March would have been high season for the performing arts community, but when the coronavirus pandemic prompted government officials to ban gatherings, plays and concerts had no choice but to close their curtains.
The Long Beach Opera, forced to nix some of its 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, has announced that it will move forward with plans for its 2021 season, set to get underway in January. The next year will feature four productions, which Opera officials have already determined, and will feature collaborations with arts organizations and leaders throughout Los Angeles County, the Opera announced Tuesday, May 19.
And 2021 already has a theme, apropos for the struggles this year has so far brought: “Season of Solidarity.”
“Although I was already planning a season of collaborations for LBO prior to the coronavirus,” Yuval Sharon, the opera’s interim artistic adviser, said in a written statement, “the new world we find ourselves in has given that emphasis on collaboration a new significance.”
Jennifer Rivera, CEO and executive director of Long Beach Opera, agreed.
“As we were getting ready to announce the season, we realized that coming together to create art after this period of uncertainty and difficulty would be more important than ever,” she said. “And the word solidarity came to Yuval as something that not only described what we had already been creating, but something that would be necessary to move through the situation the performing arts now finds itself experiencing related to the pandemic.”
Besides curating the upcoming season, Sharon will also direct the final production of 2021, “Comet/Poppea.” That play, according to Tuesday’s announcement of the upcoming season, explores race, power and apocalypse by intertwining two works by Claudio Monteverdi and composer George Lewis. The three-show run is scheduled for June 20, 26 and 27.
“Opera has existed in parking lots, train stations, swimming pools, automobiles and city streets during the past four decades in Los Angeles County,” Rivera said in a statement. “Together, we plan to continue to find creative ways to bring the incredible collaborative art form of opera to people in our community.”
The 2021 season will begin with the Los Angeles premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ “The Lighthouse” at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s new Honda Pacific Visions Theater. Three shows are scheduled, on Jan. 23, 30 and 31.
The Beverly O’Neill Theater will host the Opera’s production of Philip Glass’ “Les Enfants Terribles,” set for March 20, 27 and 28.
The third performance will put Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” on the same program as Kate Soper’s “Voices from the Killing Jar,” with performances set for April 17 and 18, in a co-production with the The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.
For more information and season subscriptions, go to www.longbeachopera.org.