Ravel's Magical Opera
Celebrate your inner child with Ravel's masterpiece, the one-act opera “L'enfant et les sortilèges” (“The Child and the Magic Spells”), in which a young boy encounters magical forces, including dancing chairs, a grumpy grandfather clock, two amorous cats and a singing squirrel. Opening the program is Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale, “Peter and the Wolf” featuring unique visual performers, the Magic Circle Mime Company.
PROKOFIEV: “Peter and the Wolf”
RAVEL: “L'enfant et les sortilèges” (“The Child and the Magic Spells”)
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
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To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.
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PETER AND THE WOLF
Magic Circle Mime Company
L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Magic Circle Mime Company
Robert Neu, director
Pacific Chorale—Robert Istad, Artistic Director
Southern California Children’s Chorus
The Child: Tess Altiveros, soprano
Mama; The China Cup; The Dragon Fly: Nicole Birkland, mezzo soprano
A Country Lass; The Bat; The Screech Owl: Patricia Westley, soprano
The Fire; The Princess; The Nightingale: Liv Redpath, soprano
A Shepard; The White Cat; The Squirrel: Leandra Ramm, mezzo soprano
The Armchair; A Tree: Benjamin Sieverding, bass
The Black Cat; The Grandfather Clock: Gabriel Preisser, baritone
The Teapot; The Little Old Man; The Frog: Brian Wallin, tenor
Matt Scarpino, scenic designer
Hannah Welter, scenic designer
Kristin Campbell, scenic designer
Alethia Moore-Del-Monaco, costume designer
Kathy Pryzgoda, lighting designer
L’Enfant et les Sortileges
It’s always a little humbling when you’re asked to direct a piece you don’t know. Since I’ve been working in the opera business for a while I pride myself on knowing the repertoire. So when I recently had this happen—with a work by Ravel, one of my favorite composers—I was immediately curious to figure out why this great work had never been on my radar.
I quickly figured out it wasn’t that the music is in any way inaccessible. If you love Ravel’s greatest hits—Boléro, Daphnis et Chloe, La Valse—you’ll love this piece. L’Enfant is unmistakably pure Ravel!
Then could it be the text? But this was written by Colette—that amazing and provocative early 20th century French writer who also penned Gigi and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. (There was even a recent movie about her starring Keira Knightley!)
Maybe it was the subject matter? Let’s see—a charming quasi-fairy tale about a misbehaving young child who has encounters with dancing chairs, a grumpy grandfather clock, and two amorous cats and nurses an injured singing squirrel back to life. What’s not to like about that?
And then I figured it out—why L’enfant is rarely produced:
1) It’s an unusual length. At just 52 minutes, it barely counts as one act in the opera house. So any theater producing it needs to find a companion piece—and there are very few operas of comparable length.
2) Along with eight principal singers covering 21 roles, the piece requires a children’s chorus and an adult chorus, and a sizeable and virtuosic orchestra.
3) L’enfant needs that rare conductor who is equally at home with vocalists and instrumentalists and who has a sense of theater and collaboration.
Obviously, none of these have to do with the accessibility, playfulness, joy and depth that this opera provides. So leave it to Pacific Symphony to figure out that this is the perfect piece for an orchestra to program in a situation that is much more flexible, nimble and freewheeling than most opera houses are able to be. And thank you, Pacific Symphony, for inviting me and a first-rate group of performers and designers to have the rare treat to produce this masterpiece, and to have the pleasure of presenting it to your audiences.
You and I—we’re all richer for being able to add L’enfant to our repertoires!
Peter and the Wolf
Looking at composers’ portraits is always interesting and usually instructive, if only because they challenge our preconceptions. In the case of Sergei Prokofiev, almost every likeness shows us an ascetic-looking man of serious demeanor. His eyes smolder behind severe, wire-rimmed glasses, and his gaze is penetrating—not the sort of visage we might associate with a composer who loved to tell tales in music and had a special feeling for children. Yet these are the qualities we hear in Peter and the Wolf.
In 1935, the 44-year-old Prokofiev had been working intensively for about two years on his ballet setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet— now a beloved score that seems like an effortlessly inspired expression of romantic drama in music. Inspired, yes, but hardly effortless: Prokofiev not only sweated the details of its crafting, but also knew the Kremlin’s cultural bureaucracy was looking over his shoulder as he worked.
He even composed a happy ending for the musical narrative on the assumption that it would be deemed more in keeping with government standards for the people’s music. (Wrong assumption.)
Perhaps as a relief from the tension of larger commissions, Prokofiev turned to writing music for children—piano pieces that don’t require virtuoso technique to play, but disciplined musicianship to play well. During that same period, he brought his own children to the Moscow Children’s Musical Theatre, where together they attended performances that delighted him. When the director invited him to compose something for the venue, he was glad to accept.
The text he was given, a naïve story comprised of crude rhyming couplets, proved unsatisfactory, so he took matters into his own hands and wrote his own. His diary spells out the process: “In the spring of 1936 I started a symphonic tale for children titled Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67, to a text of my own. Every character had its own motif played each time by the same instruments …
Before each performance, the instruments were shown to the children and the themes played for them; during the performance, the children heard the themes repeated several times and learned to recognize the timbres of the different instruments.” Leitmotifs! If Peter and the Wolf is here, can Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle be far behind?
Despite its brilliance, the success of Peter and the Wolf was not quite instantaneous. Prokofiev’s story of a boy alone in nature and who triumphs by dint of his own resourcefulness and bravery was a tested favorite with the cultural apparatchiks, so there was no official resistance.
His masterfully simple motivic structure, with its abbreviated narration, is now an accepted template for such works. And it was well received in its first performance, which Prokofiev directed from the keyboard. But subsequent performances were lackluster until several weeks later, when a better performance in Moscow won raves.
Prokofiev biographer Harlow Robinson notes: “Long after his own idyllic childhood, [Prokofiev] continued to love children for their unfettered imagination, sense of play and inability to dissimulate. That he never forgot what it meant to be a child, and how children think, is evident in the playful but never condescending music he wrote for them, most of all the phenomenally successful Peter and the Wolf, written when Prokofiev was a boy of 45.”
The roster of international performing artists who have narrated performances of Peter and the Wolf is far more exotic than the array of wild creatures Peter encounters in the woods. They include Sting, David Bowie, Patrick Stewart, John Gielgud, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Boris Karloff, Jack Lemmon, William F. Buckley, Captain Kangaroo and Dame Edna Everage, among many, many others.
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's music director Bramwell Tovey does double duty as conductor and narrator in this delightfully entertaining performance. It's the final work on a program that introduces listeners young and old to the various instruments and sections of the orchestra.
L’enfant et les sortilèges
L’enfant et les sortilèges is Maurice Ravel’s second opera. Like its predecessor, L’Heure espagnole, it is a work of exquisite subtlety—piquant, funny and poignant. From the long time that elapsed between the commission and its completion, one might have expected something weighty and difficult was being composed; the scenario was originally sent to Ravel in 1916, while he was serving in World War I, but he did not see it until 1917, and did not finish the score until 1925.
Yet its musical style is fleet and delicate. Ravel described it as being in the manner of an American musical comedy, and the story shows every evidence of being intended for children. But sometimes that phrase “for children” can be deceptive.
The meanings and sheer beauty of L’enfant et les sortilèges go far deeper than its surface enchantments; in fact, it can be said to be an allegory about World War I, the conflict that unleashed unprecedented violence upon Europe. Even those who saw war coming were unprepared for the scale of its horrors, which descended on the continent like a collective trauma at a time when human psychology was just beginning to emerge as a science.
We know that Ravel was deeply affected by his experience of World War I. He made many attempts to enlist, first with the French Air Force and later with the French Army, finally joining the Thirteenth Artillery Regiment as a lorry driver in 1915 at the age of 40. Transporting munitions by night under German bombardment, Ravel suffered the risks and stress of combat without actually fighting.
He developed frostbite and dysentery when, as Stravinsky noted, “at his age and with his name he could have had an easier place, or done nothing.” His agonies were compounded by the death of his mother, who died in January of 1917 after their forced separation. After the War, Ravel’s pace of composition— always deliberate—became slower.
He kept an elegant, Gallic silence on matters such as his War experiences, but his 1930 Piano Concerto in D major for the left hand—commissioned by his friend Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his right arm in combat—became emblematic of Ravel’s own wartime losses, both emotional and physical.
For the L’enfant et les sortilèges, the Paris Opera turned to one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century, Colette, whom we know in the U.S. for her incomparable novels and stories, one of which became the basis for the Academy Award-winning film Gigi. Colette had made her reputation with sophisticated narratives charged with eroticism, both veiled and overt.
Then came a series of novels about a young schoolgirl named Claudine; these, too, made a sensation, not least for the suggestive nature of Claudine’s relations with her girlfriends and headmistress. So when Jacques Rouche of the Paris Opera approached Colette for a scenario of a “fantasy ballet” about a child, a traditional children’s story was the last thing he had in mind. The year was 1915, and despite World War I, the avant garde was flourishing. Rouche wanted to offer his public a work that would tantalize and astonish.
Colette, who had experienced both a controlling mother and an abusive husband (whom she divorced), saw the possibilities for mature music-drama in a children’s story.
She had met Ravel socially, and when Rouche proposed him as composer, she was delighted with the choice. Ravel’s reticence and vulnerability had impressed her, and we can hear these qualities in the tenderness of his music, which fit the scenario like a glove.
In performance, L’enfant et les sortilèges immerses us in a story that bears more than a passing resemblance to Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (or, actually, vice-versa): wayward and willful, a child refuses to do his homework, and his maman—we see her from his point of view, just a giant skirt with keys and scissors hanging from her belt—scolds him.
Soon we realize that everyone and everything in the little boy’s world has been hurt by his misbehavior: his toys, the household pets, the princess in his storybook, the shepherds and shepherdesses that adorn the wallpaper and even the plants and animals in the garden. When we have lost patience with the child’s destructive impertinence, suddenly the music and the story make us see the pain and isolation that overwhelm him as the toys and animals of his world suddenly turn away.
“They love each other,” he says. “They have forgotten me. I am alone.” When he finally notices an injured squirrel and binds its wounded paw, the enchanted beings that surround him recognize the goodness within, and struggle to call for help on his behalf: “Mama… Mama…” As the opera ends, a light appears at the windows.
By the time Ravel completed the music for L’enfant et les sortilèges, Colette, like Ravel, had been transformed by World War I. She had run a hospital for wounded soldiers and been awarded the légion d’honneur. In her scenario and in Ravel’s music we recognize the unbearable loss and pain that seemed to reduce a whole world to helpless suffering.
In a remarkable paper written for the British Psychoanalytical Society, the early psychoanalyst Melanie Klein correctly discerns universal yearning in that final cry for “Mama.” Together, Ravel and Colette have captured how the agony of war reduces us to children, and how the innocence of childhood gives us hope.
Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor‑in‑chief for The Santa Fe Opera.
Robert Neu, known for his highly theatrical and musically sensitive work, has directed over 90 productions of operas, musicals and plays throughout the country. Neu’s recent productions include Bernstein’s Mass, Peer Gynt, La Traviata, The Magic Flute and Carousel for the Minnesota Orchestra; Hansel and Gretel with Minnesota Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony and Colorado Symphony; Don Giovanni for Opera Orlando and Opera Steamboat; La bohème for Colorado Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Opera Orlando and Shreveport Opera; Tosca, St. Matthew Passion and The Music Man for Colorado Symphony; St. Matthew Passion and West Side Story for Central City Opera/Boulder Philharmonic; Don Pasquale, St. John Passion, Carmen and The Barber of Seville for Lyric Opera of the North; The Magic Flute for Pacific Symphony; Art and Death of a Salesman for Bloomington Civic Theater; The Marriage of Figaro for Bellevue Opera and Spokane Opera; Ayn Rand in Love for Chameleon Theater; The Laramie Project, Godspell and Blithe Spirit for Lyric Arts Theater; Florencia en el Amazonas for Emerald City Opera, and On the Town, The Fantasticks, Candide, The Tragedy of Carmen, Don Giovanni, As One and Putting It Together for Skylark Opera Theatre.
Magic Circle Mime Company
Magic Circle Mime Company is regarded as one of today’s premier family attractions. Its highly acclaimed performances, which unite the concert orchestra with visual theater, are consistently praised for imaginative and innovative content.
Magic Circle Mime Company performs with nearly every major orchestra in North America and has performed on numerous occasions with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Montreal, St.Louis, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg; the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra; and on more than a dozen occasions at The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts with the National Symphony Orchestra. 2016 marked their 5th appearance at the National Arts Centre of Canada.
Magic Circle Mime Company also has a growing reputation outside North America. They have performed with orchestras in Australia, China, Colombia, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain and Taiwan. International festival appearances include the International Children’s Festivals of Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan. In 2018 they performed for the first time in Denmark with both the Aalborg Symfoniorkester and Aarhus Symfoniorkester.
Praised for “a ripe, sensual lyric soprano” (Opera News) and a “captivating combination of skilled singing and magnetic acting” (Pioneer Press), soprano Tess Altiveros is equally at home in a vast range of repertoire from the 17th century to the 21st, making her highly sought after for a wide array of concert and operatic work alike. Her recent portrayal of E in Seattle Opera’s acclaimed O+E “stole the show” according
to The Stranger, while her Euridice/Proserpina in the West Coast tour of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo under Grammy- winning conductor Stephen Stubbs was described by Vancouver Classical Music as “an artful combination of facial expression, gesture, and vocal suavity ... infusing both characters with tenderness and charm as well as dignity.”
Other roles include Clorinda in Seattle Opera’s The Combat, Hannah in The Merry Widow (Inland Northwest Opera), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Pacific Symphony),
Maria in West Side Story (Central City Opera/Boulder Philharmonic), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (Colorado Symphony.)
Mama, The China Cup, The Dragon Fly
Noted as having a voice of “dark, focused fury,” young American mezzo-soprano Nicole Birkland is captivating audiences with her “lush mezzo” and bewitching portrayals of opera’s most famous mezzo-soprano roles. The 2017-18 season saw her returning to San Francisco Opera as the Third Maidservant in Elektra and appearing in The Ring Cycle as Schwertleite in Die Walküre. She also will return to Opera San Jose for their production of Der fliegende Holländer as Mary. Last season she was at The Metropolitan Opera for their production of The Magic Flute.
In 2015, she made her debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera as Suzuki in Madame Butterfly and in 2016, Birkland joined the roster of Washington National Opera covering Erda and the First Norn in The Ring Cycle. For the 2014-15 season, Birkland worked with The Metropolitan Opera for productions of Dimitri Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, Jacques Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, in which she covered Stephanie Blyhte’s Baba the Turk.
The Louis XV Chair, A Country Lass The Bat, The Screech Owl
New Zealand–American soprano Patricia Westley is gaining recognition as a young artist of great vocal and theatrical appeal. Her 2018 commitments included her San José Chamber Orchestra debut as a featured soloist, in partnership with the San Francisco Opera Center, and her Oakland Symphony debut as soprano soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. She spent the summer of 2018 in residency with San Francisco Opera’s illustrious Merola Opera Program to perform the leading romantic role of Elisa in Mozart’s early masterpiece Il re pastore.
A favorite with San Francisco audiences, Westley has performed with Pocket Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus, for which she was critically hailed as “vocally-comically sensational,” and with Lamplighters Music Theatre as Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard and Casilda in The Gondoliers.
The Fire, The Princess, The Nightingale
Liv Redpath’s 2018-19 season featured her role debut as Gretel in Hansel & Gretel with LA Opera, alongside Sasha Cooke and Susan Graham. On the concert stage she joins the Los Angeles Master Chorale to open their season with Mozart’s Requiem and Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent, the LA Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the Hollywood Bowl, and Pacific Symphony in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges as Le feu, La princesse and Le rossignol. She will return to her hometown, Minneapolis, for a concert with the Bakken Trio and, later, to sing Cunégonde in Candide with VocalEssence and Theater Latté Da.
Other assignments for her third season as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist include Voce dal cielo in Don Carlo and covering Servilia in La clemenza di Tito. In summer 2019, Redpath will present a concert with Christophe Rousset at the Da Camera Society, reprise Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos for Cincinnati Opera, and cover Bess in Breaking the Waves at the Edinburgh International Festival.
In her 2017-18 season, Redpath had her role and house debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at Santa Fe Opera. As a second year Domingo-Colburn- Stein Young Artist at LA Opera, she sang Amour in John Neumeier’s new production of Orphée et Eurydice and Frasquita in Carmen, both under maestro James Conlon.
A Shepherd, The White Cat, The Squirrel
Leandra Ramm is a remarkably versatile mezzo-soprano and actress with an “extraordinary voice” (Anderson Cooper), whose “beautiful and quite moving” (Nordstjernan) performances have graced prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The United Nations and Symphony Space. Ramm made her debut as a soloist in Kurt Weill’s The Endless Road with The American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall.
Recently, she performed the title role in La Cenerentola with San Francisco Opera Guild, performed as a soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, and Bach’s Magnificat conducted by Ragnar Bohlin all with the San Francisco Symphony. This season, she performs in Little Women with Island City Opera, L’enfant et les Sortileges with Pacific Symphony, and Serafina/Spirit Woman in La Llorona with Opera Cultura.
The Armchair, A Tree
Bass Benjamin Sieverding has launched a promising young career that touches upon over three centuries’ worth of repertoire. He has gained notice for his “resonant, expressive bass” (StarTribune) and for a range of characterizations spanning from “wickedly charming” (L’étoile Magazine) to “genuinely threatening” (Phindie).
In the fall of 2018, Sieverding performed Bernstein’s Songfest with LOFTrecital, Biblical Songs by Antonín Dvořák with faculty and other alumni at the University of Michigan and a solo recital with Lara Bolton under the auspices of Opera South Dakota. In 2019, Sieverding will reprise the role of Alfred Austrian in the world premiere of The Fix with Minnesota Opera, makes his debut with Fort Worth Opera as the Dough’s Mate in Rachel Peters’ Companionship, and makes a company debut with Pacific Symphony performing The Armchair and A Tree in L’enfant et les sortilèges.
The Black Cat, The Grandfather Clock
A 2016 League of American Orchestras Emerging Artist, Gabriel Preisser has been praised by Opera News for his “handsome voice, charismatic energy and timbral allure,” and The New York Times called his performance as Lt. Gordon “wonderful.” His resume includes over 40 operatic and musical theater roles including Danilo in The Merry Widow with Utah Festival Opera, Billy Bigelow in Carousel with Minnesota Orchestra, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with St. Petersburg Opera, Dandini in Cenerentola with Opera Tampa, Escamillo in Carmen with Lyric Opera of the North, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Shreveport Opera, Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias with Opera Parallele, Albert in Werther with Minnesota Opera, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette with Opera Tampa and St. Petersburg Opera, Tommy in Brigadoon with Gulfshore Opera, Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Naples, Harold Hill in The Music Man with Colorado Symphony, and Bob Baker in Wonderful Town with Skylark Opera to name a few. He has been praised for having a “matinee idol’s charm and charisma,” “a beautiful, luscious baritone” and “a compelling, commanding stage presence.”
The Teapot, The Little Old Man, The Frog
Hailed by the Dallas Morning News as having a “finely focused and well-mannered” voice, Brian Wallin has recently completed his second summer as a Young Artist with The Glimmerglass Festival, making appearances in West Side Story, The Cunning Little Vixen and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. The upcoming season includes appearing in West Side Story with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Atlanta Opera. Wallin will then return to Palm Beach Opera as a second year Benenson Young Artist performing Gastone in La traviata and covering Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. Wallin will appear in the world premiere of The Fix with Minnesota Opera and as the tenor soloist in St. Matthew Passion with Shreveport Symphony.
Dr. Robert Istad became the artistic director of Pacific Chorale in the 2017-18 50th Season, after serving as assistant conductor since 2004. He has conducted Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony in performance, and has prepared choruses for a number of America’s finest conductors and orchestras, including: Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony, Esa–Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, as well as conductors Vasilly Sinaisky, Sir Andrew Davis, Bramwell Tovey, Thomas Wilkins, John Williams, Eugene Kohn, Steven Mercurio, Richard Kaufman, Eric Whitacre, William Lacey, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, Case Scaglione, Robert Moody, John Alexander, William Dehning and David Lockington.
Design credits include: Hairspray at Palos Verdes Performing Arts Center, If All The Sky Was Paper and the 2018 Chapman Celebrates Annual Gala at Musco Center for the Performing Arts, In The Heights at the Valley Performing Arts Center, Carmen and The Radio Hour at Segerstrom Concert Hall for Pacific Chorale, Orange County, Next to Normal for San Diego Musical Theatre, Spamalot and The Full Monty, for Performance Riverside, Chicago for Torrance Theatre Company. In 2014 he started Go Button Productions offering production services for the New Media, Theatre and Live Event Industries. Scarpino holds a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design and Technical Direction from California State, Fullerton.
director of production - go button productions
Hannah Welter is an Orange County based costume and scenic designer for theatre, film and live events. Select credits include: Antigone, She Stoops To Conquer, Hamlet (Concordia University Irvine), Urinetown (Coeurage Theatre Company), The Three Penny Opera (California State University, Fullerton), Aida (Pacific Symphony), Spamalot (Performance Riverside). Welter also serves as Art Director for several live shows at San Diego Comic Con and the Electronic Expo in Los Angeles.
associate scenic design
Kristin Campbell is a scenic and video designer based in Orange County, California. In 2015, She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Scenic Design and Video design at California State University, Fullerton. Recently, her work has included the set designs for The Magic Flute at CSUF and Lizzie at Chance Theater. She was also the video designer for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and The Glass Menagerie at A Noise Within, and Emma at Chance Theater. Campbell is an active member in the theater community of Orange County. She is a founding member and Managing Director for The Wayward Artist, a theatre company in Santa Ana, and the current Vice President of the Orange County Theatre Guild.
Kathy Pryzgoda has been a lighting designer for the past 25 years. Her diverse background includes lighting design for large commercial lighting projects, architectural lighting, residential, theater, event and TV lighting design. Pryzgoda received a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has designed lighting for such companies as Long Beach Opera, Los Angeles Classical Ballet and the Jazz Tap Ensemble. Pryzgoda has received several awards in lighting design including a Dramalogue Award for outstanding achievement in theatre. In addition to theatre, Pryzgoda has experience with lighting designs for television. She was lighting designer/lighting director for Channel One News between 1992 and 2002. During that time, Pryzgoda received three Broadcast Design International Gold Awards for her lighting design at Channel One News.
Alethia R. Moore-Del Monaco
Monaco is a West coast-based free-lance costume designer/stylist designed for theatre, film, dance and opera, as well as theme park entertainment. She has also worked internationally in Singapore on a pre-Broadway run musical. She has worked for five seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has recently finished working on two award-winning short-feature films. She is currently the Wardrobe Supervisor for Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California Regions Educational Theatre Program. Monaco manages all the costumes for all five touring children programs and the three-adult touring adult workshop programs.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Costume Design and a minor in Shakespeare Studies. She received her Masters of Fine Art in Theatre with Emphasis in Costume Design from University of California, Irvine.
California State University, Fullerton’s University Singers
CSUF University Singers, directed by Dr. Robert Istad, rank among the nation’s premiere collegiate choral ensembles. The University Singers have performed throughout the world on its own and regularly perform with a variety of professional orchestras, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. They have earned praise for their work with conductors Carl St.Clair, John Mauceri, John Williams, Eugene Kohn, Sir Neville Marriner, James Conlon and Keith Lockhart. Internationally acclaimed for their exquisite musicianship, they have been invited to perform at conferences organized by the American Choral Directors Association, National Collegiate Choral Organization and the Music Educators National Conference. Recently, the CSUF University Singers performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli, Kathleen Battle, recorded an album with composer John Williams and Sony Classical, and toured Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia. They released a commercial recording with Yarlung Records for international wide release in November 2017 entitled Nostos: The Homecoming of Music.
Founded in 1968, the Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for its exceptional artistic expression, stimulating, American-focused programming and influential education programs. The chorale presents a season at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and performs regularly with the nation’s leading symphonies. It has infused an Old World art form with California’s innovation and cultural independence, developing innovative new concepts in programming and expanding the traditional concepts of choral repertoire and performance. The Pacific Chorale comprises 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. Other collaborations within the Southern California community include performances with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Long Beach, Pasadena and Riverside symphonies.
The Chorale has toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, and has collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Lamoureux and Orchestre de Saint-Louis-en-l’Île.