Grendel Highlights L.A. Opera's 20th-Anniversary Season

Classic Arts News   Grendel Highlights L.A. Opera's 20th-Anniversary Season
The Los Angeles Opera's 2005-06 season will feature the much-anticipated world premiere of Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor's Grendel and a new production of Offenbach's La Grande-Duchesse de G_rolstein.

The company announced plans for the season, its 20th, on January 14.

Grendel is based on the Beowolf legend via the John Gardner novel; the libretto is by poet J. D. McClatchy and Taymor, the celebrated director of Broadway's The Lion King and, most recently, Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera. The music is by Goldenthal, a film composer and Taymor's partner and frequent collaborator. Taymor will direct.

The world-premiere cast includes Denyce Graves, Richard Croft, Laura Claycomb, Jay Hunter Morris, and Eric Owens. A co-commission with the Lincoln Center Festival, Grendel will premiere in Los Angeles on May 27, 2006, before moving to New York in July.

Film, television, and theater director Garry Marshall makes his operatic debut with La Grande-Duchesse de G_rolstein, Offenbach's 1867 operetta, which opens the season on September 10, 2005. Frederica von Stade sings the title role; the cast also includes Paul Groves and Rodney Gilfrey.

The company gives its first-ever performances of Wagner's Parsifal, in a production by experimental theater director Robert Wilson that originated at the Hamburg State Opera in 1991. General director Plšcido Domingo stars; Kent Nagano is the conductor.

Nagano, in his final season as music director, also conducts revivals of Le nozze di Figaro and Tosca‹the latter starring Violeta Urmana, Salvatore Licitra, and Samuel Ramey.

Other revivals on the schedule include Madama Butterfly, with Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio San; La traviata, with Elizabeth Futral and Dwayne Croft; and Pagliacci, with Ben Heppner and Angela Gheorghiu.

The company also presents recitals by two opera stars: Cecilia Bartoli, who sings Handel arias on October 10; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, performing Russian arias and songs on January 15, 2006.

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