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Yuval Sharon Named Interim Artistic Director of Long Beach Opera

November 23, 2019

Long Beach Opera announced that its new interim artistic director is Yuval Sharon, who will work together with LBO leadership to program the company’s 2021 season. This news comes after longtime Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek announced he was leaving the 41-year-old organization at the end of the 2020 season.

As founder and artistic director of the Los Angeles-based experimental opera company The Industry, Sharon mounted original and daring operas such as the 2013 critically acclaimed Invisible Cities, staged at L.A.’s Union Station, and Hopscotch, a 2015 work that unfolded in and around 24 limousines as they cruised the streets around downtown Los Angeles.

A 2017 MacArthur Fellow, Sharon recently wrapped up a three-year residency at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where recent productions included the first revival of Meredith Monk’s 1991 opera Atlas. Sharon, described by The New York Times as “opera’s disrupter in residence,” became the first American to direct a production at Germany’s Bayreuth Festival in 2018. A recording of Lohengrin, which Sharon helmed there in 2018 and 2019, was nominated for a Grammy this week.

LBO is a small but enterprising company also known for performances staged in nontraditional venues. In his interim position, Sharon, who announces the season in March, will choose the productions and artistic teams as well as direct one of the works. LBO’s current season continues Jan. 12, with a new staging of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur. Adapted by Mitisek and Chicano provocateurs Culture Clash, the reimagined opera will be populated by an array of singing superheroes.

Victoria Looseleaf is an award-winning international arts journalist who covers dance, music, theater and the visual arts. Publications she has contributed to include the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and KCET Artbound. Her feminist novella in verse, Isn’t It Rich? is being adapted for the stage, and her children’s/coffee table book, Russ & Iggy’s Art Alphabet, will soon be published by Red Sky Presents. In addition, Looseleaf co-founded the online magazine ArtNowLA.