Pacific Opera Project takes on Shakespeare and Verdi in a Cemetery with Falstaf

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

This September, Pacific Opera Project (POP) continues its successful run of presenting engaging productions in unique venues across Los Angeles with Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff, presented outdoors at the top of Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Museum Plaza) in Glendale.

With seating at tables including food and wine, a top-notch cast and orchestra all under a starry sky, POP will present this thoroughly good-natured masterpiece in a celebratory atmosphere, proving once again that opera was — and continues to be — an art for the masses. Dates are September 12, 13 and September 19, 20, 2015.

General admission $25. 2 person table $65-$80. 4 person table $120-$150. Tables include a bottle of wine and plate of appetizers. 

Supported by two of Southern California's greatest assets, the glorious weather and the dramatic terrain, POP will transport its audiences above their daily drudgery to the peak of operatic and comic achievement.

Following in the footsteps of summer picnics at Hollywood Bowl performances, or Hollywood Forever cemetery movie showings, Falstaff will bring audiences into the wine-soaked world of Shakespeare's Fat Knight, with the added advantage of an intimate venue.

The Museum Esplanade at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale will serve as Sir John's Garter Inn, the Ford family residence, and in the final scene a real, majestic oak tree will play the part of Herne's Oak at midnight. The opera is presented in the original Italian with projected English supertitles, and features Jonathan Dove's reduced orchestration of Verdi's score, by arrangement with Birmingham Opera Company in England. Tables for two or four are available, in addition to general seating for the approximately 2.5 hour performance.
 
Falstaff began as a retirement pastime for Verdi after the success of what he had intended to be his final opera,Otello, a setting of the libretto by composer and author Arrigo Boito.

His lifelong fascination with Shakespeare’s works (he had set Macbeth earlier in his career, and longed to compose an operatic Hamlet) and his reflections on growing old led him to take the bait when Boito (whom Verdi considered to be his most worthy artistic partner) offered him a script starring the aging Sir John Falstaff.

The Merry Wives of Windsor provides the major plot points of identical love letters to different (wealthy) women and their subsequent comical revenge on the Fat Knight, but from what scholars consider to be one of Shakespeare’s lesser plays Boito distills a story which moves along at a brisk clip and returns to Falstaff a rich measure of the humanity that is largely lost between the Henry plays and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Verdi’s score responds in kind, displaying incredible wit and good humor, and finally redeeming the commercial failure of his first comedy (and second opera), Un giorno di regno.
 
POP’s mission is to provide energetic, high-quality, accessible performances of a broad variety of operatic repertoire at various venues throughout Southern California. Co-founders Josh Shaw (stage direction and production design) and Stephen Karr (music director and conductor) team up for the company’s seventeenth production since its inception in the summer of 2011. Veteran costumer Maggie Green will design her twelfth POP production.
 
POP is known for assembling stellar casts, but the talent in this production reaches new levels of professionalism with credits from nearly every major opera company in the United States. Zeffin Quinn Hollis (Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera) debuts with both POP and the role of Falstaff. Rebecca Sjöwall (Arizona Opera, Nashville Opera), who previously sang the Governess in POP’s critically acclaimed production of The Turn of the Screw, returns to sing Alice Ford. She is joined by Daniel Scofield (Opera Columbus, Opera Santa Barbara and last seen with POP as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro) and Annie Sherman who play her husband Ford and daughter Nannetta respectively.

 As Nannetta’s young suitor Fenton, Nadav Hart (Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera) makes his POP debut. Phil Meyer and Kyle Patterson, both POP regulars, return as Falstaff’s sidekicks Pistola and Bardolfo. Sharmay Musacchio (New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera), Clay Hilley (Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Festival, and another POP alumnus) and Jessica Mirshak (a recent graduate of USC) round out the cast as Dame Quickly, Dr. Caius and Meg Page. A chorus of henchmen, nymphs, elves and fairies rounds out the cast.
 
Music Director Stephen Karr will present a lecture an hour before each performance. 


Full Event Information: www.pacificoperaproject.com/#!blank/cqkx

Haute Tease

  • CVNE Winery, of Rioja, Spain, Presents The Works of Sir Anthony Caro

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CVNE (pronounced Coo-nay), a leading producer of Spanish wines from Rioja, will host 'Caro at CVNE' an exhibition of installation pieces, of renowned British artist Sir Anthony Caro,  throughout the historic winery grounds.

     
  • Op/Ed: Our Proud Flag – An Opinion From The Hilltop Doc

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    I’ve recently read in newspapers and seen on news reports that protesters, justifiably unhappy with racial bias in our country, are expressing their concerns by disrespecting our American flag and national anthem. This display of anger and frustration is misdirected. 

     
  • Child Escapes House of Horrors; Parents Arrested, Charged

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Starved, imprisoned, forced to live in squalor and mentally and emotionally deprived and are only the beginning of the abuse and torture twelve children faced in Perris, California at the hands of their parents, according to authorities.

     
  • Theater Shooter, James Holmes, Formally Sentenced

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Theater Shooter, James Holmes who walked into the Aurora Cinemark 16, in full tactical gear, tossed a smoke bomb designed to get his targets to stand, and systematically slaughtered 12 moviegoers and wounded another 70.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Totals, Americas Spike, China, RBG, Rep. John Lewis

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump, who is trailing by double digit figures in most national polls, has made it known that he expects the Republican led Senate and the Democratic led House to include a major single stimulus payout to qualified Americans.

     
  • The Circle Review – The Story of Ernest Ostertag and Robi Rapp Highlight Hard Won Freedoms

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Circle," the Swiss official selection for the 87th Academy Award, presents the story of Röbi Rapp and Ernst Ostertag, who after decades of living openly in the shadows, became the first same-sex couple to register for domestic partnership.

     
  • Never Look Away Review - Breathtaking, Four Stars, Oscar Worthy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Never Look Away, from Sony Pictures Classics, brings to the screen two unforgettable journeys, one of the inner awakenings of the artist and the second of love, a purity of pleasure, emerging after the darkness of Hitler’s Germany.

     
  • Casting By Review – Meet The Unsung Heroes of The Entertainment Industry

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Casting By,” from Creative Chaos Ventures and Tashtego Films, brings to the screen the back story behind of the rise of the modern day Casting Director and the evolution of the Entertainment Industry.

     
  • The Complete Brain Exercise Book Review - Easy Mental Exercises Guaranteed to Keep The Mind Sharp

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Complete Brain Exercise Book, the second brain stimuli tome from Dr. Fraser Smith, picks up where he left off in Keep Your Brain Young, by penning an exercise manual guaranteed to keep the mind sharp and agile.

     
  • JoJo Rabbit Review – Perfect, Palpable, One of the Best Pictures of The Year

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    JoJo Rabbit, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, presents the unconventional story of a boy and his imaginary friend, who takes the form of Adolf Hitler, while he wrestles with the propaganda of life near the end of World War II.

     
  • Miss Bala Review - Compelling, Intense, A Wild Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miss Bala, from Sony Pictures Entertainment, brings to the screen a wild, fast action, south of the border ride as a weekend with family turns into a life or death race as two rival cartels fight for dominance.

     
  • Academy Celebrates Hollywood Costume with Private Luncheon Hosted By Annette Bening, Crystal Lourd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elizabeth Wiatt

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted a private luncheon and viewing of the current exhibition, Hollywood Costume,on Wednesday, October 8, at the Wilshire May Company building—future home of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

     
  • Last I Heard Review – Mob Flicks Just Ain’t What They Used To Be

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Last I Heard,” from Fuzzy Productions and Cine Relevante, brings to the screen a new take on a story as old as the mean streets of Manhattan, that of a Made man losing control and regaining family dominance.

     
  • Girl, 16, Dead After Vicious Attack

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amy Inita Francis-Joyner, 16, a sophomore at Howard High School of Technology, in Wilmington, Delaware, died Thursday morning after she was jumped in the girl’s restroom by two other sixteen year olds and beaten to near death over a boy.

     
  • NYC Arts: American Museum of Natural History Launches ‘OLogy’ Science APP

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Curious about The Ancient Ruins of Petra? Marine Biology? Paleontology? The American Museum of Natural History has launched an iPad version of OLogy, the award-winning science website for school-aged children geared to make learning fun for all ages.