Long Beach Opera to World Premiere Kate Soper’s ‘The Romance of the Rose’

By David Salazar

Long Beach Opera is set to present the world premiere of “The Romance of the Rose” on Feb. 18, 2023.

The new work by Kate Soper will run for a total of three performances, ending its run on Feb. 25, 2023. Audiences can check it out at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

Per an official press statement, the work is described as “an operatic exploration of the ways in which love, sex, and music wreak havoc on our sense of self.” Soper was inspired by a 13th Century poem of the same name and in the opera, she explores a Dreamer’s quest for a literal rose.

The work will be directed by James Darrah and is set to star Lucas Steele, Laurel Irene, Tiffany Townsend, Anna Schubert, Tivoli Treloar, Bernardo Bermudez, and Phillip Bullock. Christopher Rountree conducts.

“’The Romance of the Rose‘ is such a singularly unique creation that I hesitate to even call it an opera as it seems reductive,” Darrah said in an official press statement. “While it plays into our expectations of everything that a big opera with fantastic voices should offer us, it also mocks our own obsessions with narratives and our fear of abstraction. The work quickly plunges us headfirst into Kate Soper’s wild and wonderful sense of sound merging with voice to yield an overwhelmingly original evening of pure theater. She’s also not afraid of comedy and possesses an elegant self-awareness — which frankly seems very welcome in our current moment as audience members too.”