In a season of uncertainty, you expect arts organizations to announce cutbacks, cancellations, or other cost-saving measures. You don’t expect what Los Angeles Opera announced last week — the addition of another opera to the schedule. With new Resident Conductor Lina González-Granados on the podium, LA Opera announced a concert performance of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, to take place on Jan. 20, 2023, in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School.
Britten’s chamber opera will be performed by singers from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program — mezzo-soprano Sarah Saturnino as Lucretia, baritone Ryan Wolfe as Tarquinius, tenor Anthony León as the Male Chorus, soprano Alaysha Fox as the Female Chorus, and in supporting roles, mezzo-soprano Madeleine Lyon and soprano Tiffany Townsend as Bianca and Lucia and bass-baritones Alan Williams and Cedric Berry as Collatinus and Junius.
Written in 1946 to a libretto by Robert Duncan and based on a French play by André Obey, the opera was first performed at Glyndebourne with a cast including Kathleen Ferrier and Britten’s partner and muse, Peter Pears. The forced economies of England in the immediate aftermath of World War II caused Britten to turn to chamber opera, even though Peter Grimes had been a triumph at Sadler’s Wells Theatre (whose opera company was the precursor to English National Opera) the year before. It was a genre he went on to exploit throughout his career, unintentionally providing the perfect repertory for schools, conservatories, and teaching programs around the world.
Tickets for The Rape of Lucretia, starting at $36, are available now. See LA Opera’s website for details.