We hope this summer season is going well for you, and that you have been able to join Long Beach Opera in our much-anticipated return to producing groundbreaking opera. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on LBO’s exciting year and 2022 season (which is currently underway).
LBO’s season opener, a new production of the Handel rarity GIUSTINO, directed by the company’s visionary Artistic Director, James Darrah, was a triumph. We hope you saw the wonderful review in the LA Times alongside a review of LA Opera’s Aida. “Ever intrepid,” “fresh,” “unusually satisfying” and “dexterously alive” were descriptors of the company and production we were proud to see, and were a reminder of what a gift it is to be an active member of this city’s explosive arts scene. I am linking to the review in case you haven’t seen it here.
We were finally able to welcome back audiences to see this company do what it does best, defy the expectations of opera concertgoers. The closing performance of GIUSTINO proved to be a sign of this company’s unique creative abilities. On the morning of the final performance, one of the lead singers, unfortunately, caught COVID-19. Facing the possibility of having to cancel the performance, LBO’s General Director & CEO, Jenny Rivera, and the company’s Artistic Director, James Darrah—in an astounding act—took to the stage to save the production! Jenny sang the role of Leocasta from the orchestra, while James played the dramatic role on stage in full costume (and yes, they were fabulous). It is obvious that in this new era of LBO, we’re still able to live up to our old motto: expect the unexpected.
We were also thrilled to bring THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE back to the LBO stage last week on June 18 & 19 at Jordan Auditorium. After the incredible success of the world premiere production produced by LBO in 2019, brought the opera again to audiences in a new production that focused on the internal dramatic arc of the characters and the astonishing, award-winning score. The LA Times noted that the incredible cast of this production "made you believe in the awesome power of justice." And this week, now that the live performances have concluded, LBO is creating the first professional recording of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, and the recording will be released this fall!
On July 9 & 10, we will be hosting our new series, LBO: ON DISPLAY, which celebrates the artists that make LBO unique—giving audiences a close look at artists’ own mediums and personal creative practices in an intimate gallery setting, putting the artists’ work fully on display. The Long Beach Museum of Art Downtown will be transformed into a two-day exhibition and immersive happening that allows audiences to parse the performances and pieces at will.
We finish up the season with the first-ever LBO FILM FESTIVAL on July 16 & 17 at The Art Theatre in Long Beach, featuring a unique selection of opera films. The 2022 LBO FILM FESTIVAL will run for two full days and will include film screenings, live performances, panel discussions, and local business and restaurant collaborations throughout the weekend. The lineup will include a variety of artists exploring the overlapping worlds of opera and film and feature the projects of unique filmmakers, dancers, composers, and opera singers, including the world premiere of the LBO-commissioned short film ENTRY.
As you can see we are working tirelessly to bring interesting and innovative opera productions to LB, LA, and OC audiences and beyond. We are closing off our Fiscal Year on June 30, and a contribution at this time will help us start planning next year's season on a strong footing, and allow us to continue to provide you and all of our patrons with the relevant and groundbreaking art you’re accustomed to from LBO, through the exciting projects James is cooking up for the 2022/23 season!
To make a donation today, please visit the support page of our website, or contact me via email or phone at (562) 470-7464 x106. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, or if you need any additional information or assistance. As always we thank you in advance for your generosity and trust, and we look forward to continuing to build the future of opera together.
Head of Development & Philanthropy