The Music Center is looking to renovate the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 2013, but it must first construct an office building at Grand and Temple to house displaced staff.
Key to renovating the 41-year-old multipurpose hall is to increase space backstage and above the stage as well as rehearsal space. In nearly every direction in which the Music Center intends to rebuild, it will need to eliminate office space occupied by the staff of the opera company, the Los Angeles Philharmonic or the L.A. Master Chorale.
The intention now is to construct a multistory office building to accommodate the staffs of those companies in addition to Center Theater Group personnel, Music Center president Stephen Roundtree said Monday at a news conference to announce the L.A. Opera’s 2008-09 season.
The Pavilion’s primary resident, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Music Center will be working to improve acoustics during the summer for the next five years. The building goes largely unused between June and September.
For 2008-09, L.A. Opera is still scheduled to begin its first “Ring” cycle with “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walkure;” stage the U.S. premiere of “The Fly,” with David Cronenberg directing; and stage Puccini’s three-opera “Il Trittico,” with Woody Allen and William Friedkin directing.
“Il Trittico,” which comprises the one-act operas “Il Tabarro,” “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicci,” runs Sept. 6-16. Mark Delevan, Salvatore Licitra, Sondra Radvanosky, Larissa Diadkova and Thomas Allen star.
“The Fly,” composed by Howard Shore with a libretto by David Henry Hwang, opens Sept. 7. Oscar-winning designer Dante Ferretti makes his opera debut with the production.
A new production of Walter Braunfels’ “The Birds” will be staged April 11-26, 2009. Desiree Rancatore makes her company debut in this year’s offering under music director James Conlon’s “Recovered Voices” project to revive lost masterpieces.
“Das Rheingold,” with Vitalij Kowaljow and Michele DeYoung in the leads, runs Feb. 21-March 15, 2009. Placido Domingo, L.A. Opera’s general director, and Anja Kampe star in “Die Walkure,” running April 4-25, 2009.
Several revivals fill the rest of the calendar. Robert Wilson’s staging of “Madama Butterfly” returns Oct. 2-18; “Carmen” runs Nov. 15-Dec. 14; Peter Hall’s production of “The Magic Flute” is booked for Jan. 10-25, 2009; and Marta Domingo’s version of “La Traviata” returns May 21-June 21, 2009.
Domingo said the company is exploring a simulcast of the company’s productions into movie theaters, following the lead of Gotham’s Metropolitan Opera.
Domingo appeared a bit surprised when Roundtree pinned down 2013 as the year to shut down the house. It had previously been announced for 2011, and the L.A. Opera was considering performances in other countries to expand its visibility.
“I hope it’s 2012 or ’14,” Domingo said, noting that 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Verdi and Wagner. “It will be difficult to look for an opera house to celebrate those anniversaries.”