Mark RudioLA Opera

Risk-free offer: LA Opera's 2011/12 Season

Mark RudioLA Opera

LA Opera's next season has only six productions and is heavy with warhorses, but at least they're attractive warhorses. I'd happily see 5 of the 6, and it doesn't take much to persuade to me see Boheme, especially if the cast interests me. So I guess that makes me interested in all of it.

However, it's very disappointing to see no Wagner on the schedule and it looks like the "Recovered Voices" program, one of the company's best ideas which has had great artistic success, has been shelved in favor of an annual work by Britten. Don't get me wrong- I like seeing Britten on the schedule, but "Recovered Voices" was a significant endeavor. The big news of course is Domingo as Boccanegra with a ridiculously great cast.

While it's certainly not as adventurous as the good third of San Francisco Opera's next season, LA's is more pleasing to me- especially since Nino Machaidze returns once again, seemingly establishing herself as the company's favorite soprano. That's only one highlight of some pretty decent casting although there are a lot of names in the schedule I don't recognize. Of those I do, there are a number of former Adler Fellows hitting the Chandler stage next year. Take a look:

Eugene Onegin with Dalibor Jenis, Oksana Dyka, Vsevolod Grivnov, Ekaterina Semenchuk. Conlon conducts. I've never heard any of these singers, though Dyka will be in SF next season for Attila. Onegin is one of my favorites.

Cosi Fan Tutte with Aleksandra Kurzak, Ruxandra Donose, Roxana Constantinescu, Saimir Pirgu, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo. Conlon conducts. More unfamiliar names, and more Mozart (yawn) but at least it's Cosi- the one Mozart opera I actually get excited about hearing.

Romeo et Juliette with Nino Machaidze, Vittorio Grigolo, Museop Kim, Vitalij Kowaljow. Domingo conducts. It's all about the cast for this one. Machaidze's fantastic and I have no idea why she hasn't been booked in SF already. Kowaljow is marvelous and the word on Grigolo from Europe is very positive.

Simon Boccanegra with Domingo, Ana Maria Martinez, Vitalij Kowaljow, Stefano Secco, Paolo Gavanelli. Conlon conducts. Wow.

Albert Herring with Alek Shrader, Daniela Mack, Liam Bonner, Ronnita Nicole Miller, Stacey Tappan. Conlon conducts. A young cast to be sure and hopefully they won't get lost in the iffy acoustics of the building. This is the riskiest thing on the schedule, which is sad. I've never seen this Britten work so it's another "yes."

La Boheme with Ailyn Perez, Stephan Costello, Janai Brugger-Orman alernates with Valentina Fleer as Musetta, and Artur Rucinski. Patrick Summers conducts. Ailyn Perez as Mimi? That's a "yes."