REVIEW By Willard Manus

LOS ANGELES -- After stumbling with a so-so production of Verdi's AIDA--the one superb voice in Vera Lucia Calabria's production belonged to Lado Ataneli, as Amonastro--Los Angeles Opera scored a huge success with its version of Charles Gounod's ROMEO ET JULIETTE. Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, two of opera's rising young stars, sang the lead roles to sold-out houses for all seven performances at the Music Center.

Next up for the company is a solo performance (on April 17) at the Chandler Pavilion by Susan Graham. The mezzo-soprano makes her first Los Angeles Opera appearance. Named as "Vocalist of the Year for 2004" by Musical America, Graham has won worldwide fame for her lustrous voice, alluring stage presence and fervent emotion that infuses her varied repertoire.

Los Angeles Opera also recently announced its 2005-2006 twentieth anniversary season. One world premiere, two company premieres, five revival productions and two solo concerts comprise the new season, which General Director Placido Domingo said was "not only a time to look back but also forward. For this reason my choices fell not only on masterpiecers from the past but also on a world premiere, a work that has never been performed before, and therefore belongs to the future."

The new opera is GRENDEL by the Academy Award-winning composer Elliott Goldenthal, a co-commission and co-production with the Lincoln Center Festival. The work will be presented during the 2006 Festival at the New York State Theaer. It is based on the 1971 John Gardner novel of the same name, regarded as a mopdern classic, which tells the Beowulf legend from the point of view of the monster. Julie Taymor, who co-wrote the libretto with J.D. McClatchy, will direct. The cast includes Eric Owens in the title role, Denyce Graves, Laura Claycomb, Jay Hunter Morris and Richard Croft.

The two company premieres are Robert Wilson's production of PARSIFAL by Richard Wagner, starring Placido Domingo in the title role--the other singers include Linda Watson, Matti Salminen, Albert Dohmen, Hartmut Welker and James Creswell--and HE GRAND DUCHESS. A new version of Jacque Offenbach's boisterous comic operetta La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein, adapted and directed by celebrated film and TV director Garry Marshall in his operatic stage debut and starring Frederica voln Stade.

Los Angeles Opera's revivival productions include PAGLIACCI, TOSCA, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, LE NOZZEE DI FIGARO and LA TRAVIATA. The two concerts are by Cecilia Bartoli and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

For tickets and information call (213) 972-8001 or visit losangelesopera.com