The son of a French plantation owner and a slave from Senegal, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George, was born on the island of Guadeloupe on Christmas Day, 1745. Shipped off to France at an early age, the exotic young swashbuckler soon made waves throughout Europe as a swordsman, violinist, and composer. In the latter capacity, his style (along with everyone else’s at the time) bore a family resemblance to Mozart’s. Indeed, Bologne has long haunted the shadows of music history as “the Black Mozart,” a sobriquet fast disappearing, yet there’s reason to suppose that the two musicians were not unknown to each other. For a period of over two months, they lived under the same roof in Paris. (Don’t be picturing La Bohème. The roof was that of a Duke’s mansion.)

Pandemic rococo: no shoes for the dancers, no masks for the singers. Beasom and Lindgren flanked by Gabriela Flores and Jacob Ingbar as the opera’s other pair of lovers, Jeanette and Colin.

Of Bologne’s six operas, only L’Amant Anonyme (The Anonymous Lover) survives. As the title suggests, it’s a romantic comedy, predicated on the feints and self-deceptions that Molière mostly made fun of and Marivaux mostly took to heart. Though the orchestration is chamber-scale, vocal fireworks abound. A cast from the young-artists program of the Los Angeles Opera delivers even the most extravagant displays with remarkable aplomb. In the killer role of Léontine, a far-from-merry widow with a very long-suffering secret admirer, the lustrous soprano Tiffany Townsend conjures up a budding Jessye Norman in aria after aria.