A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Long Beach Opera begins their 2022 spring and summer season with the world premiere adaptation of Giustino by George Frideric Handel with new music and arrangements by Shelley Washington. The opera will be presented within the sculpture garden and galleries at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach.   

This new production of Handel’s rarely performed opera, which is conceived of and directed by LBO’s Artistic Director James Darrah and conducted by LBO’s Music Director Christopher Rountree, will perform on May 21, 22 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra serves as the orchestra.  

In this new version, Handel’s glorious music and surprisingly relevant drama reemerges as a site-specific, cinematically driven, wild contemporary production with expanded orchestrations, sound design and installation art. A story of fate, destiny, long lost familial relationships and a probing exploration of “conquerors” and their captors, LBO’s Giustino will elevate the ambiguities of gender and sexuality already present in baroque opera and examine how stereotypes can be shattered even in the most traditional stories. Darrah’s breakthrough stylistic hybrid of cinema-theater harnesses this surrealism inherent in the work and recontextualizes the salon-like qualities of Handel’s 18th-century setting to a transitory, temporal space in an imagined California desert motel, with characters colliding amidst the energy of the Mojave’s ominous expanse.

The action of the scenes will move amongst the audience and to different parts of the museum and will be live-filmed-to-video to create a movie within an opera playing at all times. Additional spaces will continue to be activated during intermission and the museum’s multiple settings will overlap in video during the performance to create layered narratives.


The Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) is located at 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach 90802. Single tickets, season tickets and information are available at longbeachopera.org.