LA Opera To Open 2021-22 Season with ‘Il Trovatore’ Following Production Setbacks

By Logan Martell

On Sept. 18, 2021, LA Opera will open its 2021-22 season with Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” officially making its return to fully-staged productions since March 8, 2020.

Renowned Verdi conductor James Conlon will conduct six performances, leading a cast featuring Guanqun Yu as Leonora, tenors Limmie Pulliam and Gregory Kunde sharing the role of Manrico, Raehann Bryce-Davis as Azucena, Vladimir Stoyanov making his company debut as Count di Luna, and Morris Robinson as Ferrando. Two members of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program, soprano Tiffany Townsend and tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro, will portray the role of Ines and Ruiz, respectively.  Orson Van Gay II will take on the role of the messenger.

Due to COVID, this production came under peril when the scenery, sent from Monaco by ship, was stranded on the Pacific Ocean and unable to dock. The company reached out to the creative team in Europe and laid out a plan to build a replica on the set of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Stage. The result will see about 45 artists and crew members working in 14-hour days to complete the set pieces, lighting structures, and pyrotechnic elements, in time for the performance to run as scheduled.

“We are fortunate to have an incredible staff and crew,” said Christopher Koelsch. “Building an elaborate set from scratch that will satisfy the discerning tastes of modern-day audiences in just 10 days is a Herculean task. Thankfully, our team is up to it.”

The production will run through Oct. 10, 2021 with the performances on Oct. 3 and 10 livestreamed for global audiences via the company’s On Now digital program.