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.

IN REVIEW:  James Conlon conducts Nabucco at LA Opera

“Conlon is one of the best for energetic, militant early Verdi, and he got his orchestra to slash away exuberantly while also taking care to support his singers comfortably in more intimate moments” — Los Angeles Times

“Conductor James Conlon’s contribution cannot be overstated, and the chorus, orchestra and soloists together created an emotional charge that ignited the audience.” — Seen and Heard International

“Conlon and the LA Opera Orchestra were superb.” — Living Out Loud L.A.

“...he elicited an intense and dramatic performance…”— Opera Warhorses

Music Director James Conlon…conducts a powerful performance, with plenty of vigor and rum-ti-tum raw excitement of early Verdi.” — Classical Voice

Click here for additional reviews.

Upcoming Performances

Los Angeles, CA   March 21, 24, 25, 2018

Production by John Neumeier

de Doelen, Rotterdam   April 06, 08, 2018

Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (the Mermaid); Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Nelson Freire

Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam   April 07, 2018

Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (the Mermaid); Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Nelson Freire

View all »