LA Opera Blog: James Conlon on “The Magic Flute”

Mozart’s The Magic Flute is amongst the world’s most popular and beloved operas, written by one of its most adored composers. A pseudo fairy tale, its invented mythology appeals to children and adults, amateur and professional musicians, philosophers and writers, casual operagoers and die-hard fans. It is immediately accessible to children, yet sufficiently profound and sophisticated to have commanded the attention of great thinkers and musicians for more than two centuries.

LA Opera Blog: James Conlon on La Bohème

In my life, La Bohème has represented a beginning so many times that I cannot eradicate the association of Puccini’s music with “the new.” Youth, the romantic story of a young couple in love, their so-called “bohemian” circle of friends, the sad death of its heroine in the full bloom of that youth—these elements helped place this opera among the most universally loved. All of the dramatic and theatrical elements are, of course, the traditional stuff of operatic stories, but it is Puccini’s music, his innovative theatrical genius and its renewable energy, that have rendered it seemingly eternal.

LA Opera Blog: James Conlon on Hansel and Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is not a children’s opera! Yes, you can bring your children to it, and they will love it—as I did when I was 12 years old—but that doesn’t mean it is only for children. In fact, it is a highly sophisticated and beautifully constructed late 19th-century “Fairy Tale Opera” (Märchenoper). The composer had worked closely with Richard Wagner, particularly during the period of Parsifal’s composition, and the Wagnerian influence can be felt throughout Hansel and Gretel.

LA Opera Blog: James Conlon on Don Carlo

A Note from Music Director James Conlon And Samuel said to Saul: “Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” And Saul answered: “I am sore distressed; …and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more…therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.” (First Book of Samuel, 28:15) “Then why do {…}

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