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Pacific Opera Project Presents Outdoor, Family-Friendly Hansel and Gretel at Forest Lawn Glendale

September 28, 2021 | By Katy Salomon
Account Director, Morahan Arts and Media

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katy Salomon | Morahan Arts & Media
katy@morahanartsandmedia.com | 863.660.2214


Pacific Opera Project Presents Outdoor, Family-Friendly
Production of Hansel and Gretel, November 13 – 21

“In this strange time and strange place and strange way, the pandemic has 
made POP matter in a telling new way.” – Los Angeles Times

www.pacificoperaproject.com

Los Angeles, CA (September 28, 2021) — Pacific Opera Project (POP), known for “making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing" (LA Weekly), continues its 2021-2022 fairytale-themed opera season with an outdoor, family-friendly production of Englebert Humperdinck’s iconic opera Hansel and Gretel. POP returns to one of its favorite venues, Forest Lawn Glendale, for performances on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 5:00pm; Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 5:00pm; Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 5:00pm; and Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5:00pm.

Sung in English, with orchestra, the Grimm brothers-inspired fairytale stars mezzo-soprano Kara Morgan as Hansel and soprano Emily Rosenberg as Gretel. Rounding out the cast are Erin Theodorakis as Mother, Daniel Scofield as Father, Melanie Ashkar as the Witch, Anastasia Malliaras as the Sandman, and Brooke Iva Lohmann as the Dew Fairy. Brian Holman conducts. POP Founder and Artistic Director Josh Shaw serves as the production’s director, with Carson Gilmore as Assistant Director, costumes by Maggie Green, and orchestral arrangement by Kathleen Kelley.

With just a two hour runtime, including an intermission, Hansel and Gretel is the perfect introduction to opera for children and families. Gates will open at 4:00pm prior to each performance. Table seating is available for picnicking before and during each show. Free parking is available.

POP’s season will continue with Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the Aratani Theatre on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 3:00pm; Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 7:30pm; and Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 3:00pm with a 32-piece orchestra led by Isaac Selya, of Queen City Opera, and Cristina Jones, dubbed The Blind Soprano, Andrew and Megan Potter, and Adam Cioffari. The season commences with Sondheim’s Into the Woods in May 2022 with specific dates and venues to be announced.


Performance Information
Hansel and Gretel
Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 5:00pm
Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 5:00pm
Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 5:00pm
Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5:00pm
Forest Lawn Glendale | 1712 S Glendale Ave | Glendale, CA 91205

Tickets: Individual seating starts at $10. Tables start at $110.
Link: www.pacificoperaproject.com/hansel-gretel

HUMPERDINCK: Hansel and Gretel
Sung in English with projected subtitles

Performers:
Kara Morgan, Hansel
Emily Rosenberg, Gretel
Erin Theodorakis, Mother
Daniel Scofield, Father
Melanie Ashkar, The Witch
Anastasia Malliaras, Sandman
Brooke Iva Lohmann, Dew Fairy
Brian Holman, conductor


About Pacific Opera Project
Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Music Director Stephen Karr, Los Angeles’s Pacific Opera Project (POP) is dedicated to providing quality opera that is innovative, affordable, and entertaining in order to build a broader audience for the art form. LA Magazine writes, “If you think you hate opera, you’ve probably never seen a Pacific Opera Project show.” POP’s regularly sold out performances take place in a wide variety of venues, from outdoors, to small clubs, big amphitheaters, and warehouses. LA Weekly named POP the “Best Opera Company in Los Angeles” in 2018, writing “making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing to young audiences is easier said than done. It’s also something every opera company in the country is trying desperately to do… [Pacific Opera Project] is not trying desperately to be hip. It just is.” In 2020, POP was awarded The American Prize in Opera Performance.

POP has presented more than 40 innovative new productions to date, including revolutionary drive-in productions of COVID fan tutte and the US staged premieres of two Gluck operas in November 2020, about which Opera Magazine wrote, “Despite this plague year of postponements, POP has refused to bow to the pandemic or its restrictions...There is surely no opera company in this Covid-ravaged country with a better average for 2020.” Other critically acclaimed productions include Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio set as an episode of Star Trek; a “fan-tastic” (LA Daily News) Harajuku-themed Mikado; a Dick Tracy Don Giovanni; a Magic Flute inspired by 1990s video games, called “one of the freshest takes on Mozart’s 1791 classic I have come across” (Operawire); and many more. POP’s signature take on Puccini’s La bohème, “AKA The Hipsters,” set in modern day Los Angeles, has become a holiday tradition, returning year after year to sold-out audiences and called “riotous” (LA Weekly) and “an undeniably fun night at the theater that should not be missed” (Stage Raw). POP gave the world premiere of Brooke deRosa’s The Monkey's Paw in 2017.

In 2019, POP presented its most ambitious project to date: the first ever true-to-story bilingual Madama Butterfly performed in LA’s Little Tokyo. A co-production with Houston’s Opera in the Heights, the production featured a new libretto written by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Opera in the Heights Artistic Director Eiki Isomura, presenting Puccini’s story as if it actually happened and attempting to answer the question: “How would Butterfly and Pinkerton communicate?” All Japanese roles were sung in Japanese by Japanese-American artists and all American roles were sung in English. San Francisco Classical Voice described the production as “on a visual scale beyond anything it has taken on before – a sumptuously costumed, fully staged, bilingual co-production… Pacific Opera Project deserves a great deal of credit for making this concept into a reality… innovative, creative, and immensely successful.”

POP presented the 2018 west coast premiere of Giacomo Rossini’s rarely performed 1816 opera, La gazzetta “The Newspaper.” The first performances in the US were given in Boston at the New England Conservatory in 2013, and POP's production was only the second in North America. Opera Today raved about the premiere, writing, “Director Josh Shaw has invested the proceedings with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions. Shaw has set the show in 1960’s Paris, with eye-popping set elements and brilliant uses of color which add to the manic feel… Mr. Shaw has fashioned a take-no-prisoners approach to the staging, which was rife with clever touches… Pacific Opera Project has evidently hit on a winning formula for a night out, serving up food, drink and an operatic discovery in equal measure.”

POP has been dedicated to reaching young audiences with performance and education since its inception, regularly performing for school-aged groups in family-friendly productions of The MikadoThe Barber of SevilleSweeney ToddCosi fan tutteGianni SchicchiL'enfant et les sortilèges, and La bohème. POP has ongoing internships with Occidental College and collaborates with their Glee Club every other year, as well as internships with The Waverly School and Orange County School of the Arts. POP also partners with the Burbank Boys and Girls Club. During the COVID-19 pandemic, POP created interactive Education Packs appropriate for kindergarten to eighth grade students to accompany videos of POP’s productions of The Magic Flute and Madama Butterfly. Learn more at www.pacificoperaproject.com.

About the Artists
Kara Morgan is thrilled to be working with Pacific Opera Project for the first time. She is a mezzo-soprano pursuing her passion to make a name for herself in the opera house and on the concert stage. Recent highlights include a return to Sarasota Opera covering the title role in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, her mainstage debut as Hansel in Hansel & Gretel with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and recent debuts with Mill City Summer Opera, Lakes Area Music Festival, and Bach Roots Festival. Kara is a graduate of Drake University and the New England Conservatory as well as apprenticeships with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. More information about Kara and upcoming events can be found at kmorganmezzo.com.

Recognized as a “spirited actress” with a “rounded and lyrical voice, well under her control” by Platea Magazine, soprano Emily Rosenberg captivates audiences around the world and “could be part of the program at any established international theater.” This season, Emily makes her much-anticipated role debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Jerusalem Lyric Opera. This season also includes a return to Pacific Opera Project for their “super” take on The Magic Flute, singing First Spirit while covering Pamina, as well as an appearance as Lieschen in Korngold's Der Ring des Polykrates with Numi Opera. Emily was awarded First Place in the Dominant Music Club's 2020 Vocal Competition, Second Place in the 2019 Jerusalem International Opera Competition, and as a finalist will perform in the Redlands Bowl Grand Finals Concert with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra. Emily holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Professional Music with a focus in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music, where she also helped to launch Berklee’s first opera program. There she sang leading roles including Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, in addition to directing and producing for the program. A native of Chicago, Emily currently resides in Los Angeles, where her classical sound is sought after for commercial and film score recordings in addition to opera and concert producing organizations.

Mezzo-soprano Erin Theodorakis is a graduate from Rice University, where she earned her Masters in Voice Performance. In the summer of 2019, Ms. Theodorakis joined the Aspen Music Festival and School Opera Center as a Fellowship Artist, singing the role of Countess Charlotte Magnus in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Her past engagements with the Shepherd School include Mrs. McLean in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, La Natura in Cavalli’s La Calisto, and Jo March in Adamo’s Little Women. A native Californian, she completed her bachelor’s degree at Chapman University, where she performed as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Chapman. With the Pacific Symphony, Ms. Theodorakis sang the role of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance and was featured in a Bernstein tribute concert. She is very excited to be joining the Pacific Opera Project team!

Celebrated for his “richly shaded” (Operawire), “booming voice, and full range” (Houston Press) baritone Daniel Scofield is quickly garnering attention as a young Verdi baritone on the rise. This season Mr. Scofield makes his Glyndebourne Opera debut as Marcello in La bohéme, his Prague State Opera debut as Graf in Der ferne Klang, his role debut as Montforte in I vespri siciliani with New Amsterdam Opera, and joins the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Macbeth. Last season he sang Marcello in La bohéme with Charlottesville Opera, and was engaged by the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their productions of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci. Mr. Scofield recently made role debuts as Scarpia in Tosca for Tri-Cities Opera, and Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West for Opera Orlando. He also recently performed Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera Orlando and Phantasmagoria, a collaboration that received high critical praise and national recognition as a must see production. In concert with the Rapids Symphony he performed Germont in La traviata, and in Oklahoma with the quickly rising Painted Sky Opera, he portrayed Rigoletto. Other performances included a return to Marcello in La bohéme with Opera San Antonio, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with St. Petersburg Opera, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor in his company debut with Maryland Lyric Opera. A two time Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist, Daniel is a graduate of the Arizona Opera Marion Roose Pullin Resident Artist Program, and was a member of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. Since his residency tenure, Mr. Scofield has performed over two dozen leading roles ranging from Malatesta to Scarpia.

Hailed as “witty, adorable, and one to watch” (Lauri’s List), soprano Brooke Iva Lohman is an active recitalist and performer throughout California. In the local scene, Brooke has sung with many Southern California opera companies, including Opera Santa Barbara, Pacific Opera Project, Glendale Opera, Orange County Opera, Mission Opera, and Independent Opera, singing lead roles as well as covering other characters. Notable performances include Adele (Die Fledermaus), Monica (The Medium), the title role in the West Coast premiere of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snow Maiden (Snegúrochka), Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Olympia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Atalanta (Serse), Cunégonde (Candide), Madame Goldentrill (Der Schauspieldirektor), Gilda (Rigoletto), and three of Gilbert & Sullivan’s well-known heroines: Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Josephine (HMS Pinafore), and Yum-Yum (The Mikado).

During the pandemic, Brooke became a semi-finalist for the NYIOP International Vocal Competition and the Camille Coloratura Awards. She participated in several virtual concerts with the SoCal Vocalist Relief Fund which helped raise money for singers who had lost income due to the COVID crisis. She reprised the role of Queen of the Night for California Baptist University's virtual presentation of The Magic Flute, and portrayed Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Frasquita (Carmen) in SMC Opera Theater's Opera Scenes, and worked with Glendale Opera Company in recording a short film of Ophélie's Mad Scene from Thomas' Hamlet. Working with Independent Opera Company for their "Stars of IOC" LiveStream series, Brooke also presented a solo recital of arias and sang in a concert showcasing the work of Sergei Rachmaninoff. In Summer 2021, the Anthony Laciura Foundation for the Arts and New York Dramatic Voices accepted her into their role preparation program where she focused on Zerbinetta from Ariadne auf Naxos.

Brooke was named the Cal-Western Region Winner for the 2020 NATS Artist Awards competition and was awarded the Irvin Bushman Award, is a recipient of the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust grant, the Opera Buffs grant, the Opera Guild of Southern California scholarship, the Northridge Arts Council scholarship, and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda. She received a Master of Music degree with distinction in Vocal Performance from California State University, Northridge, a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from California Baptist University. She lives in beautiful Pasadena, CA with her husband and three cats (Freddie, Felix, and Lili).

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