Mix an Arthurian legend, a Chicano provocateur performance troupe, and a Baroque orchestra and what results? A Long Beach Opera performance.
The Long Beach Opera will present "King Arthur" this Sunday, Jan. 12, and the following weekend, Jan. 18 and 19. LBO artistic and general director Andreas Mitisek collaborated with Culture Clash, the iconic performance troupe, to massage Henry Purcell's opera — itself a different take on the King Arthur legend.
Purcell was a 17th century composer who tells the tale of the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons instead of the Camelot legends. According to a release, Purcell's adventurous piece includes otherworldly characters such as Cupid, Venus and Germanic gods including Woden, Thor and Freya.
Mitisek and Culture Clash take the tale several steps further, fashioning King Arthur as a returning superhero battling a strange, unnatural force attacking Earth and life as we know it. Musica Angelica, the Baroque orchestra that makes Long Beach its home, provides the authentic music of the period.
This is not the first collaboration for Mitisek, Culture Clash and Musica Angelica. The team also collaborated in 2017 with LBO's production of "Fairy Queen." Musica Angelica Concert Master Ilia Korol will direct the music for "King Arthur."
Mitisek is in his final season with LBO as the artistic and general director after 17 years here. LBO has named Yuval Sharon its Artistic Advisor while searching for a new artistic director. Mitisek already has said he will return to Long Beach to work again with LBO on a guest director basis.
"King Arthur" will be performed at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, all at the Beverly O'Neill Theater at the Long Beach Entertainment and Convention Center. Tickets range from $49 to $150 and are available by calling the LBO box office, 562470-7464, ext. 1, or online at LongBeachOpera.org/tickets.
LBO's next production in the 2020 season will be the LA premiere of "The Lighthouse" in the Pacific Visions Theater at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. For more information, go to www.longbeachopera.org.