Operagasmic Production of the Week
by Christie Connolley
I love to arrive early to the opera. For one, I want to sit down and see what everyone else is wearing…. the gowns, the sequins, THE SHOES! Once that is done, I delve into the program! I want to read the ‘who’s who, all of the singers’ bios, and the miniature reproductions of their glossy 8 X 10′s (which I usually go back to during intermission and estimate how many years ago that photo was taken), the director’s notes, the conductor’s notes! It is one of the best parts of going to the opera! So let Operagasm get you ready with the down low on new and exciting upcoming productions.
The Operagasmic Production of the Week is Long Beach Opera’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat!
An investigation into the world of a man (Dr P) with visual agnosia (or ‘mental blindness’ due to damage of the visual parts of the brain). Such patients ‘see but do not see’. They see colours, lines, boundaries, simple shapes, patterns, movement – but they are unable to recognize, or find sense in, what they see. They cannot recognise people or places or common objects; their visual world is no longer meaningful or familiar, but strange, abstract, chaotic, mystifying. If a world cannot be organised visually, other organizing principles may be found and used. In the case of Dr P, a gifted performer, his exceptional musical ability allows him, in large measure, to return sense to the world by putting it and his actions into music.
Suzan Hanson (Mrs. P)
This season at LBO: Margarita (Ainadamar), Newspaper Vendor/Mother (Tiresias/Tears) Other LBO roles: Medea (Medea), Vava (Moscow, Cherry Town), Mrs. Williamson (The Difficulty of Crossing a Field), Pat Nixon (Nixon in China – also for Arena di Verona), Brünnhilde (Siegfried, Götterdämmerung – also for Pittsburgh Opera Theater). Ms. Hanson has premiered operas by Philip Glass, Rinde Eckert, Michel LeGrand, Henry Mollicone. Other Opera companies: San Francisco, Connecticut, Arizona, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Spoleto, Florence. Theater companies: Old Globe, Denver Center, San Jose Rep, National Tour of Master Class. Recordings: The Tender Land (Koch).
John Duykers (Dr. S)
John Duykers has sung with Chicago’s Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Canadian Opera Company and Los Angeles Opera. He has sung more than 100 contemporary operas. He created the role of Mao in Nixon in China. He sang the premieres of Philip Glass’ White Raven, In The Penal Colony and the title role of Galileo Galilei and Paul Dresher’s solo opera The Tyrant. He is a frequent performer with symphony orchestras and music festivals throughout the United States. John Duykers can be heard on numerous recordings including the Award-winning CD and DVD of Nixon In China.
Robin Buck (Dr. P)
Last appeared at LBO in The Breasts of Tiresias/Tears of a Knife. Other LBO: Moscow, Cherry Town and The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. Other companies: NY City Opera, LA Opera,Theater Basel, Opernhaus Zürich and the National Theater in Mannheim, Germany. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony. Robin has appeared as a soloist with the LA Phil, Chicago Symphony, and orchestras throughout the U.S. and Europe. A versatile performer, he has also appeared in music theater, television and stage works, including the title roles in Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd.
Benjamin Makino (Conductor)
Ben joined LBO in 2009 with the production of The Cunning Little Vixen. He is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera. He made his main stage WNO debut conducting Hansel and Gretel at the historic Lincoln Theater. Other appearances with the WNO include concerts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Music Center at Strathmore. He was the only U.S. citizen selected to participate in the 50th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors, and is the music director of the Blackbird Music Project in Orange County.
- Sat. June 16, 2012 @ 8pm
- Sun. June 17, 2012 @ 7pm
- Sun. June 24, 2012 @ 2pm
- Sun. June 24, 2012 @ 7pm
4321 Atlantic Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
Duration: 1hour 15 minutes, no intermission
Sung in English with English Supertitles
Conductor: Benjamin Makino
Director: David Schweizer
Light Designer: Stephanette Isabel Smith
Costume Designer: Christina Wright