The Los Angeles Music Center is home to four resident companies and seven different venues. Though I have been to the Music Center many times before for the theater or musical performances, I had yet to go see the LA Opera, or for that matter any opera. This past weekend I packed up the kids (7 & 13) into the car and said we are going to see an opera. Of course the younger one was so enthusiastic, though she had no idea was an opera was. The teen, on the other hand, thought it was a form of torture. I assured them that there would be fun, lots of singing and as a bonus an autograph session with the performers after the show.
Many people would probably recommend taking the kids first to see a “Family Production” first to easy them into it, but I don’t believe in dumbing things down for the kids. They should experience things as they are supposed to be not edited to try to keep their attention. I’m no fool, I knew at times they’d be bored, but I felt strongly we should all experience an opera at least once in our lives. The LA Opera offers an amazing program called the Domingo Family Day Packages for certain matinee showings of the current operas. These packages are a great way for the children to grab a bit of education about the show before it begins and never even know they are learning. They both enjoyed the activities, the refreshments and even the Opera. However, I probably should have told them it was in two parts, they didn’t like that I left that part out. OPPS :-)
About the LA Opera Domingo Family Day Program
Pre-show activities begin at 12:30 pm in the Fifth Floor Salons of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012).
- Teaching artist Peter Kors will lead enjoyable and inspiring acting workshops that explore themes from the current opera and help youngsters understand the elements of theater.
- Special activities and arts & crafts based on the current opera are offered
- Refreshments and snacks are served
- After the performance, participants will have the opportunity to meet the cast at a special Domingo Family Program reception.
Quick show history/synopsis:
The Barber of Seville, Italian Il barbiere di Siviglia, is comic opera in two acts by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (libretto in Italian by Cesare Sterbini) that was first performed under the title Almaviva o sia l’inutile precauzione (Almaviva; or, The Useless Precaution) at the Teatro Argentina in Rome on February 20, 1816. With a plot based on Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’s 1775 play Le Barbier de Séville, Rossini’s opera remains one of the most frequently performed comic operas in the repertoire. The barber of the title is Figaro, whose impressive entrance aria (“Largo al factotum”)—with its repeated proclamations of his own name—is one of the best-known of all opera arias.
Dashing Count Almaviva has lost his heart to the spunky Rosina, whose doddering guardian is determined to marry her himself. It’s Figaro to the rescue, as the resourceful barber conjures up wacky schemes and strategies to unite the young lovers. A topnotch cast sails through the score’s bel canto glories, thrilling the audience as characters that are just as vivid today as when they first took the stage. Rossini’s razor-sharp musical wit glints through every scene of this delicious comedy, one of the most playful and popular in the entire operatic repertoire.