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Sweet Rosa, Bitter Realities 

Thursday, May 30 2013
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If you haven't yet experienced L.A. Opera and the Broad Stage's co-production of Lee Holdridge and Richard Sparks' new opera, Dulce Rosa, which premiered May 17, there's still time. This ambitious work takes on a difficult theme: a young woman's quest for revenge against the brutal guerrilla who murdered her father, during which she is raped. Based on the Isabel Allende short story "Una Venganza" (An Act of Vengeance), Dulce Rosa explores the complexity of the human condition. Resisting the urge to reduce things to black-and-white, it deals instead with conflicting emotions and political realities that defy simple answers. Set in 1950s South America, in a country torn by civil war, the opera artfully translates Allende's message into music both lyrical and violent, like the lives of the main characters. The talented cast -- which includes Maria Antunez as Rosa, Greg Fedderly as her father, Senator Orellano, and Alfredo Daza as the guerrilla leader Tadeo -- is well up to the demands of the work, and the mesmerizing video projections by Jenny Okun give the production a powerful immediacy. That this is the inaugural effort of L.A. Opera Off Grand, a new series that takes L.A. Opera out of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and into new spaces with more affordable tickets, is even more appealing. The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Mon. & Thurs., June 3 & 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 9, 4 p.m.; $20-$150. (310)-3200, thebroadstage.com.
Sat., May 25, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., May 28, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., June 3, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., June 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 9, 4 p.m., 2013
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