Ray Chen

L.A. Opera's 30-year-old 'Salome' is back, and not a kid anymore

L.A. Opera's 30-year-old 'Salome' is back, and not a kid anymore

Thirty is not old in opera. An art form that’s been around for more than three centuries, it is also an art form that takes the long view. Classic 1950s and 1960s opera recordings of standard repertory survive, thrillingly remastered to the latest hi-res standards. Operas written 30, 40, even 50 years ago are perceived as modern.

What does age as quickly as fashion, however, is staging. There are notable exceptions, of course, but in the vast majority of cases, the few remaining productions three or more decades old now look glaringly dated, if not downright camp.

Thirty years ago, Los Angeles Opera, then called Music Center Opera, was a new company; consequently,...

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