Pacific Symphony looks to fill void left by closing of Opera Pacific

Posted on: February 21, 2013

“It’s not your garden-variety ‘Tosca.’ There’s a story behind it,” writes Timothy Mangan in Sunday’s (2/17) Orange County Register (California). “The Pacific Symphony’s upcoming performances of Puccini’s perennial tearjerker are part of an unusual and ambitious project, dubbed ‘Symphonic Voices,’ now in its second year. … ‘When Opera Pacific left the cultural and artistic life of Orange County, everyone lost,’ the Pacific Symphony’s music director, Carl St.Clair, said recently, referring to the county’s only major opera company, which produced opera here for 22 seasons before shutting down in late 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis. As the dust settled, and it became clear that Opera Pacific would not re-emerge, the Pacific Symphony convened a town meeting of local opera leaders and supporters to look for an answer. ‘Symphonic Voices’ was what they came up with. The orchestra’s many-pronged initiative’s most prominent undertaking is an annual production of a semi-staged opera in Segerstrom Concert Hall as part of its regular subscription season, with opera veteran St.Clair at the helm and an imported cast of singers taking the stage. Last year’s production of ‘La Bohème’ sold out two of its three performances. … The orchestra also has presented two operas—truncated versions of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘The Magic Flute’—on its family concerts series, the latter with auditioned student and alumni singers from Chapman University making up the cast.”

Posted February 21, 2013