Entertainment & Arts

Los Angeles Opera announces 2017-18 season

A 2014 production of “Carmen,” created by director-choreographer Rob Ashford, with Ana Maria Martinez in the title role, at Houston Grand Opera.
A 2014 production of “Carmen,” created by director-choreographer Rob Ashford, with Ana Maria Martinez at center in the title role, at Houston Grand Opera.
(Lynn Lane / Los Angeles Opera)

Los Angeles Opera announced its 2017-18 season on Monday,  including main stage productions of “Carmen,” “Candide” and “Rigoletto” as well as Off Grand programs for venues such as REDCAT, the Broad Stage and the Theatre at Ace Hotel.

One highlight of the season is the previously announced unprecedented collaboration with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet and the Hamburg State Opera of Germany on the 1774 Paris version of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice.” It will be presented in French with English translations and directed, choreographed and designed by Hamburg Ballet Artistic Director John Neumeier. 

Another highlight is a gala concert in November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of L.A. Opera general director Plácido Domingo’s stage debut here. Despite that historical milestone, the 2017-18 season “emphasizes the new,” Domingo said.  

“Five of the season’s six main-stage productions will be completely new to Los Angeles, and two of those will be company premieres,” Domingo said. “We will see a number of major house debuts by world-class talents, including two truly legendary artists: director-choreographer John Neumeier and baritone Leo Nucci.”  Combined with Off Grand’s five company premieres of contemporary works, “these groundbreaking performances showcase the transformative power of opera and the incredible variety of operatic expression,” he said.


The season runs Sept. 9 to June 24, 2018.

The main-stage lineup:

Opening Sept. 9: Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” conducted by James Conlon, with Ana María Martínez as Carmen, Alexander Vinogradov as Escamillo and Amanda Woodbury as Micaëla. Directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford.

Opening Oct. 7: Georges Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers,” conducted, alternately, by Plácido Domingo and Grant Gershon, with Nino Machaidze as Leïla and Javier Camarena as Nadir. Directed by Penny Woolcock.


Opening Oct. 14: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco,” conducted by James Conlon, with Plácido Domingo singing the title role and also featuring Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille, Morris Robinson as Zaccaria, Mario Chang as Ismaele and Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Fenena.  Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger.

Opening Jan. 27, 2018: Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” conducted by James Conlon, with Jack Swanson as Candide and Erin Morley as Cunegonde. Directed by Francesca Zambello. 

Opening March 10, 2018: Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice,” conducted by James Conlon with Maxim Mironov and Lisette Oropesa in the title roles and appearances by the Joffrey Ballet. Directed, choreographed and designed by John Neumeier.

Opening May 12, 2018: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” conducted by Artist in Residence Matthew Aucoin, with, alternately, Leo Nucci or Ambrogio Maestri in the title role. It’s a revival of Mark Lamos’ production, previously seen in L.A. in 2010, and Lamos will direct.

The Off Grand series:

It will include Michael Riesman conducting the Philip Glass Ensemble to Jean Cocteau’s film “La Belle et la Bête”; Keeril Makan’s “Persona,” based on the 1966 Ingmar Bergman film and produced by Beth Morrison Projects; Aucoin’s “Crossing,” which mines poet Walt Whitman’s Civil War experiences for inspiration; and “A Gordon Getty Double Bill” presenting two ghost stories, “The Canterville Ghost” and “Usher House.”

For more details about the main stage and Off Grand series, L.A. Opera concerts and outreach and family programs, see


Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin


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