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One of the many advantages of living in Los Angeles is that the finest of arts are always readily available. One such finer art is opera. This western classical music tradition began at the end of the 16th century and every performance presents a moving theatrical production sung to the music of an orchestra. The following shows will give veteran opera lovers a chance to admire new singers and projects. For those new to opera, these productions provide the opportunity to become acquainted with this magnificent performing art, and perhaps even fall in love with it.

(credit: Repertory Opera Company/Facebook)

“Don Giovanni”
Repertory Opera Company
First Christian Church
1751 N Park Ave
Pomona, CA 91768
(909) 230-4949

Price: TBD, check website
Dates: May 5, 12, 19 at 2 p.m., May 9 at 7 p.m.

This is the third season of the Repertory Opera Company, which will present Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” on selected dates during May. “Don Giovanni’s” libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte and combines comedy, drama and supernatural elements. It is the story of an arrogant nobleman without feelings or manners, who eventually finds out that the way life ends reflects in a great way the manner in which it was lived. The intimate setting provided by the church allows the audience an opportunity to enjoy the story just a few feet away from the performers, not commonly seen at larger venues. A different level of appreciation comes from observing the singers’ facial expressions and from hearing their voices resonate against every wall of the church.

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(credit: uci.edu)

“Old Maid and the Thief”
Claire Trevor Theater
UC Irvine – Campus Dr
4004 Mesa Road
Irvine, CA 92617
(949) 824-2787

Price: $20 general / $18 seniors / $11 children under 17 and UCI students with I.D.
Dates: May 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m., May 19 at 2 p.m.

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts presents “The Old Maid and the Thief” on selected dates during May. This opera may be particularly attractive to those new to the genre because it is performed in English. It was written by Gian-Carlo Menotti and is a comedy that makes fun of small-town gossip and the repercussions of believing in stereotypes. The UC Symphony Orchestra will be accompanying the performers. Named after the award-winning actress Claire Trevor for her involvement with the school’s arts program, this theater is respected as a national leader in training and developing emerging artists and performers.

(credit: Robert Millard/laopera.com)

“La Boheme”
LA Opera
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-8001

Price: Ranges $50 for Balcony B to $230 for Orchestra Front
Dates: May 12, 23, 26 and 31 at 7:30 p.m., May 20 and June 2 at 2 p.m.

On selected dates during May and June, La Opera presents Puccini’s “La Boheme” in a production by Herbert Ross. Anyone who has ever doubted that men can suffer from love must see a performance of “La Boheme.” This story is about two bohemians – a poet and a painter – and the girls they love, all finding themselves subjected to a roller coaster of blissful gain and painful loss. The Los Angeles Opera is the resident company at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the fourth largest opera company in the United States. As such, it promises some of the best voices, productions and conducting you will find anywhere.

Related: Opera Singers Hit High Notes With LA Juvenile Hall-Inspired Poetry

(credit: casaitalianaopera.com)

“The Magic Flute” – “Carmen” – “Aida”
Casa Italiana Cultural Center
1051 North Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(800) 595-4849

Price: TBD, check website
Dates: June 3, September 9, November 11, Dinner at 2:30 p.m., Opera at 4 p.m.

On June third, Casa Italiana presents Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” A few months down the road on September ninth, the show will highlight Bizet’s “Carmen.” Lastly, on November 11, the audience can enjoy Verdi’s famous “Aida.” Casa Italiana serves an Italian banquet followed by an opera show accompanied by a live orchestra. This is a cultural gem for anyone who discovers it. With hardly any advertisement, Casa Italiana manages to have sold-out events filled mostly with Italian-Americans who are regulars at the venue, but also with both those who live in the neighboring area and others who travel from far-away places to attend a performance.

Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.