Now entering its second full season, Pacific Opera Project has demonstrated a commitment to producing high-quality theatrical entertainment with low price tags.
Bringing opera to audiences at an affordable price is a central aim for this energetic new enterprise, which has found itself at home both with cross-over works (such as the sold-out Sweeney Todd presented last fall) and conventional operas such as Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Puccini’s La Bohème.
But there is nothing conventional about the way POP does opera.
Whether presenting with an orchestra in a theater setting or with a piano in a supper-club setting, co-directors Josh Shaw, Artistic Director, and Stephen Karr, Music Director, don’t settle for anything less than excellence in entertainment from curtain to closing. In short, don’t expect to be bored at a POP production and do expect to be blown away by the talent.
To kick-start this year’s season, POP is returning to The Ebell Club of Highland Park to present an intimate and exciting rendition of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with a modern day Hollywood twist. In response to the overwhelming audience enthusiasm and critical acclaim of last season’s La bohème, The Barber of Seville will also be presented “POP-Up” style.
POP-Up productions are presented with minimal sets, production costs and rehearsal time in new or unusual venues across Los Angeles. They feature artists of the highest caliber with an emphasis on high entertainment value for low cost to the public so are the ideal way to introduce audiences to opera. Artists from as far away as St. Louis and Minneapolis will join with singers from Southern California and descend on an empty building on March 3.
Six days later they will present a fully staged opera complete with sets, costumes, English supertitles (the opera will be sung in the original Italian) and a light dinner, all for under $30 per person. The performances will feature an outstanding cast of singers who have appeared in companies such as San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Michigan Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Idaho, San Diego Opera, Opera San Luis Obispo, Long Beach Opera and Opera San Jose.
Roberto Perlas Gomez, who has sung leading roles in nearly every opera company in California, sings his signature role of Figaro. Lauren Edwards plays the cleverly scheming Rosina, Clark Sturdevant (Opera Kentucky, Dayton Opera, Natchez Festival) the love-struck Count Almaviva, Alex Adams-Leytes the overbearing Dr. Bartolo, and Rachel Payne the overworked Berta. POP favorites (both Sweeney Todds from POP’s 2012 season), Phil Meyer and Ryan Thorn, sing Don Basilio and Fiorello, respectively. The Barber of Seville will be designed and directed by Josh Shaw, with music directed by Stephen Karr.
The opera will be presented with piano for four hands using an arrangement scored by the young Arnold Schoenberg.
Synopsis: Rossini's characters from 17th century Spain are transformed into current-day Hollywood icons and personalities in this fun comic opera. Rosina, a young pop-star, has recently gone through a very public breakup with her fiancé, a famous actor. She swears never to date an actor again and moves in with her much older and very slimy producer/manager, “Dr.” Bartolo. Celebrity stylist, Figaro, is called in to revamp Rosina's image after the breakup, and aging rocker/American Idol judge, Don Basilio, is hired to develop a comeback album for Rosina. Count Almaviva has fallen hard for Rosina, but Dr. Bartolo sees an opportunity to add to his wealth by marrying her himself. Aided by many disguises and the help of his former assistant, Figaro, Almaviva sets out to win the heart of Rosina.
Tickets: $20 for General Admission, $60 for a table of two, and $100 for a table of four; tables come with a bottle of wine and a platter of hors d’oeuvres; available online at www.pacificoperaproject.com or by calling 323-739-6122.
Who: Pacific Opera Project, Los Angeles’ most accessible opera company, is committed to fully professional productions of worthy masterpieces and daring new works of opera and musical theater produced with artists of the highest caliber in diverse venues. What: The Barber of Seville by G. Rossini.
When: Saturday, March 9 – 8:00 pm Sunday, March 10 – 7:00 pm Friday, March 15 – 8:00 pm Saturday, March 16 – 8:00 pm Sunday, March 17 – 7:00 pm
Where: The Ebell Club of Highland Park, 131 S. Ave. 57, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Free parking is available in the lot across the street.