Opera was no stranger in LA as it arrived in 1900 with the American premiere
of Puccini’s La BohËme. The venue, Hazard’s Pavilion,
remained open until it was demolished in 1906. No less than Enrico Caruso
starred in a production of Carmen in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Opera is an offshoot to the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera,
established in 1948. The LACGO eventually abandoned its production unit, and
brought in touring opera companies from major cities, under the direction of
the Music Centre Opera Association.
Peter Hemmings was appointed general manager of the Music Centre Opera
Association in 1984. One of his duties was to establish a local opera company
that would produce its own works that became the Los Angeles Opera.
The renowned Spanish tenor, Pl·cido Domingo, appeared in the inaugural
production of the company starring in Verdi’s Othello and
continued on as an artistic consultant. Besides his duties as artistic
consultant, performer and conductor with the company, Pl·cido Domingo, was
named the director of Los Angeles Opera in 2003. His contract runs until
The company engaged prominent guest artists into productions under the
direction of Domingo. This immediately attracted the attention of opera
aficionados, the public and media. Since its inception, Los Angeles Opera has
participated in Education and Community Programs that have offered students,
senior citizens, and other audiences the chance to experience the opera. With
perseverance and dedication, the Los Angeles Opera is considered to be the
“fourth largest opera company in the United States.”
The Los Angeles Opera tends to create innovative productions, its recent Ring cycle being particularly notable.. At its peak, the company
ascended to ten productions with 75 total performances during its 2006-07
seasons. However, the recent economic downturn forced the company to scale
back. For the 2011-2012 season, they dropped down to six productions with 37
The number of productions remains the same for the 2012-2013 season with the
focus on the company premiere of an early opera by Verdi, The Two Foscari. Pl·cido Domingo will be starring with music
director James Conlon conducting. Other scheduled productions are Mozart’s
Don Giovanni, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman,
Puccini’s Tosca, Rossini¥s Cinderella and Puccini¥s
The 3200-seat Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is home for the Los Angeles Opera.
The theater was designed by architect Welton Becket, and opened in 1964. It is
the largest performance venue at the Los Angeles Music Center.
Planning a Visit:
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located within the Los Angeles Music Center
at 135 N. Grand Ave. Paid parking facilities are available at the Music
The venue can also be reached via public transportation.
By DASH bus: Both the “A” and “B” routes have stops
at the Los Angeles Music Center. Check times of operation.
By Metro Train: Take the Red Line or the Purple Line to Civic Center (two
blocks from Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) or via the Gold Line to Union Station,
then DASH “B” line southbound from Union Station to Dorothy
The box office sells tickets for individual performances and in ticket
packages. Hours for purchases are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm (8pm on
performance days), Sunday matinees: 10am – 6pm.
image_description=Photo by Calvin Fleming
product_title=The Los Angeles Opera — A Cultural Icon in Downtown LA
product_by=By Veronica Shine