A Live, Drive-In Double Bill in Camarillo, California
Camarillo, CA (October 26, 2020) — Pacific Opera Project (POP), “more valuable than ever to L.A. opera” (Los Angeles Times), presents a double bill featuring the US premiere stagings of two rare, one-act Gluck operas, the aptly named La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso, on Friday, November 20 at 7:00pm and Saturday, November 21 at 5:30pm.
Josh Shaw’s discovery of a dramatic opera called La Corona led him to another of Gluck’s one act comedies, Il Parnaso Confuso. Both were written for royal celebrations and for the same four Archduchesses, children of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa and sisters of Marie Antoinette. La Corona was never performed during Gluck’s lifetime, as it was written for Francis I and rendered irrelevant by his death in 1765. The opera was resurrected in July 1987 when it received its world premiere at the City of London Festival for the bicentenary of Gluck’s death. Loosely based on the Greek myth of Atalanta, four sisters argue over who gets to hunt a wild boar and prince Meleagro, who gets not the alto part but the highest soprano, comes along to supervise events. La Corona will be directed by Carson Gilmore.
Il Parnaso Confuso was composed in 1765 for the four Archduchesses to sing at Habsburg Archduke Joseph’s wedding. The opera follows three Muses – Euterpe (Music), Erato (Lyric Poetry), and Melpomene (Tragedy) – atop Mount Parnassus who are asked by Apollo to sing last minute at the wedding of the Emperor and are not prepared for the request. In Josh Shaw’s reimagined production, the muses are an 1980’s wedding band and Apollo is a wedding planner.
The double bill will feature Jessica Sandidge, Tiffany Ho, Meagan Martin, and Audrey Yoder, all in dual roles. Both operas will be sung in Italian with projected English supertitles. Kyle Naig leads a period orchestra from the keyboard. The entire evening is approximately two hours long and will be presented live within COVID guidelines. Live video will be projected above the stage with supertitles, and sound will be broadcast via FM radio to approximately 90 vehicles per performance. POP has temporarily relocated to Ventura County for performances, until LA County restrictions allow live performance. The venue is a short one hour drive from most points in Los Angeles and weekend shows have been scheduled just after sundown so attendees may travel up during the daylight and return home by 9:00pm.
POP closes its unprecedented season with the final iteration of La Boheme: AKA “The Hipsters” 2020 Edition on Thursday, December 10 at 7:00pm; Saturday, December 12 at 5:30pm; and Sunday, December 13 at 5:30pm.
La Corona (The Crown) and Il Parnaso Confuso (The Confusion on Parnasus) [US Staged Premieres]
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Libretti by Pietro Metastasio
Friday, November 20, 2020 at 7:00pm
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:30pm
Camarillo United Methodist Church
291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
Tickets: $60 – $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.
More Information: www.pacificoperaproject.com/lacorona
Director (Il Parnaso Confuso)/Designer: Josh Shaw
Director (La Corona): Carson Gilmore
Conductor/Arranger: Kyle Naig
Costumer: Maggie Green
Assistant Director: Carson Gilmore
Stage Manager: Kourtni Dale-Noll
All tickets and programs will be virtual, for a contactless experience. There will be no intermission, but restrooms will be available. All state and county COVID guidelines will be strictly followed and enforced. Masks are required outside of cars. Concessions will not be offered, but picnicking in your car is encouraged. Learn more about POP’s COVID safety procedures at www.pacificoperaproject.com/covid-safety
About Pacific Opera Project
Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Music Director Stephen Karr, Los Angeles’s Pacific Opera Project (POP) is dedicated to providing quality opera that is innovative, affordable, and entertaining in order to build a broader audience for the art form. LA Magazine writes “If you think you hate opera, you’ve probably never seen a Pacific Opera Project show.” POP’s regularly sold out performances take place in a wide variety of venues, from outdoors, to small clubs, big amphitheatres, and warehouses. LA Weekly named POP the “Best Opera Company in Los Angeles” in 2018, writing “making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing to young audiences is easier said than done. It’s also something every opera company in the country is trying desperately to do… [Pacific Opera Project] is not trying desperately to be hip. It just is.” In 2020, POP was awarded The American Prize in Opera Performance.
POP has presented more than 30 innovative new productions to date, including its critically acclaimed version of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio set as an episode of Star Trek; a “fan-tastic” (LA Daily News) Harajuku-themed Mikado; a Dick Tracy Don Giovanni; a Magic Flute inspired by 1990s video games, called “one of the freshest takes on Mozart’s 1791 classic I have come across” (Operawire); and many more. POP’s signature take on Puccini’s La bohème, “AKA The Hipsters,” set in modern day Los Angeles, has become a holiday tradition, returning year after year to sold-out audiences and called “riotous” (LA Weekly) and “an undeniably fun night at the theater that should not be missed” (Stage Raw). POP gave the world premiere of Brooke deRosa’s The Monkey’s Paw in 2017.
In 2019, POP presented its most ambitious project to date: the first ever true-to-story bilingual Madama Butterfly performed in LA’s Little Tokyo. A co-production with Houston’s Opera in the Heights, the production featured a new libretto written by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Opera in the Heights Artistic Director Eiki Isomura, presenting Puccini’s story as if it actually happened and attempting to answer the question: “How would Butterfly and Pinkerton communicate?” All Japanese roles were sung in Japanese by Japanese-American artists and all American roles were sung in English. San Francisco Classical Voice described the production as “on a visual scale beyond anything it has taken on before – a sumptuously costumed, fully staged, bilingual co-production… Pacific Opera Project deserves a great deal of credit for making this concept into a reality… innovative, creative, and immensely successful.”
POP presented the 2018 west coast premiere of Giacomo Rossini’s rarely performed 1816 opera, La gazzetta “The Newspaper.” The first performances in the US were given in Boston at the New England Conservatory in 2013, and POP’s production was only the second in North America. Opera Today raved about the premiere, writing “Director Josh Shaw has invested the proceedings with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions. Shaw has set the show in 1960’s Paris, with eye-popping set elements and brilliant uses of color which add to the manic feel…Mr. Shaw has fashioned a take-no-prisoners approach to the staging, which was rife with clever touches… Pacific Opera Project has evidently hit on a winning formula for a night out, serving up food, drink and an operatic discovery in equal measure.”
POP has been dedicated to reaching young audiences with performance and education since its inception, regularly performing for school-aged groups in family-friendly productions of The Mikado, The Barber of Seville, Sweeney Todd, Cosi fan tutte, Gianni Schicchi, L’enfant et les sortilèges, and La bohème. POP has ongoing internships with Occidental College and collaborates with their Glee Club every other year, as well as internships with The Waverly School and Orange County School of the Arts. POP also partners with the Burbank Boys and Girls Club. During the COVID-19 pandemic, POP created interactive Education Packs appropriate for kindergarten to eighth grade students to accompany videos of POP’s productions of The Magic Flute and Madama Butterfly. Learn more at www.pacificoperaproject.com .
Pacific Opera Project