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The Valley Line: Tending to their knitting

It may be opera, but these singers like to hear the click of their needles between acts.

September 15, 2010|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Placido Domingo, the legendary tenor, talks about his role of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in the L.A. Opera's world premier of the opera, "Il Postino" by composer Daniel Catan which opens at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Placido Domingo, the legendary tenor, talks about his… (Photos by JANE NAPIER…)

Even though the weather is performing like it is the middle of summer, I'm getting into an autumn frame of mind. I have already hung a wreath of colorful leaves on my front door. Later this week I'm going to cover the lamppost at the corner of my driveway with cornstalks, and string garlands of colorful leaves up to its old-fashioned globe.

Maybe this will inspire Mother Nature to turn the burners down to low. It's time for her to bring out her box of paints to color some of the leaves on the liquidambar trees lining Princess Anne Road bright hues of red, gold and orange.

This past weekend I was talking to a friend in New Hampshire and she said that the sugar maple trees in her neighborhood were just beginning to get into an autumn mood.

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My profession as a journalist often leads me to places I wouldn't normally go. Last week I found myself in a rehearsal hall of the Los Angeles Opera where the artists are putting the finishing touches on the company's season-opening and world-premiere production of composer and librettist Daniel Catan's "Il Postino." This specially commissioned work also marks the silver anniversary of this Los Angeles opera company.

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There is a lot of buzz about this production, and the world will be listening when this production about a Chilean poet washes ashore at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Sept. 23.

Celebrated tenor Placido Domingo will sing the title role of the poet Pablo Neruda in the opera, which will be sung in Spanish. The opening-night excitement of the opera will be broadcast and streamed live worldwide on Classical KUSC 91.5 FM.

Domingo, who is general director of L.A. Opera, will be an extremely busy man during the season opening. Not only will he be singing the role of Neruda in "Il Postino," but he will also be conducting Mozart's opera, "The Marriage of Figaro," on Sept. 26.

At a recent press conference Domingo said, "For several years, Daniel Catan and I had wanted to collaborate on a new work. When he told me that he was working on an operatic adaptation of "Il Postino," I immediately felt that Pablo Neruda was a role that I very much wanted to bring to life."

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