James Conlon Named Commendatore by the President of the Italian Republic

James Conlon has been named Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) by the President of the Italian Republic. This is one of the highest honors granted directly by the President through the Order of Merit, established in 1951 and the highest Order of the Italian Republic. The title of Commendatore is granted to acknowledge “merits achieved for the nation in the fields of literature, arts, economics, and in the fulfillment of public duties.”

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Reviews are in for James Conlon conducting LA Opera’s Candide

Bernstein’s Candide opened at LA Opera this past weekend with James Conlon leading a star-studded cast including Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole.

“James Conlon conducts with Verdian verve”—Los Angeles Times

“From the moment the amazing James Conlon-conducted orchestra began their crisp, lively Overture to Quartet Finale, the close of Act One; this remarkable production of CANDIDE entranced the Dorothy Chandler audience.”—Broadway World

“James Conlon never expected to conduct Candide, though he led the operetta’s (we’ll classify it this way moving forward) “Overture” over 40 times…what a treat for him. The Queens-born New Yorker grew up in Leonard Bernstein’s backyard, and so there’s a keen connection to Broadway influences hovering alongside Lincoln Center and points beyond.”—ConcertoNet

Bernstein’s operetta is performed as part of world-wide celebration of the composer’s centennial. With an additional performance added January 27, there are now six more performances through February 18. Tickets at

Just announced: LA Opera’s 2018-19 Season!

LA Opera Music Director James Conlon conducts four mainstage operas during the 2018-19 season including Verdi’s Don Carlo (Sep 22-Oct 14), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Nov 17-Dec 15), Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (Mar 2-24), and Verdi’s La Traviata (Jun 1-22), as well as the world premiere of Moses by Henry Mollicone and Shishir Kurup (Mar 22 & 23), as part of the company’s Cathedral Project series.

Mr. Conlon said: “As I look ahead to the coming season, I relish the opportunity to introduce the company premiere of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus). LA Opera has never produced this unquestionable masterpiece, which was composed virtually simultaneously with The Magic Flute in the last months of Mozart’s short life. It will be a great and important experience for our audiences. Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel has entranced audiences of all ages for its entire 125-year history. It is a work of enormous charm and accessibility, speaking from its deep roots in our fairy tale tradition. It features a Wagnerian-scaled score that is especially gratifying for the orchestra and conductor. Finally, I am of course particularly looking forward to revisiting two essential Verdi masterpieces—La Traviata and Don Carlo—that I conducted on successive nights of the first weekend of my debut season in Los Angeles. Bookending the coming season, they will provide two excellent occasions to celebrated the extraordinary strides the orchestra and chorus have made over the past 12 years. I’m also extremely proud to offer the second world premiere in our Cathedral Project series, with Moses by Henry Mollicone and Shishir Kurup, a project that annually brings together hundreds of members of the community for a deeply immersive experience of the transformative power of opera. Together with the exceptionally talented musicians of the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus and the magnificent casts we have assembled, I anticipate that our audiences are in for a season of extraordinary performances.”

Click here for more information on the 2018-19 season.

Upcoming Performances

Highland Park, IL   August 09, 2018

Stravinsky: Suite from Pulcinella; Strauss: Le Bourgeois gentilhomme; Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20
Garrick Ohlsson

Highland Park, IL   August 11, 2018

Rossini: Overtures Barber of Seville, Semiramide, Passo a Sei from William Tell, Donizetti: excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor
Nadine Sierra, soprano, Matthew Polenzani, tenor

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