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Grant Gershon, known for his work with LA's Master Chorale, showed his considerable ability as a chorus master by making his opera debut with this work. The voices of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus were always well blended. The singers handled the most intricate of harmonies accurately and they moved well in small groups.

The finale of LA Opera's 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
The finale of LA Opera's 'Fidelio'. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

The superstar of this performance was, of course, conductor James Conlon. He led the orchestra in a rousing paean to justice and freedom from false imprisonment. His music touched the heart directly, reminding us all of the power of this piece and the values it embodies. This was a moving evening and an excellent preparation for the emotional wallop of the following afternoon.

Sunday afternoon, 9 September, was warm and sunny. The plaza outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was crowded with music lovers and passers by. When the doors of the theater opened, dignitaries, statesmen, movie celebrities, tourists and ordinary Angelinos rubbed shoulders as they traversed its grand staircase. The occasion was somber, however. Not only had Edgar Baitzel, the company's chief operating officer passed away some months earlier, but one of the greatest tenors of our time had died a few days before. Conductor Placido Domingo dedicated the ensuing Verdi Requiem to both men in a brief speech before the performance.

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Copyright © 23 September 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


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