LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE LAUNCHES MULTI-YEAR “HIDDEN HANDEL” PROJECT WITH ALEXANDER’S FEAST THEATRICALLY STAGED BY EMINENT DIRECTOR TREVORE ROSS

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LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE
LAUNCHES MULTI-YEAR “HIDDEN HANDEL” PROJECT WITH
ALEXANDER’S FEAST
THEATRICALLY STAGED BY EMINENT DIRECTOR TREVORE ROSS

Artistic Director Grant Gershon Conducts
Baroque Masterwork about the Seductive Power of Music

Saturday, April 16, 2016, 2 pm
Sunday, April 17, 2016, 7 pm
at Walt Disney Concert Hall

(Los Angeles) March 21, 2016 — The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC), led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon, transforms Walt Disney Concert Hall into a festive banquet hall in the ancient Persian city of Persepolis for two immersive performances of eminent director Trevore Ross’s semi-staged production of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, created for the LA Master Chorale to launch its multi-year “Hidden Handel” project on Saturday, April 16, 2 pm, and Sunday, April 17, 2016, 7 pm.

The “Hidden Handel” project comprises semi-staged/multimedia productions of five of the composer’s great but underrepresented oratorios performed in collaboration with some of the performing art world’s leading directors and artists.  “There are many beautiful and brilliant choral works composed by Handel that are not called Messiah,” says Gershon, referring to Handel’s most famous oratorio that has been performed by the LA Master Chorale numerous times.  “I’m very excited to introduce audiences to these incredible yet rarely performed masterworks.  Alexander’s Feast will be the perfect starter in a series that explores Handel’s vivid imagination and understanding of human nature through ‘The Power of Music.’”

Alexander’s Feast celebrates music’s power and ability to elicit and manipulate emotions.  The story follows Alexander the Great, having just conquered the ancient city of Persepolis, as he hosts a great banquet alongside his mistress Thais to celebrate their victory.  Timotheus, a traveling musician, possesses an uncanny knack for arousing a full spectrum of emotions within Alexander and his guests through his music, ultimately persuading Alexander to burn down the city in revenge for the loss of his soldiers killed in battle.  This prompts St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music herself, to descend to earth and calm the fury.

Ross, whose recent work includes directing LA Opera’s The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville, uses the entire Walt Disney Concert Hall auditorium for the production, staging the LA Master Chorale and orchestra with dramatic lighting and movement to portray the joyous party with ever-changing moods, from amorous to raucous and haunting to frenetic – a gamut of emotions that allowed Handel to pen his most creative desires into a single work of music.  The libretto by Newburgh Hamilton is adapted from John Dryden’s ode “Alexander’s Feast; or the Power of Music,” and features 48 singers, including 14 soloists, and chamber orchestra.

“Alexander’s Feast was a brilliant choice by Grant to launch the project,” says Ross.  “We are creating an all-encompassing environment that allows patrons to be completely immersed – and because of the unique layout of Walt Disney Concert Hall, they will actually feel like participants at this great feast.  We are not limited by a proscenium or stage with a fourth wall, so we are able to play all the way around the house and use lighting in very creative ways throughout the entire venue.”

Ross, who was also involved in LA Opera’s productions of Billy Budd and I due Foscari, has directed Madama Butterfly at Opera On The James, Aida at Atlanta Opera and Opera Carolina, Rigoletto at the Opera Company of North Carolina, Otello at Opera Carolina, L’Italiana in Algeri at Palm Beach Opera, Don Giovanni at Connecticut Opera as well as The Marriage of Figaro for Atlanta Opera and Faust at Opera New Jersey.

In subsequent seasons, Gershon is slated to lead “Hidden Handel” productions of Handel’s Saul, Israel in Egypt, Theodora and Samson.  “The LA Master Chorale has long had a strong affinity for Handel, and we want to expand upon that with these immersive experiences,” explains Gershon.  “Each of these vivid works is really an opera under a different name with great dramatic stories and flair.”

Tickets range from $29 – $129.  Group rates are available.  For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org.  Tickets can also be purchased in person in advance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office (Mon-Sat, 10 am-6 pm) and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.  The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.

EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:

WHAT:
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Alexander’s Feast

Grant Gershon, conductor
Trevore Ross, director
Azra King-Abadi, lighting designer
Namhee Han, organ
JoAnn Turovsky, harp
Christina Bristow, soprano
Claire Fedoruk, soprano
Elissa Johnston, soprano
Beth Peregrine, soprano
Anna Schubert, soprano
Adriana Manfredi, mezzo soprano
Niké St. Clair, mezzo soprano
Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor
Jon Lee Keenan, tenor
Michael Lichtenauer, tenor
Todd Strange, tenor
David Castillo, baritone
Steve Pence, bass/baritone
Reid Bruton, bass
48 Singers
Chamber Orchestra

WHEN:
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 2 pm
Sunday, April 17, 2016, 7 pm
(ListenUp! Pre-concert Talk, one-hour prior to performances)

WHERE:
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

PROGRAM:
HANDEL    Alexander’s Feast (The Power of Music)

TICKETS/INFORMATION:
$29 – $129
213-972-7282
www.lamc.org

 

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