‘Otello’ (1986)
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L.A. Opera through the years

‘Otello’ (1986)
The company’s inaugural production starred tenor Plácido Domingo in the role of Verdi’s tragic hero. Its opening night has become the stuff of local legend -- the curtain failed to rise completely, resulting in a delay of several minutes. (Robert Cahen )
‘Tristan and Isolde’ (1987)
Above: A 2008 dress rehearsal of “Tristan and Isolde” by LA Opera with John Treleaven, right, as Tristan and Linda Wilson as Isolde in Act 3.

Designed by David Hockney, the colorful staging of Wagner’s masterpiece became a signature production of the young company. Other memorable productions created by the company include this season’s “Il Foscari"; “Grendel,” directed by Julie Taymor; and Herbert Ross’ traditional “La Boheme.” (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Placido Domingo and Edgar Baitzel
The dual leadership of Domingo, right, and Baitzel helped turn L.A. Opera into an internationally recognized force in classical music. Baitzel joined the company in 2001 and died in 2007; Domingo began in 2000 and currently serves as general director.  (Los Angeles Times)
Kent Nagano
Appointed in 2003 as the company’s first music director, Nagano brought a consistent orchestral excellence to the company. He left L.A. Opera in 2006 and was succeeded by James Conlon, who has led the Paris National Opera among other European companies and who continues as music director. (Johannes Simon / Getty Images)
The ‘Ring’ Cycle (2009)
The company staged its first-ever production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle operas starting in 2009. The productions, directed by Achim Freyer, came with a price tag of $31 million and proved to be critically divisive and controversial.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Financial difficulties
In 2009, L.A. Opera received an emergency loan of $14 million from the county to address financial difficulties that stemmed from the weak economy and the expensive “Ring” cycle production. L.A. Opera repaid the loan in full in December 2012. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Young-artists program
The Los Angeles Opera received $4.3 million in new gifts from the Colburn Foundation and Eugene and Marilyn Stein for its young-artists program.

The program, which began in 2006, offers a paid residency for young opera singers at the beginning of their professional careers. Placido Domingo, the company’s general director, helped to found the program and continues to oversee it.  (Robert Millard / LA Opera )
James Conlon
New York-born conductor James Conlon signed on to stay at the Los Angeles Opera through 2018.

“If you had told me that I would love California and L.A., I would never have believed it,” said Conlon.

The conductor’s accomplishments at the L.A. Opera include conducting the company’s first stagings of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle operas as well as championing its “Recovered Voices” series, dedicated to presenting the works of composers whose careers were cut short during the Holocaust.  (Katie Falkenberg, For the Times)
Gift from Eli and Edythe Broad
Los Angeles Opera announced in June 2013 it would be $7 million richer thanks to a new gift from billionaire Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe.

The gift, being made through the couple’s charitable organization, the Broad Foundation, represents the largest sum they have given to L.A. Opera.  ( Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)