Monthly Archives: June 2002

Sir Donald and His Ideal Listener

Sir Donald Francis Tovey changed my life — for the better, I like to think. I was 20, as hapless a premed as ever walked along ivied walls. Somebody in physics lab showed me a slim volume he‘d just acquired: Essays in Musical Analysis by Sir Donald Francis Tovey. The title was forbidding; the prose […]

The Little Company that Can

IT HAPPENED AGAIN. TWO WEEKENDS AGO, while the Los Angeles Opera was showing off the buying power of million-dollar budgets in its oversize Music Center playground, a few miles to the south there was the Long Beach Opera, the little company that could, demonstrating with equal impact — in a college auditorium a third the […]


Aside from a couple of college-based productions of distant memory, Leos Janacek’s Jenufa has remained a history-book entry in the Los Angeles area, but little more. That, of course, makes it ideal fodder for the intrepid explorative force known as the Long Beach Opera. In two performances in mid-June and in  typical Long Beach style, […]


Given the geographic proximity of the Los Angeles Music Center to the region’s other major cultural industry, you’d expect a close working relationship between the Los Angeles Opera and the surviving shards of the film industry. You’d be wrong, however; in the company’s seventeen years of operation, memories only of Herbert Ross’ spunky La Bohème […]

Odd Couple Oddly Coupled

The on-again, off-again romance between the Los Angeles Opera and the other local industry — which sagged a while back as Hollywood’s Bruce Beresford turned Rigoletto into a lumpy hash — has now moved forward a couple of notches. William Friedkin‘s take on the double bill of one-acters currently at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion — […]

Terminations and Renewals

The story of Terezin‘s music is well known: Hitler’s Nazis maintaining this one prison camp — Theresienstadt in German, Terezin in its native Czech — as a cultural showcase, composers and other artistic spirits encouraged to create and perform for a time and then dragged off to the killing chambers at Auschwitz. Some of the […]