By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Opera is different from musical theater in one big way: Opera is sung from beginning to end, no dialogue needed. Holdridge explains, "The way I developed the thematic content of it, the way I interlaced the different motifs, the way it all laces together, is like a huge symphonic panorama, and I think that's what opera is, in a way. Whereas a musical can be interspersed with scenes, I think there's still this kind of major symphonic thrust to the whole thing."
With this production, L.A. Opera launches its Off Grand initiative — an attempt to keep opera vital to new generations and diverse cultures. The first project to get the L.A. Opera out of the shrinelike Music Center, Dulce Rosa is part of a national trend of opera companies trying to keep their art accessible.
At the Broad, tickets are still expensive — $75 to $175. But with 500 seats, the venue is much more intimate and, as at all shows, the pricing is based on demand. Sometimes tickets drop as low as $18, with a set of 250 seats also available for certain enthusiasts.
1310 11th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Category: Music Venues
Region: Santa Monica
The affordability often means smaller casts. This summer, for example, the Kennedy Center's American Opera Initiative is presenting Mark Campbell and Davis Miller's new, hourlong opera, Approaching Ali, about a reporter and Muhammad Ali — employing only five actor-singers to handle D.J. Sparr's score. Dulce Rosa has just six.
Declining ticket sales are forcing opera companies to innovate. Yet as Sparks notes, things move slowly in opera time. Eleven years in the making, Dulce Rosa is L.A.'s response to a slow-rolling trend.
DULCE ROSA | Adapted from a short story by Isabel Allende. Composed by Lee Holdridge. Lyrics and direction by Richard Sparks. Conducted by Placido Domingo | Presented by L.A. Opera and the Broad Stage, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica | Fri., May 17, Sat., May 25, Tues., May 28, Mon., June 3, Thurs., June 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 9, 4 p.m. | (310) 434-3200 | laopera.com/season/Dulce-Rosa/