leadimage Review: ‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ at LA Opera

    I was reminded while watching LA Opera’s latest production, Florencia en el Amazonas, of the 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog’s epic tale of a dreamer who wants to build an opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Referring to the film’s infamous feat of hauling a 320-ton paddle steamer over a mountain — [...]

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Featured Articles

Two New Scarlatti Discs From Igor Kamenz and Orion Weiss

The keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti have undergone somewhat of a revival as of late, with multiple artists recording personal selections from Scarlatti’s enormous output of over 550 sonatas. Here, we review two recent offerings, one by Russian pianist Igor Kamenz, recording on the French label Naïve, and another by American pianist Orion Weiss, recording [...]

Review: Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Heroic ‘Eroica’ With the LA Phil

They say that you can never go home again, but 30 years after his U.S. conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, now LA Phil Conductor Laureate, has come home again. He has moved back to LA after living in London for several years where he was principal conductor for the Philharmonia Orchestra [...]

Last Chance for LACO à la carte

For a transcendent musical evening, don’t miss Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s final installment in its “LACO à la carte” series. Experience chamber music as it was meant to be heard when six LACO musicians perform music by Haydn, Mozart, Ernst Toch and Hanns Eisler in an intimate setting at the Brentwood residence of the Consul [...]

Recent Posts

Review: ‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ at LA Opera

I was reminded while watching LA Opera’s latest production, Florencia en el Amazonas, of the 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog’s epic tale of a dreamer who wants to build an opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Referring to the film’s infamous feat of hauling a 320-ton paddle steamer over a mountain — [...]

L-E-V at REDCAT

Our local global explorer of new and exciting live performance, the Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater (REDCAT) presents a collaborating team of Israeli performing artists on stage this Thursday through Sunday (8:30 p.m., except 7 p.m. on Sunday). Going by the collective moniker of L-E-V, ex-Batsheva Dance Company house choreographer Sharon Eyal and [...]

Review: Ronnie Burkett’s Theatre of Marionettes

Ronnie Burkett’s Theatre of Marionettes (a.k.a. The Daisy Theatre) took audiences on a fun emotional rollercoaster this month at the Actors’ Gang venue at the Ivy Substation in Culver City. Although the cars must stay on the same rail every night, there’s enough of a mix in audience participation and raw improv to make you [...]

Review: Cristian Macelaru Conducts Ravel, Elgar and Penderecki

There has been a lot of subbing at the LA Phil recently. A little less than a month ago the young pianist Behzod Abduraimov replaced violinist Leila Josefowicz (see http://culturespotla.com/2014/10/review-juanjo-mena-and-behzod-abduraimov-perform-prokofiev-and-dvorak-with-the-la-phil/). And this past weekend, the young Conductor-in-Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cristian Macelaru, replaced Charles Dutoit (who just happens to be Conductor Laureate of the [...]

Review: Lux Aeterna at Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz

Avant-gardistas may well ask themselves, which Lux Aeterna are we talking about here? There are at least a dozen musical works — some relatively well known — that go by this Latinate form of the phrase “eternal light.” But this Lux Aeterna is only peripherally about music — it’s a dance company, and if you [...]

Review: Esa-Pekka Salonen and LA Phil Perform “Visions of America: Amériques”

If revolutions require a spark to ignite, then a logistical glitch during the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s preparation for Hector Berlioz’s Romeo & Juliet proved to be the catalyst that upended what was originally supposed to be a program featuring the work of a popular Romantic-era composer and “America’s Favorite Soprano” Susan Graham. Instead, Salonen [...]

British BalletBoyz Invade the Ahmanson

Downtown dance means something totally different here in LA than in New York. There, it refers to a rough and tumble community of movement explorers based south of midtown Manhattan. In our City of Angels, the rawness isn’t always part of the aesthetic, but the innovation can be just as compelling. And it’s not happening [...]

Review: ‘Dido & Aeneas’ and ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’

What connects a 17th-century English Baroque opera, Dido & Aeneas, to an early 20th-century Hungarian opera based on a fairy tale, Bluebeard’s Castle?  You could argue that both, currently on stage at LA Opera, are based on myths, or that both involve untrustworthy men, but I’d say the most obvious thread is the unmistakably creative [...]

Review: ‘A or B?’ at the Falcon Theatre

“A or B?” by multi-award-winning Ken Levine amazes in its world-premiere mounting at the Falcon Theatre. Levine’s script is full of pithy and witty one-liners, as to be expected of one whose creativity contributed to “MASH,” “Cheers,” “The Simpsons” and other TV hits. Andrew Barnicle firmly directs the pair of likeable, talented, easy-on-the-eyes actors at [...]

Review: Salonen Returns to LA Phil With Janáček, Saariaho and Sibelius

The Los Angeles Philharmonic billed the Oct. 26 concert as a birthday tribute to “Hurricane Mama,” the iconic organ of Walt Disney Concert Hall. As a powerful storm must be handled with deft but equally powerful hands, the LA Phil called on the sorcerer from Finland, by way of London. Esa-Pekka Salonen, LA Phil’s conductor [...]