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Weekly update — thru June 15, 2023

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Crossroads

The last couple of weeks have been full of drama, decisions, and a calendar packed with grand finales. (And I'm not just talking about Ted Lasso, Mrs. Maisel, Succession, and the like.) With so many presenters and ensembles wrapping up their season and graduations either done or looming, there's a lot of au revoir in the air. For most, this week and next mark the passing of this artistic year and for others, the birth of the next (perhaps after a summer respite). To wit, we'll cheer the many choral concerts, the three highly unusual chamber operas listed below, and the arts leaders in LA County who are coming together today to do some good. We also wish everyone playing to sold-out crowds in Ojai this weekend a terrific fest. (You can still stream it live!)


In some ways, it has been a relatively "normal" season, met with a collective sigh of relief. But there are also many signs of change in the arts environment – clear indications that our world is evolving rapidly. It's likely to be a wild ride, but we'll meet it with excitement, whatever shifts are necessary, and we'll embrace the good. Looking forward to seeing it all.


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Vocal-related events

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June 9

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9:30am to 4pm

Los Angeles County Arts and Health Week Summit

Multiple hosts

Downtown LA

Join LA Opera Connects, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Healing Arts—an initiative of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab—and the World Health Organization and organizations from across Los Angeles to explore the connections between arts, wellness and recovery.

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8pm

The Italian Lesson, an opera by Peter Wing Healey

The Mesopotamian Opera

Highland Park

When Kansas City, Kansas coed Belinda Foxtrot goes to historic Pannacotta, Italy for a year abroad, she little suspects that her British roommate will be brutally murdered or that she will fall prey to the notorious Detective Chief Inspector, Giorgio Cantaricci. After she, and her princely boyfriend, Benissimo, are thrown in jail, we find out that the devious, alcoholic, nun-with-a-past, Sister Flavia, will have a key role in their conviction. Will the mysterious Madame Zia be able to change the terrible verdict – Colpevole -- guilty as charged – once Sister Flavia has been shipped off to the Clinic in Beverly Hills?

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8pm

No Exit

Project Blank

San Diego

Three strangers are ushered into a room, only to realize that they are destined to spend the rest of their miserable eternity confined together in close quarters.


Based on Jean-Paul Satre’s 1944 existentialist play, NO EXIT offers a simple yet diabolical vision of the afterlife, in which the tools of torture are rooted not in physical pain, but in the frailty of human vanity, spite, jealousy, and self-delusion. In its West Coast premiere, Andy Vores’s chamber opera brings musical inventiveness and dark humor to Satre’s text, and breathes fiendish life into its assertion that “Hell is other people”.

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9pm

Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon

Hollywood Fringe Festival

Los Angeles

Come see the new, revamped version of "Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon" before it heads to New York. Originally premiered in 2019, "Gunfight" is a comedic western operetta in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan.

June 10

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2pm

Ellington / Williams

Los Angeles Master Chorale

Downtown LA

Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams were giants of jazz who never stopped searching for new means of expression. Inspired by their faith, both created major sacred choral works that grew out of the African American church tradition and pushed against the boundaries of both sacred music and jazz. This concert is a celebration of distinctive music created by two American originals.

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6pm

Gospel Voices of OC

Musco Center for the Arts

Orange

The Gospel Voices of OC is a multi-generational artistic celebration of African Americans through the lens and the influence of gospel music as a source of historical impact and resiliency presented from Juneteenth to the present day. With 100 plus performers spanning over 20 cities throughout Orange County and beyond, the Black-directed production team, led by Producer Debora Wondercheck, will cause your spirit to soar as it takes you on a journey you'll not soon forget! Join us!.

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7:30pm

JMNS Presents Gospel IV

Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers

Torrance

With the warm reception and continued success of its annual Gospel Concert, JMNS, a high caliber group of young vocalists, will end this season again with an uplifting night of choral music from a cappella spirituals to accompanied Gospel pieces by world-renowned composers.

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7:30pm

An Evening with Renée Fleming

LA Opera

Downtown LA

Soprano Renée Fleming, hailed as one of the greatest artists of our time, will captivate you with a performance that highlights her sumptuous voice, compelling stage presence and beguiling musical curiosity. Don't miss this eagerly awaited return of a living legend!

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8pm

No Exit

Project Blank

San Diego

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8pm

The Italian Lesson, an opera by Peter Wing Healey

The Mesopotamian Opera

Highland Park

June 11

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2pm

Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon

Hollywood Fringe Festival

Los Angeles


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3pm

No Exit

Project Blank

San Diego

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7pm

Celebration of the Seas

Long Beach Chorale

Long Beach

The Long Beach Chorale wrap up their season at Aquarium of the Pacific, with familiar and intriguing songs ranging from "Under the Sea from Disney’s The Little Mermaid to Rachel Boast’s poem, "Silent Sea", about climate change.

A fun evening in a spectacular space, and for the entire family.

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7pm

Singing America

Los Canciones Master Chorale

Torrance

Los Cancioneros Master Chorale concludes their 74th season with a salute to American songs. This concert, under the direction of Allan Petker, salutes the songs of Stephen Foster and current artists, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Otis Redding, and many more! You'll be singing along to these favorites. A band of talented musicians will join the chorale and rock the house!

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7:30pm

The Song of the Earth

Salastina

San Marino

Salastina presents a chamber arrangement of Mahler's profoundly moving Das Lied von der Erde in a visually immersive program. It takes place a The Huntington's Rothenberg Hall, and has never been more timely. Salastina's reputation as a visionary chamber ensemble meets Arnold Schoenberg’s 1920 rethink of Mahler’s profoundly moving orchestral song cycle, featuring celebrated guest artists Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano, and Thomas Cooley, tenor.

June 12

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1pm

BambinO

LA Opera

West Hollywood

June 13

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11am & 3pm

BambinO

LA Opera

Claremont

June 14

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2pm

BambinO

LA Opera

Westlake Village

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8pm

The Italian Lesson, an opera by Peter Wing Healey

The Mesopotamian Opera

Highland Park


June 1

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11am

BambinO

LA Opera

San Fernando

How to get featured

Go to the calendar

All events featured in this newsletter, on the blog and on the podcast will be taken from those submitted to the Lister Calendar by Wednesday noon before we publish each newsletters. Click "Submit Event" at the top of the calendar page, and you can craft your listing there. We'll approve relevant events or we'll get in touch with questions.

Notes and Announcements

Schmoozing and celebrating the website's 15th birthday! (Can you believe it?)

We haven't had a schmooze since March, so it's definitely time to get together again! Join us on Monday, June 26 at 6:30pm in Pasadena for a big celebration of "we did it!" and to raise a glass of whatever to the coming summer.


This schmooze has a special element, as our website turns 15 in early July, and there will be cake to celebrate our ongoing community, which is nearly 21 years old in total. Read more about our Listory here. There will be announcements about what's coming up next for the List, take-home goodies for everyone who registers in advance, and plenty of hanging-out fun. We'll be on the outside patio, so feel free to bring family and pets.

Full details and registration

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