THE DIVA OF DTLA
THE NATION’S YOUNGEST MAJOR OPERA COMPANY ENTERS ITS FOURTH DECADE WITH A BIG BANG—AND A LOT OF BRAVOS.
Oft when the hoi polloi thinks of La La Land, visions of ritzy awards shows, vast studio lots, and brass stars on sidewalks come to mind. The culture-challenged may not realize, however, that this mecca of film and television also features renowned performances in one of the world’s oldest and most respected art forms—a craft honed long before the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Robert De Niro… or Kim Kardashian.
We’re talking about opera, of course.
Although Hollywood established itself as the capital of the silver screen by the early 1900s, the city did not gain a permanent opera venue until the LA Opera opened its doors just over 30 years ago. Now the company, located at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, is the fourth largest opera house in the nation. And growing.
In fact, when some of LA’s favorite stars aren’t attending red-carpet premieres or sobbing in front of a green screen, they can be found belting out bravas Downtown. (A few even essay the stage. Cheers comedy legend Kelsey Grammer will costar in the LA Opera’s upcoming production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, opening early next year.) And then there’s the annual Opera Ball, which brings out le tout Hollywood and the crème de la crème of LA’s culture club to cheer on general director Plácido Domingo, who will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his stage debut here in November.
Both critics and celebs alike agree the LA Opera’s original, ground-breaking stagings—including the upcoming Carmen, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Rigoletto— challenge the genre’s stuffy, Euro-centric stereotype. What else would you expect from always-fast-forward LA? 135 N. Grand Ave., 213-972-7219; laopera.org
Bring it! Sing it! The LA Opera, at DTLA’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (bottom left), toasts 30 years of opera innovation, with ground-breaking stagings of (clockwise from top left) The Ghosts of Versailles (2015), The Tales of Hoffmann (2017), and La...