|An Educational Festival for Young People|
As the first performances of LA Opera's Götterdämmerung are staged this April in anticipation of the first-ever full presentations in Los Angeles of the full Ring cycles in May and June LA Opera has teamed up with libraries and other LA institutions to present musical and educational events for young people, which will introduce them to the Ring, other operas, and history as it relates to 21st-century cultural thinking. The varied presentations will serve to create relevant links between Wagner's music and contemporary culture.
On April 16, LA Opera welcomed the Los Angeles Education Partnership Humanitas Initiative's Student Arts Festival: Integrating Wagner's Ring Cycle to the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Two hundred fifty students drawn together from eight high schools showcased their exploration of contemporary responses to Wagner's music in mediums ranging from filmmaking to fashion to art, often in direct collaboration with local artists.
The Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) presents an exhibition of Ring-inspired artwork from the Park Studio project, an outreach program for local teens. Ring: Works from SMMoA's Park Studio project, which opens May 15, will feature bronze sculptures created by the students, in collaboration with artist Gordon Bowen and his Arts ReFoundry Atelier, based on Ring themes.
The HeArt Project comes to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on June 7, for The Ring Cycle: Re-Mixed, a program in which teens present artwork that examines how contemporary youth culture and new technologies can re-imagine Wagner's vision in the 21st century, re-configuring the epic struggles of ancient myth for an accelerated global culture.
The festival calendar also features a number of educational programs focusing specifically on the Ring cycle. The LA Opera Library Project, a joint program of the Opera League of Los Angeles and LA Opera will present a series of Free Speakers Bureau Talks, which bring the magic of the Ring cycle to Los Angeles with talks at public libraries across the region.
On April 19, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles: ALOUD welcomes Maestro James Conlon, LA Opera's Richard Seaver Music Director, for a discussion that guides the audience through the music and dramatic themes of Wagner's monumental work in a way that both opera novices and aficionados can enjoy. The event takes place at 7 PM in the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Downtown Central Library.
Other educational events adapt and condense performances of opera for the benefit of a younger audience. The County of Los Angeles Public Library and LA Opera team up for the German Opera Tales series at libraries throughout Los Angeles County. In the series, which runs from April 17 to April 30, "the opera pals," five professional opera singers and a pianist, perform musical moments from German opera stories as Wagner's Das Rheingold, Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, and Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. On May 1, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Music Center's Pillow Theatre will present two performances of German Opera Tales at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with interactive visual arts workshops following each performance.
From April 22 to June 24, the Los Angeles Public Library presents We Tell Stories. The We Tell Stories troupe has created a Wagnerian romp based on Wagner's opera, Das Rhinegold, which features a puppet dwarf, charming costumes transformed from ordinary objects, musical experts from opera, and audience participation.