Pacific Opera Project begins its 2020 season with a unique double-header of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilège at Occidental College from January 25, 2020, through February 2, 2020.
The brisk farce Schicci, depicting the increasingly desperate and slapstick machinations of an intra-family fight over the estate of a recently-deceased rich relative, seems a perfect fit for the comic sensibilities of POP. Traditionally staged with other Puccini pieces to form a production called Il Tritico, the company is pairing it instead with Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilège. In the French composer’s self-described “Lyric Fantasy” a naughty boy is sent to his room for misbehaving, where his pets, toys and furniture all come to life to teach him a lesson and get him to act right. In a conceit unique to POP, the child of the Ravel work is the youngest member of the Schicci plan, linking the two pieces.
E. Scott Levin brings his bass-baritone voice and comedic timing to the roles of Gianni Schicchi and the Black Cat in the respective operas; mezzo-soprano Kimberly Sogioka plays Gherardino/L’enfant; the large cast includes several other singers who will be familiar to patrons of POP and other local opera companies, including Tiffany Ho, Danielle Bond, Robert Norman, and Michelle Drever; other notable singers include contralto Sharmay Musacchio, a veteran of productions at the Met and LA Opera, and soprano Sonja Krenek, who makes her local debut as Nella/the mother off a recent appearance as Mimi in New York City Opera’s La Bohème. Joshua Horsch conducts; full details at Pacific Opera Project.
Gianni Schicchi and L’Enfant et les Sortilège, Thorne Hall at Occidental College, Thorne Rd, Los Angeles, 90041. Shows January 25, 2020, 3 p.m., February 1, 2020, 7 p.m., February 2, 2020, 3 p.m.; the show on the 25th is preceded by an optional brunch at 1 p.m. featuring snacks and bottomless mimosas for an additional charge.
Tickets, from $15-$60, are available here.