Genius and Madness Come Face to Face in May

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Why was Michael Gordon inspired by the anguished letters Van Gogh wrote his brother Theo? What prompted Stewart Copeland to compose music about the paranoid murderer in Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart?

As a prelude to performances of their operas later in May, Gordon (co-founder of Bang on a Can) and Copeland (drummer/founder of The Police) will discuss the creation of their borderline works with Long Beach Opera (LBO) Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek in “Face…To Face…To Face,” an LBO Coincidence (special event) taking place on Saturday afternoon May 4 at 2:00PM at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, LA, CA 90036.

During the afternoon, audience members will learn what drew these modern American composers to their subjects and how art can illuminate conflicts buried deep within the human soul. As an added highlight, cast members will sing excerpts from each composer’s opera.

Copeland’s Tell-Tale Heart (a U.S. Premiere) and Gordon’s Van Gogh will be performed in a double bill on May 11 at 8:00PM, May 18 at 2:00PM, May 18 at 8:00PM, and May 19 at 7:00PM, at the Expo Art Center, 4321 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 9080. Opera tickets range in price from $29-$160 and are available from the LBO Box Office at 562-432-5934 or online at

Face…To Face…To Face is Saturday, May 4, 2013, 2:00pm at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, LA, CA 90036.

Tickets: General Admission is $25. Premier Seating is $40 and includes a small, individual bottle of wine. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling LBO Ticket Services at 562-432-5934.

About Stewart Copeland (excerpted from

The former drummer and founder of The Police is recipient of the Hollywood Film Festival’s first Outstanding Music in Film Visionary Award, a Grammy nominee for his 2005 CD “Orchestralli,” and a 2003 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stewart Copeland has been responsible for some of the film world’s most innovative and groundbreaking scores. His career includes the sale of more than 60 million records worldwide, and numerous awards, including five Grammy awards.

Copeland moved beyond the rock arena in the mid-1980s when he returned to his classical roots with creative pursuits in concert and film music. His numerous film scores include Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, the seminal score for the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish, the score for Bruno Barreto’s Oscar-nominated Four Days in September and his Emmy nomination for the Showtime pilot and series Dead Like Me. His work in television includes contributions to The Equalizer, Babylon V and Desperate Housewives. In 2009, Copeland composed an original evening-length score for the theatrical arena show Ben Hur Live, which premiered at London’s O2 Arena and ran in Rome and Cologne in 2011.

About Michael Gordon: (excerpted from

Michael Gordon’s music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.” Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.

Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Theatre De La Ville, Barbican Centre, Oper Bonn, Kölner Philharmonie and the Southbank Centre. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About Long Beach Opera: Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek 507 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, CA. 90802/ / 562-432-5934

Long Beach Opera (LBO) is internationally known for cutting-edge interpretations of unconventional repertoire. LBO creates immediate, inventive and often boldly avant-garde productions for an adventurous audience and stands apart from most other companies in the number of world, American, and West Coast premieres it has staged. Founded in 1979, LBO is one of the largest professional opera organizations in Southern California and the oldest in the Los Angeles/Orange County region. LBO’s performance history includes more than 100 operas ranging from the earliest works of the 17th century to the new operas of the 21st.

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