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L.A. Opera announces 2018-19 season with 'Satyagraha,' 'Titus' and Off Grand world premieres

L.A. Opera announces 2018-19 season with 'Satyagraha,' 'Titus' and Off Grand world premieres
Placido Domingo poses during the presentation of Verdi's "Don Carlo" at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Spain, last month. Domingo will sing Rodrigo in an L.A. Opera production of "Don Carlo" for the 2018-19 season. (Juan Carlos Cardenas / EPA / Shutterstock)

Philip Glass' "Satyagraha," Mozart's "The Clemency of Titus" and a world premiere by up-and-coming composer Ellen Reid will form part of Los Angeles Opera's 2018-19 season, the company announced Thursday.

"Satyagraha," the third installment of Glass' trilogy about world-changing thinkers, will be part of a mainstage season that "spans nearly 200 years of compositional history and four languages," L.A. Opera President and Chief Executive Christopher Koelsch said.

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"Satyagraha," which explores Gandhi's early years in South Africa, marks L.A. Opera's fifth Glass production in six years, including "Einstein on the Beach" (2013) and "Akhnaten" (2016). "We are extremely proud of maintaining Philip's genius in the operatic firmament," Koelsch said.

L.A. Opera's general director, Placido Domingo, will portray Rodrigo in Verdi's "Don Carlo" — an L.A. debut for him and his 30th role in L.A. Opera's 33 years as a company. He'll make a rare second mainstage appearance in Manuel Penella's "El Gato Montes: The Wildcat."

The other mainstage productions will be Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito" ("The Clemency of Titus") and Verdi's "La Traviata."

The company's season also will include three Off Grand productions staged at various locations and meant to engage non-traditional opera audiences with more experimental programming.

Ellen Reid is congratulated by conductor Christopher Rountree after a performance at the Hammer Museum in 2013. Her new work will premiere with L.A. Opera at REDCAT.
Ellen Reid is congratulated by conductor Christopher Rountree after a performance at the Hammer Museum in 2013. Her new work will premiere with L.A. Opera at REDCAT. (Los Angeles Times)

Off Grand will launch in November with the world premiere of "Prism" by Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins. Reid contributed to MacArthur fellow Yuval Sharon's Industry production of "Hopscotch," the 2015 opera performed in 24 cars driving on the streets of L.A.

"Prism" probes the psyches of a mother and daughter who hide to protect themselves from the perceived threats of the outside world. It will be presented at REDCAT.

"Off Grand continues to be an engine of growth for us," Koelsch said. "Its purpose is to engage people with an art form with which they feel they have no point of purchase."

It also serves as an important platform for female composers such as Reid, he said.

"Vampyr," which pairs Joby Talbot's compositions with a screening of Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1932 horror/fantasy film at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, will be another world premiere.

The final Off Grand production is the West Coast premiere of David Lang's "The Loser," about two piano prodigies who come in contact with Glenn Gould at a master class and begin to question their own talent as a result. It will play at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.

More information, including performances dates, will be posted at laopera.org.

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