Long Beach Opera to present works by Michael Nyman, Osvaldo Golijov


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Long Beach Opera has long specialized in edgy, adventurous pieces that major houses tend to shy away from. On Wednesday, the small company announced that its new season will include productions of operas by Michael Nyman, Francis Poulenc, Bohuslav Martinu and more. It will also feature Osvaldo Golijov’s ‘Ainadamar,’ which the company postponed in 2007 due to budget problems.

The 2012 season will comprise four individual productions, including a double bill. Performances will take place at venues around Long Beach and San Pedro.


‘Maria de Buenos Aires’ (Jan. 29 and Feb. 4) is a 1968 tango-opera by Astor Piazzolla that tells the story of a prostitute both before and after her death. Long Beach Opera produced the work in 2004 and will present a new staging at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

The following production (March 11 and 17) will be a double bill of Poulenc’s ‘The Breasts of Tiresias’ and Martinu’s ‘The Tears of a Knife,’ taking place at Long Beach’s Center Theatre.

Golijov’s ‘Ainadamar’ (May 19 and 26) is a musically eclectic work that follows the final days of renowned writer Federico Garcia Lorca. Performances will be held at the Press-Telegram building in Long Beach. The company scrapped plans to stage the opera in 2007 due to budget constraints.

Nyman’s ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ (June 16 and 24) is a 1986 opera based on the book by Oliver Sacks that includes the true story of a man suffering from a strange neurological condition. Performances will take place at the EXPO Building in Long Beach. As a composer, Nyman has become famous for his scores for movies including ‘The Piano,’ ‘Gattaca’ and ‘The End of the Affair,’ as well as for films by Peter Greenaway.


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-- David Ng