Long Beach Opera’s 2014 Season Steps “Out Of Bounds”
2013-06-17 · By Editor
Long Beach Opera’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek announces the company’s 2014 plans to produce five rarely performed 20th and 21st century, “Out Of Bounds,” operas. The new season includes the Southern California premieres of Duke Ellington’s “street opera” Queenie Pie and John Adams’ controversial The Death of Klinghoffer; An American Soldier’s Tale, Kurt Vonnegut ‘s provocative remake of Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale paired with Wynton Marsalis’ jazz-driven A Fiddler’s Tale; and a reprise of LBO audience favorite, David Lang’s haunting The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. Three of the five composers–Adams, Marsalis and Lang–are actively contributing to today’s music scene, while Stravinsky and Ellington made indelible marks on 20th century music.
Commenting on his selections, Mitisek says, “In 2014, we will play outside the boundaries of the field, exploring stories that are O.P.E.R.A: outside-the-box, provocative, engaging, relevant and adventurous.”
As an add-on to its 2014 season, LBO will offer its second “Outer Limits” production in September of 2013 with King Gesar by Peter Lieberson on the sands of Long Beach.
Tickets: Subscriptions are on sale now and are available from the LBO Box Office at 562-432-5934 and online at www.longbeachopera.org. First-time subscribers receive a 50% discount.
Duke Ellington’s QUEENIE PIE (Southern California premiere) Jan 25 at 8pm, Feb 1 at 8pm, Feb 2 at 2pm / Warner Grand Theatre, San Pedro
LBO’s 2014 season opens with the Southern California premiere of jazz icon Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie. The opera is inspired by the real life Madame C. J. Walker, whose hair care products made her the first female African-American, self-made millionaire. Bursting with Ellington’s signature big band sounds, his only opera blends clever lyrics with jazz and musical theater. Ellington’s fascination with assimilation takes Queenie Pie on a search for a miracle cosmetic cream, love and happiness. In her quest, she leaves the streets of Harlem; journeys to an exotic island; and eventually returns to Harlem triumphant. Social status, beauty and racial divides are redefined by the Duke in a bubbling musical affair forging hot jazz, cool blues and swinging rhythms.
In 1986, Robert Palmer writing for the New York Times described the opera as “quintessential Ellington.”
In collaboration with librettist Betty McGettigan, Ellington worked on the opera from 1967 until his death in 1974. Since then, different versions have been produced (1986 in Philadelphia and Washington, DC; 1993 in Brooklyn; and 2008 by the Oakland Opera Theater). LBO will perform the version that librettist McGettigan created for the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, proclaiming it to be the closest to Ellington’s original vision.
Queenie Pie will be a co-production with the Chicago Opera Theater (COT) under the joint directorship of Andreas Mitisek. COT will open the work on February 15, 2014.
2014 Season: Dates, Times, Venues
Queenie Pie Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, San Pedro, CA Dates: January 25 at 8pm, February 1 at 8pm, February 2 at 2p
The Death of Klinghoffer Venue: Terrace Theater, Long Beach, CA. Dates: March 16 at 7pm, March 22 at 2pm 4 Long Beach Opera Press Release– 2014 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
An American Soldier’s Tale—A Fiddler’s Tale Venue: Center Theater, Long Beach, CA. Dates: May 4 at 7pm, May 10 at 2pm
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field Venue: Terrace Theater, Long Beach Dates: June 22 at 7pm, June 28 at 8pm, June 29 at 2pm
Coming Soon: “Outer Limits 2013”
Peter Lieberson’s KING GESAR (Southern California premiere) September 7,14,15, 2013 at 8pm on a beach in Long Beach, CA
Before the new season begins, audiences will sit on a beach under the stars for composer Peter Lieberson’s King Gesar, the story of legendary Tibetan warrior king, Gesar of Ling, who rose from obscurity to battle the demons that enslave humankind. “King Gesar was conceived as a kind of campfire opera,” says Lieberson. “I visualized a situation akin to Tibetan ‘performances’: the campfire in a pitch black night under the dome of an immense starry sky or a daytime community gathering in a very large tent or small town square—familiar situations in which people eat, drink, and tell stories.”
King Gesar marks LBO’s second “OUTER LIMITS” production (the first was Gavin Bryar’s The Paper Nautilus in September 2012). Supported by a three-year, $300,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the series of musical outliers comprises at least one production a year from 2012-2015 and two productions annually beginning in 2016. Says Mitisek, “At LBO, we love exploring works that defy classification and are thrilled that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given us this opportunity to expand the boundaries of the unexpected.”
About LONG BEACH OPERA: Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek 507 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, CA. 90802/ www.longbeachopera.org / 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.
For additional information about the season, visit www.longbeachopera.org.