L.A. Performs: Celebrate LA Opera's 30th Anniversary & Fall Under the Spell of "The Magic Flute"

"The Magic Flute" | Photo courtesy of LA Opera
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Celebrating its 30th anniversary with the 2015-16 season, LA Opera has become, under the leadership of Eli and Edythe Broad General Director Plácido Domingo, the fourth largest opera company in the country and according to Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, "stands out as a newly important force in American Opera."

With the L.A. Performs special offer, you can buy one ticket and get a free ticket to the same performance of LA Opera's production of The Magic Flute when you book a minimum of two Los Angeles hotel nights. Eligible dates are Feb. 13, Feb. 20, Feb. 24, Feb. 28, March 2 and March 6.

Under the masterful baton of James Conlon, LA Opera presents this highly anticipated revival of a production that created a sensation in the company’s 2013-14 season. A celebration of true love conquering all, Mozart's beloved opera transports the audience into an enchanted world where good faces the forces of darkness. Packed with exquisite singing and stage wizardry, The Magic Flute is a delightful blend of high comedy and serious drama that will enchant young and old alike.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at night
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion | Photo by Danielle Klebanow, courtesy of LA Opera

LA Opera traces its roots to 1948, when a company called the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera presented a performance of Rigoletto in a Beverly Hills church. Under the directorship of Francesco Pace, the company staged productions through the 1950s. In 1964 it presented the first opera performed at the Music Center's brand-new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Shortly after its third production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, L'Italiana in Algeri starring Marilyn Horne, the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera abandoned its own production projects and recreated itself as the Music Center Opera Association. For two decades, the Association brought opera from other cities to the Music Center. The longest arrangement was with the New York City Opera, which brought productions to the Music Center every fall from 1966 to 1982.

In 1984, the Music Center Opera Association hired Peter Hemmings as its founding general director and tasked him with creating a new opera company that would once again present its own productions in Los Angeles. LA Opera was inaugurated in 1986 with a production of Verdi's Otello, starring Plácido Domingo in one of his signature roles. Hemmings stepped down as LA Opera's general director in 2000, and the following season Domingo assumed artistic leadership of the company.

Plácido Domingo in LA Opera's production of "Simon Boccanegra"
Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s "Simon Boccanegra" | Photo courtesy of LA Opera, Facebook

Plácido Domingo served as the company's artistic consultant from 1984 until October 1998, when he was named artistic director designate. The 2001-02 season marked Domingo's first fully planned season with the company as artistic director and included eight company premieres. In May 2003, Domingo was named general director of LA Opera. In September 2006, in honor of a $6 million gift from Eli and Edythe L. Broad as lead sponsors of the company's first Ring cycle, his official title became The Eli and Edythe Broad General Director. In addition, Domingo has sung more than 150 performances and has also conducted well over 90 performances of both operas and concert works with the company.

Kent Nagano joined LA Opera as principal conductor in the 2001-02 season and in May 2003 was named LA Opera's first-ever music director. In 2006, James Conlon succeeded Maestro Nagano and currently holds the position of Richard Seaver Music Director. Conlon’s important new artistic initiatives have included an emphasis on the works of Richard Wagner, the ongoing Recovered Voices series - dedicated to performing the unjustly neglected operas of composers who were affected by the Holocaust - a three-season celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten, and an ongoing collaboration with the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to bring together professional and amateur musicians from every part of Los Angeles in performances of family operas.

Rod Gilfry in LA Opera's production of “Nicholas & Alexandra”
Rod Gilfry in “Nicholas & Alexandra” | Photo by Robert Millard, courtesy of Rod Gilfry

Throughout its history, the company has maintained a roster of talented resident artists - these young singers perform regularly in main stage productions as well as the company's community programs. The program prepares young artists who have the potential for major careers in opera by providing invaluable experience and training. Among the distinguished artists who have gone on to enjoy national and international success are Rod Gilfry and Paula Rasmussen.

In the 2006-07 season, the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program was inaugurated, with its own separate staff under the personal supervision of Plácido Domingo. The program is designed so that participants can work full-time on developing their careers during that critical stage between the end of their formal academic or conservatory training and the onset of professional performing careers.

Get 2 For 1 Tickets with L.A. Performs

With the L.A. Performs special offer, when you book a minimum of two nights at a Los Angeles hotel, you will receive a special offer to purchase two tickets for the price of one to more than 30 of L.A.’s leading dance, music, opera, theater and spoken-word performances from Feb. 1- March 13, 2016. For more info and to book your stay, visit discoverlosangeles.com/laperforms.

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