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Pierrot Lunaire with the Long Beach Opera: Voices from the Killing Fields


The Ford / Los Angeles / Music

This summer, the unstoppable LA Phil expands its footprint by taking over The Ford, the Hollywood Hills’ vest-pocket answer to the cavernous Hollywood Bowl. The programming is diverse to the max, as exemplified by this intriguing double bill produced in partnership with the anything-but-conformist Long Beach Opera. Why, we are asked to ponder, are women in opera so often depicted as prostitutes, sacrificial victims, or both? By pairing “the most radical monodrama of the last century with one by this century’s most exciting new voices,” this program proposes to let “women reframe their own operatic portrayal.” A tall order, to be sure. The all-local, all-female production team includes the directors Zoe Aja Moore and Danielle Agami (who also choreographs), and the conductor Jenny Wong. Count on the intrepid Kiera Duffy to do herself proud as she tiptoes her way through the 21 singsong miniatures of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, now 99 years old. (Still “radical”? Or dated? You decide.) A more novel high-wire act is in store from Laurel Irene in Kate Soper’s electronically enhanced Voices from the Killing Jar. Composed a decade ago, the score puts a singer through her paces in a sequence of eight monodramas for female personalities from world literature and history. Prepare for disorientation—or bone up in advance with the recording on YouTube, which allows you to read along with the music, page by page. —M.G.

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