Starting in its new season, Los Angeles Opera is to begin to roll out a new program, titled L.A. Opera Off Grand, that seeks to bring productions to parts of Southern California that are far afield from downtown.
As part of that initiative, the company has scheduled a concert version of Verdi's "The Two Foscari," starring Placido Domingo, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
The production is scheduled for Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m., at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. It will feature Domingo in the role of Francesco Foscari, and will be conducted by L.A. Opera music director James Conlon, who will lead the company's orchestra.
A fully staged "Foscari" is part of the company's main-stage season at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and is scheduled to begin performances on Sept. 15. The production also stars soprano Marina Poplavskaya and tenor Francesco Meli.
Orange County has been without a full-time opera company since Opera Pacific shut down in 2008. Since then, opera fans there have had to content themselves with occasional and sundry performances -- earlier this year, an Italian opera festival took place at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo; the Pacific Symphony offered a semi-staged "La Bohème" in April; and Long Beach Opera has performed recently at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.
In 2010, L.A. Opera presented a free outdoor presentation of Daniel Catan's "Il Postino" at the Segerstrom.
Domingo has performed in Orange County before, including a touring production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle operas by the Kirov in 2006. In 1994, he appeared in the zarzuela production "El Gato Montes" at L.A. Opera (which was then called the Music Center Opera), and that production also traveled to Orange County.
L.A. Opera Off Grand is also to include a production this season at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica -- "Dulce Rosa," a new opera by Lee Holdridge.