News for May/June 2006


LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Opera has announced the cast and creativc team for the world premiere of Elliot Goldenthal's new opera, GRENDEL, a first-ever co-comission with Lincoln Center. The maiden opera by Academy Award-winning composer Goldenthal, GRENDEL will be directed & co-designed by Julie (The Lion King) Taymor, who is also co-librettist with J.D. McClatchy.

The world premiere will take place in L.A. on May 27 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In New York, GRENDEL bows at the New York State Theatre on July 11, the second night of the Lincoln Festival.

Bass Eric Owen returns to L.A. Opera in the title role of Grendel, the monster who struggles to control his dangerous instincts. Also returning are mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as the cynical dragon, whose wisdom reveals Grendel's inevitable role as the Eternal Enemy, and soprano Laura Claycomb as the beautiful Queen Wealtheow. Tenor Jay Hunter makes his mainstage debut as the brave warrior Unferth, tenor Richard Croft debuts as the Blind Harpist, ditto bass Phillip Ens as King Hrothgar.

The production is led by conductor Steven Sloane (alternating with Lionel Friend) and features co-design by George Tsypin, costumes by Constance Hoffman, lighting design by Don Holder, puppet design by Taymor and Michael Curry, projection design by Elaine McCarthy. The choreographer is Angelin Preljocal.

June 2006 will see a new production of Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, starring Elizabeth Futral (who first conquered L.A. in 2001's Giulio Cesare) as the doomed Violetta. Joseph Calleja debuts as Alfredo, baritone Dwayne Croft returns as Giorgio Germont. The director is Marta Domingo; John Fiore conducts.

In a press conference held before the company's recent memorable and sold-out revivals of Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Los Angeles Opera announced the details of its 2006/07 season. Ten operas will be performed, four of which will be conducted by incoming music director, James Conlon, including a special concert version of La Traviata starring Renee Fleming, Rolando Villazon and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Other highlights include the company premieres of Manon by Jules Massenet, L'Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi and Tannhauser by Richard Wagner; new productions of Hansel and Gretel, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Weill/Brecht), and Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi. Placido Domingo will star in a first-time production of Luisa Fernanda, the famous romantic zarzuelas which was first performed in Spain in 1932 with music by Federico Moreno Torroba.

In October 2006 LA Opera will present free community performances of a new work, Concierto para Mendez by Lee Holdridge and Richard Sparks. Upcoming recitals include solo performances by Deborah Voigt and Angele Gheorghiu.

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

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