Opera: DON PROCOPIO (Pacific Opera Project, Los Angeles)

Post image for Opera: DON PROCOPIO (Pacific Opera Project, Los Angeles)

by Connor McCormick on May 20, 2021

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles

Pacific Opera Project (POP) announces its next installment of revolutionary, pandemic-safe productions, the west coast premiere of Georges Bizet’s rarely performed comedic opera Don Procopio, performed live outdoors at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles. The three, socially-distanced performances – Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:00pm; Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8:00pm; and Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 8:00pm – will be sung in Italian with projected English supertitles and a small orchestra conducted by Charlie Kim. Pacific Opera Project’s production, designed and directed by Artistic Director Josh Shaw, is set in 1913 in Highland Park, playing to the venue’s historic aesthetic. Other local touches include references to the area’s history of ostrich farms, based on the nearby Cawston Ostrich Farm, and nods to the early movie industry. Picnic and enjoy a bottle of wine with your pod, safely distanced from others and nestled between the historic homes and buildings at Heritage Square.

Bizet’s Don Procopio is a two-act bel canto opera buffa completed in 1859 while the 21-year old composer was in Italy as winner of the Prix de Rome. The administrators of the prize expected a Mass, but Bizet defiantly sent them a comic opera. Written to an old Italian libretto by Carlo Cambiaggio, Don Procopio is Bizet’s attempt at an Italian style, so the opera sounds more like Rossini or Donizetti and has many similarities with Don Pasquale. In the plot, the smart and outgoing Donna Bettina is in love with Odoardo. Her uncle and tutor, Don Andronico, plans to marry her off to the old miser Don Procopio, but with the help of her brother, Don Ernesto, Donna Bettina turns herself into an extravagant and intimidating temptress and leads Procopio to believe she will demand that lifestyle should she be his wife. Procopio flees from what appears to be an unpleasant arrangement, and Bettina and Odoardo are united. Don Procopio was left incomplete without any recitative material, and not performed until 1906, more than 30 years after Bizet’s death.

Bizet’s Don Procopio
Pacific Opera Project
Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:00pm (Gates Open at 7:00pm for Picnicking)
Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8:00pm (Gates Open at 7:00pm for Picnicking)
Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 8:00pm (Gates Open at 7:00pm for Picnicking)
Heritage Square Museum | 3800 Homer Street | Los Angeles, CA 90031
More Information:

Music Georges Bizet
Director and Designer Josh Shaw
Assist Director Carson Gilmore
Conductor Charlie Kim
Costumes Maggie Green
Orchestral Arrangement Chris van Tuinen
Runtime: 80 minutes

Don Procopio – Ben Lowe
Bettina – Rachel Policar
Odoardo – Jon Lee Keenan
Ernesto – Armando Contreras
Don Andronico – E. Scott Levin
Donna Eufemia – Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez

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