Opera – Intimate, Not Grand – Comes To Glendale


The 20th century’s greatest innovation in the field of opera is without a doubt the way that this centuries-old art form was infused with flexibility.

With the breezy and brief operas of Milhaud & Hindemith, among others composed in the 1920s, the imposing grandiosity then best represented by Wagner was swept away for an idiom altogether more intimate, conversational, indeed human scaled, to say nothing of cheaper to produce.

Composers began to turn to the small scaled to express their most potent ideas, with Britten composing a chain of chamber operas that have remained a model of the form.

Two composers – one among the foremost composers of art song in the U.S. today, the other among the brightest lights emerging from Southern California – will feature a double chamber opera bill this weekend in Glendale.

Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPOLA) will be presenting Ned Rorem’s “Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters” and Glendale resident George N. Gianopoulos’ “The Silent Voice” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Friday and Saturday. The latter work was specially commissioned by COPOLA.

COPOLA’s founders, soprano Ariel Pisturino and baritone E. Scott Levin, are no strangers to local music lovers. Both have established firm reputations for their musicianship in performances across the region, including the Pacific Opera Project and Opera Santa Barbara. Together they have set their sights on making opera a genre accessible not just to the cognoscenti, but to everyone.

To that end, the admission for this weekend’s performances, taking place at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s (1020 N. Brand Blvd.) will be free to the public. Beverages will also be sold. For more information, visit www.copola.org or call (213) 260-0007.