Long Beach Opera has long specialized in edgy, adventurous pieces that major houses tend to shy away from. On Wednesday, the small company announced that its new season will include productions of operas by Michael Nyman, Francis Poulenc, Bohuslav Martinu and more. It will also feature Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ainadamar,” which the company postponed in 2007 due to budget problems.
The 2012 season will comprise four individual productions, including a double bill. Performances will take place at venues around Long Beach and San Pedro.
Following a successful season which brought Long Beach Opera (LBO) increased ticket sales, a 20% growth in its subscriber base, and an unprecedented number of sold out performances, LBO announces its plans for 2012. The ambitious “Absurd-Bizarre- Surreal” season will include a double bill of one-acts and three full-length operas. Commenting on his selections, LBO’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek says, “I like to provide a diverse look into the world of rarely seen, little known masterworks. Each of the 2012 operas fits that category. Where most companies cozy up to composers of the 19th century, in the coming season, LBO will highlight composers of the 20th century (Francis Poulenc, Bohuslav Martinu, Astor Piazzolla) and the 21st (Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Nyman).
By: Brian Scott Lipton
Long Beach Opera has announced its selections for its 2012 season.
The company will present Astor Piazzolla and Horacia Ferrer’s Maria De Buenos Aires at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro at 2pm on Sunday, January 29 and 8pm on Saturday, February 4.
Up next will be a double bill of Francois Poulenc’s The Breasts of Tiresias and Bohuslav Martini, Georges Ribemont, and Dessaignes Bohuslav’s The Tears of a Knife, to be presented at the Center Theatre in Long Beach at 2pm on Sunday, March 11 and 8pm on Saturday, March 17.
Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang’s Ainadamar will be presented at the Press-Telegram Building in Long Beach at 8pm on Saturdays May 19 and 26, and Michael Nyman and Christopher Rawlence’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, based on the book by Dr. Oliver Sacks, will be presented at the Expo Building in Long Beach at 8pm on Saturday, June 16 and 2pm on Sunday, June 24.
For tickets and information, call 562-432-5934 or visit www.longbeachopera.org.
May 24, 2011
THE composer Michael Nyman picks up his compact camera.
“Oh, that’s interesting,” he says.
Exactly what is so fascinating about the garbage truck that has pulled up before us at the Sydney Park Brickworks isn’t apparent.
But he has been filming such vignettes for years on his hand-held camera. A drunken man struggling to put on his tie, the aftermath of a bullfight and a derelict but once-magnificent Mexican cinema are among the scenes that have captured his attention.
“I feel very privileged and snoopy,” he says. “I like the accident of the thing happening in front of me, setting up a frame and just allowing what transpires.”
Filmmaking is the lesser known side of Nyman’s oeuvre. He is best known for his film scores, including for Jane Campion’s The Piano and Peter Greenaway’s The Draftsman’s Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
Both sides will be on show in Sydney this week in a series of events that include the world premiere of a musical composition, a public lecture and screenings of his films.
For Nyman, filmmaking is the perfect antidote to composition. It gets him outdoors and it’s arbitrary, depending entirely on what he encounters.
“In music, you start from nothing and gradually build layer on layer. You are constantly editing and refining and adding levels to your basic page,” he says.
“It’s a kind of slow, daily, rather grinding process.”
He pauses and raises his camera as a child on a scooter passes in the distance. He admits that one side of him envies the other. Just a jealous guy?
“Absolutely. The composer Michael Nyman is jealous of Michael Nyman the filmmaker because the whole sweep is contained in the time it takes me to make the film. And the filmmaker Michael Nyman is jealous of the composer Michael Nyman because the filmmaking is dependent on the occasion.”
At 67, the composer still sets a cracking pace, composing his latest work, a 20-minute orchestral piece entitled Doing the Rounds, in about three months.
In the work, commissioned by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he revisits aspects of his musical past. As a young man he had studied rounds, canons and catches: “Popular things you sing at school like Frere Jacques and Three Blind Mice.”
The nature of film music has changed over the years.
“I watch films on planes mainly,” he says. “It’s not that the music is bland, but from one composer to the next it’s indistinguishable. The soundtracks that interest me are those where the work is unmistakably theirs.”
Composers such as Bernard Herrmann and Ennio Morricone.
“Sound tracks are composed more by committee than they were 20 years ago,” he says.
Doing the Rounds premieres at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Friday and Saturday. Nyman delivers the Alfred Hook Lecture on Music, Art and Commercial Film at the Conservatorium on Friday. Cine Opera, presented by the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, premiers at Sydney Park Brickworks on Friday.
Composer, filmmaker and photographer: Nyman talks about his work across all three disciplines.
Your latest release Collections comprises three parts: a compilation CD, a booklet of photography, and a short film. How did this come to be one single package?
This is a means of presenting the whole range of my current work as composer, photographer and filmmaker. There is an obvious, but pretty rare, I think, continuum between my sonic and visual time-based work – music and film – and a constant interchange between still and moving images. 50,000 Photos Can’t Be Wrong combines, very idiosyncratically I think, all aspects of my preoccupations – music combined with film which is often made up of still images set in motion.