Opera Reaches New Audiences

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This Friday night, the Walt Disney Concert Hall will unveil the first of four performances of Don Giovanni. It will have sets designed by architect Frank Gehry, costumes by conceptual clothiers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, and Gustavo Dudamel at the podium. It’s the hottest high culture ticket in town—and it is a signature example of how opera and classical music are now repositioning themselves to attract new and younger audiences. The set and costumes are being kept under tight wraps, though Gehry has said he’ll create a “moving still-life on the stage” and he has hinted that there’ll be strong contrasts and abstraction.

Thomas Aujero Small writes about the intersection of architecture and music and gives his thoughts on the production, and architectural historian Victoria Newhouse explains how this production demonstrates a new direction in opera and classical music. Small hosts intimate classical music performances in his Culver City home like the Nimbus Ensemble, an LA-based chamber orchestra. He also recommends Chamber Music in Historic Sites, which stages concerts in offbeat, interesting buildings. And through May 27, Crescent City, billed as a "hyperopera," runs at Atwater Crossing. See more new venues for classical music at the DnA blog.

Guests gathering

Guests gather at Small's home; photo by Jean-Claude Demirdjian

Young Riddle

Young Riddle introduces Nimbus Ensemble at Small's home; photo by Jean-Claude Demirdjian

Garik Terzian

Garik Terzian performs with Nimbus Ensemble ; p hoto by Jean-Claude Demirdjian

Top image: Nimbus Ensemble perform at Thomas Small's house; p hoto by Jean-Claude Demirdjian