domingo to boot). A lavish production, now on stage at the Los Angeles Opera, revels in the nineteenth century fascination with extravagance versus asceticism but is oddly bereft of sexual content. The story, taken from Anatole… Read More Opera: LA Opera’s “Thaïs” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Opera: LA Opera’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg Los Angeles.  When Andre Previn asserted that A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams was already an opera – just without the singing, he spoke to the essence of the play. With the life and death struggle of Blanche DuBois, we have a dramatic heroine as grand and iconic as any Carmen,… Read More Opera: LA Opera’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Opera: LA Opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg Transcendent is the first word that comes to mind in describing Albina Shagimuratova’s portrayal of the ill-fated heroine of Donizetti’s masterpiece, Lucia di Lammermoor, on opening night of LA Opera’s new production. With crystalline technique and heartrending beauty, Shagimuratova’s voice gave us the full flavor of Lucia’s fragility, bravery, and madness. One… Read More Opera: LA Opera’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Opera: LA Opera’s “Billy Budd” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

By Jane Rosenberg On Saturday night, at the LA Opera, evil was palpable, insinuating itself in every corner of the house; and though innocence was destroyed, Britten’s opera, Billy Budd, triumphed. In the grandest of all his operas, Benjamin Britten and his librettists, E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier, created an opera of sweeping power and… Read More Opera: LA Opera’s “Billy Budd” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion