Operahound is committed to the belief that live orchestral and operatic performance are more relevant — not less so — in an increasingly digitized world.

Author: phillip.simon@gmail.com

April Is the Coolest Month…

…in part because it’s our cue for birthday greetings to two astoundingly talented musicians: Tom Lehrer, 95, and Aksel Rykkven, 20. We should be grateful not only for their music but also for its accessibility in this digital age, which has spurred renewed interest in Lehrer’s body of work while allowing us to follow Rykkven’s development as an artist without venturing to his native Norway.

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Photo of Anna Lapwood

Anna Lapwood and the Art of Breaking Barriers

The brilliant young organist and conductor Anna Lapwood is also a conductor, broadcaster, Director of Music at Pembroke College (Cambridge), and a moving target. If you live in California or can make the trip, spare no effort to hear her.

March 28 at the First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto, CA.

April 1 at the Renée and Hentry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA, with IMAG image magnification during the performance.

April 21 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA.

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Are you ready for an opera about Steve Jobs

As a “bio opera,” The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs has plenty of company. Examples from past centuries include Handel’s Julius Caesar, Rossini’s William Tell, and Massenet’s Le Cid. But Bates’ opera belongs to a different, more modern genre. It challenges us to consider the life of an individual from our own times, to consider the meaning of that life, and then to look inward to understand the meaning of that life as it applies to our own.

What: The (R)Evolution of Steve Jobs. Fully staged performance of the opera by Mason Bates with libretto by Mark Campbell.

Where Utah Opera, Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre
With John Moore, baritone (Steve Jobs); Sarah Coit, mezzo-soprano (Laurene Powell Jobs); Wei Wu, basso (Kobun); Robert Tweten (conductor)
When May 6, 8, 10, 12, 14.

Tickets and information utahopera.org

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Photo of Stephen Powell

Semi-staged performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto by the Pacific Symphony. April 20, 22, & 25.

To millions of fans, Victor Hugo is the author of Les Misérables, the blockbuster political novel first published in France in 1862. But fewer know that his play Le roi s’amuse, written a decade earlier, is equally relevant to today’s audiences—perhaps even more so. With its deliberately suggestive title (“The King Amuses Himself”) and horrifying view of bad behavior in a royal court, this play proved so scandalous that it was shut down by censors after just one performance in Paris—even though the ruler depicted in it reigned more than three centuries earlier.

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Wagner’s Lohengrin in a new production by François Girard. March 24, 28; April 1

The Met’s new Lohengrin aligns with its recent, acclaimed Parsifal (Lohengrin is, after all, Parsifal’s son). It is staged with poetic understatement and strongly cast, with the remarkable Piotr Beczala in the title role; Christine Goerke, appropriately witchy, is seemingly born to sing Ortrud. Tamara Wilson ends her strong run as Elsa on March 24; Yelena Stikhina portrays the hapless bride on March 28 and April 1. Yannick Nézet-Séguin confidently conducts a poised, balanced account of the tragic tale, confirming his Wagner chops.

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