High-definition broadcast will be transmitted free of charge, live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, to the Santa Monica Pier
LA Opera will present a live simulcast of its opening night of Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello for audiences at 7:30pm on Saturday, May 13, 2023. LA Opera’s production of the towering operatic masterpiece will be transmitted live in high-definition video from nine cameras at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to a large LED screen at the Santa Monica Pier. Guests are invited to bring their beach chairs or blankets to sit on the pier deck to enjoy the free screening. Since Otello is performed in Italian, the simulcasts will feature subtitles in both English and Spanish.
The performance stars tenor Russell Thomas, the company’s Artist in Residence, in the title role and will be conducted by Music Director James Conlon. A live simulcast will also take place at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Through the generous support of Los Angeles County, LA Opera is able to present these simulcasts free of charge as a special gift to the community.
Otello will mark the ninth “Opera at the Beach” simulcast to the Santa Monica Pier. This will be the first time that LA Opera’s annual live simulcast will be experienced by audiences in the city of Carson, where “Opera on the Lawn” will take place on the North Lawn on the campus of CSUDH.
“Bring your friends, a blanket and picnic out to the Santa Monica Pier for a special night under the stars with the LA Opera for Verdi’s Otello,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, who represents the Third District where the Santa Monica Pier is located. “The simulcast brings the magic of opening night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to the beach, connecting more LA County communities to the power of opera. Our office is thrilled to be part of this beloved Third District tradition and unique LA experience.”
Although no tickets are required for entrance, guests are encouraged to sign up in advance at LAOpera.org/OperaAtTheBeach to get important information about parking and the latest updates, and to receive a free gift at the event plus a chance to win a three-opera ticket package.
Seating is general admission, and gates will open at 5:30pm. Attendees are advised to bring their own seating and to arrive early for pre-performance picnicking and to secure the best viewing areas. There will be arts and crafts activities for families to enjoy before the simulcast begins. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed. Pets are not allowed.
About Verdi’s Otello
Hailed as the pinnacle of the Italian operatic repertoire, Verdi’s 1887 operatic transformation of the original Shakespeare tragedy is a powerful drama of uncontrolled human emotion at its most extreme. (Otello is the Italian spelling for Othello.) Verdi’s musical portrait of a hero’s descent into a tortured heart of darkness is made explicit in every chilling detail as Otello is steadily manipulated into destroying all in life that he holds dear.
Conductor James Conlon takes command of the truly epic musical forces, featuring a gigantic orchestra and chorus, in a production created by acclaimed stage director John Cox. The powerhouse cast is led by Artist in Residence Russell Thomas in the title role (considered the “Mount Everest” of the dramatic tenor repertoire because of its incredibly daunting vocal and dramatic challenges). Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen makes a highly anticipated company debut as the doomed Desdemona and baritone Igor Golovatenko is the sadistic Iago, who takes delight in slyly exploiting Otello’s one fatal flaw: jealousy. For additional information about the production, please visit LAOpera.org/Otello.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.
In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at LAOpera.org.
Feature image courtesy of LA Opera