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    Pacific Opera Project’s Drive-In Fall 2020 Season


    COVID fan tutte Set at a SoCal Golf Resort  – November 22
    The US Premieres of Gluck’s La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso – November 20 and 21
    La Boheme “The Hipsters” 2020 Edition – December 11 (Revised!), 12 and 13

    Read the Preview in the Los Angeles Times

    Camarillo, CA (November 17, 2020) — Pacific Opera Project (POP), “more valuable than ever to L.A. opera” (Los Angeles Times), today announces slight changes to its newly revised fall season, featuring four operas reworked in signature POP style for current times and a drive-in format at Camarillo United Methodist Church in Ventura County. All shows will be 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 shows have been scheduled just after sundown at 5:30pm so attendees may travel up during the daylight and return home by 9:00pm.

    POP takes a mulligan on Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in COVID fan tuttewhich premiered on November 14 and 15 to sold out audiences, and will have one more performance on Sunday, November 22 at 5:30pm. The new production is set in 2020 at a SoCal golf resort with new English libretto by Josh Shaw. The updated plot follows two girls who are spending their quarantine at a SoCal golf resort and the local caddies have won their hearts. Don Alfonso, a rich, meddling  member of the resort, is looking for some fun and instigates a bet with the boys to see if their girls are truly faithful. Despina, a waitress at the snack shack is there to assist Don Alfonso in the charade. The boys are furloughed rather than sent off to war and return in disguise to tempt their girlfriends. Personal protective equipment, facemasks, and social distancing will play a large part in the update, perhaps finally making the disguises and plot of Cosi fan tutte (almost) believable. To ensure maximum safety and compliance, the cast features three outstanding real-life couples – Jamie Chamberlin and Nathan Granner (Fiordiligi/Ferrando), Christina Pezzarossi and Colin Ramsey (Dorabella/Guglielmo), and Ariel Pisturino and E. Scott Levin (Despina and Don Alfonso) – who will quarantine together before the performances. Kyle Naig conducts a socially distant orchestra from the harpsichord. 

    POP 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 5:30pm (previously announced as 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 GilmoreIl 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.

    POP closes its unprecedented season with the final iteration of La Boheme: AKA “The Hipsters” 2020 Edition on Friday, December 11 at 5:30pm (previously announced as Thursday, December 10); Saturday, December 12 at 5:30pm; and Sunday, December 13 at 5:30pm. In what has become a holiday tradition over six years of sold out performances, POP’s signature take on Puccini’s La Boheme has been even further updated to current day with Acts 1 and 2 occurring on December 24, 2019; Act 3 in April 2020; and Act 4 in November 2020. The artist, poet, philosopher, musician, and seamstress become a graphic designer, screenplay writer, English major, indie-rocker, and fashion designer dealing with the timeless issues of life, love, jealousy, overdue bills, and now, COVID-19. This production is the inspiration behind POP’s signature logo, “Hipster Puccini.” The cast includes Arnold Geis as Rodolfo, Oriona Falla as Mimi, Ben Lowe as Marcello, Maria Dominique Lopez as Musetta, E. Scott Levin as Schaunard, Keith Colclough as Colline, and Luvi Avendano as Alcindoro, Benoit and Parpignol. The opera is sung in Italian with projected “cleverly ironic” English titles, led by Music Director Parisa Zaeri, and directed by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw.

    POP Founder Artistic Director Josh Shaw says, “We saw an opportunity to do live performance, to give our artists work, to give our fans a show, and to prove that, as always, POP will do whatever it takes to make accessible, affordable, and entertaining opera. People say they want opera that is relevant – that it can and should speak to current events. Here we are in the midst of the most life changing event any of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. Should we act like it isn’t happening? I don’t think so. Should we wait five or ten years until the pandemic is more of a memory and we have some ‘distance’? Why? There was a time when opera was regularly written about current events. Granting organizations and patrons consistently state that they want opera that is about our time, our situations. Well, here’s a chance to make some opera about what is happening right now. Yes, it might be extra painful, but I think it will also be extra uplifting, extra humorous, extra cathartic – and I know for myself and many others on both sides of the curtain, it is extra needed right now.”  

    Performance Information
    COVID fan tutte
    Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
    Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 5:30pm
    $60 – $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.

    More Information:

    Music by W. A. Mozart
    Original libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
    English adaptation by Josh Shaw​

    Runtime: 2 hours and 10 minutes
    Presented with orchestra, in English, with projected supertitles​

    Director/Designer: Josh Shaw
    Conductor/Arranger: Kyle Naig
    Costumer: Maggie Green
    Assistant Director: Carson Gilmore
    Stage Manager: Kourtni Dale-Noll

    La Corona (The Crown) and Il Parnaso Confuso (The Confusion on Parnasus) [US Staged Premieres]
    Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
    Friday, November 20, 2020 at 5:30pm
    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:30pm
    $60 – $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.

    More Information:

    Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Libretti by Pietro Metastasio

    Runtime: 2 hours
    Presented with orchestra, in Italian, with projected English supertitles

    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 Mitchiner

    La Boheme: AKA “The Hipsters” 2020 Edition
    Camarillo United Methodist Church | 291 Anacapa Dr. | Camarillo, CA
    Friday, December 11, 2020 at 5:30pm
    Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 5:30pm
    Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 5:30pm
    $60 – $175 per car. Number of people in each car is limited to the number of seat belts.

    More Information:

    Music by Giacomo Puccini
    Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

    Runtime: 2 hours 
    Presented with piano, in Italian, with projected English supertitles​

    Director/Designer: Josh Shaw
    Music Director: Parisa Zaeri
    Costumer: Maggie Green
    Assistant Director: Carson Gilmore
    Stage Manager: Kourtni Dale-Noll Mitchiner

    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. 

    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 and plans to perform the United States premiere of Vivaldi’s Ercole su’l Termodonte in winter 2020.

    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



    Pacific Opera Project

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