Los Angeles Opera's 2005-06 Season Breaks Records

Classic Arts News   Los Angeles Opera's 2005-06 Season Breaks Records
It's a fine way to celebrate a 20th anniversary. Los Angeles Opera has finished its 2005-06 season with box office revenues more than $900,000 above projections and ticket sales at 86 percent of capacity, the highest in the company's history.

The figures were announced in a statement by company general director Plšcido Domingo last week.

2005-06 was also Kent Nagano's final season as L.A. Opera's music director. He goes on to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich; his successor is James Conlon (late of the Op_ra National de Paris).

Among the season highlights cited in the statement were the company debuts of Patricia Racette (in Robert Wilson's staging of Madama Butterfly), Barbara Bonney (in Le nozze di Figaro), Violeta Urmana and Salvatore Licitra (in Tosca); L.A. Opera's first productions of Offenbach's The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein and Wagner's Parsifal (starring Domingo himself); and a revival of Franco Zeffirelli's staging of I pagliacci starring Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna.

Finally, there was the world premiere run of Grendel, composed by Elliott Goldenthal and directed by Julie Taymor, which exceeded box-office projections in the face of widely-reported difficulties with the set which led to the cancellation of opening night. Despite the mishap and a mixed reception from critics, the final three performances were sold-out, an all-too-rare, and welcome, phenomenon for a contemporary opera. (The company is considering reviving Grendel for the 2007-08 season.)

Los Angeles Opera's 2006-07 season begins on September 9 with Conlon leading a gala production of La traviata starring Ren_e Fleming, Rolando Villaz‹n and Renato Bruson. Among other highlights of the 10-opera, 75-performance season: the company's first stagings of Wagner's Tannh‹user (starring Peter Seiffert), Massenet's Manon (pairing Villaz‹n and Anna Netrebko), Monteverdi's L'incoronazione did Poppea (featuring Frederica von Stade, Susan Graham and David Daniels), and Moreno Torroba's popular zarzuela, Luisa Fernanda (starring Domingo); a new production of Verdi's Don Carlo with Salvatore Licitra and Dolora Zajick; and Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny starring Broadway legends Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone.

Information and tickets are available at www.laopera.com.

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