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Pacific Opera Project

About this Artist

Founded in 2011, Pacific Opera Project (POP) is dedicated to providing quality opera that is innovative, affordable, and entertaining in order to build a broader audience for the art form. LA Magazine writes “If you think you hate opera, you’ve probably never seen a Pacific Opera Project show.” POP’s regularly sold out performances take place in a wide variety of venues, from outdoor vistas, to small clubs, to warehouses. LA Weekly named POP the “Best Opera Company in Los Angeles” in 2018, writing “making opera cool, affordable, accessible and enticing to young audiences is easier said than done. It’s also something every opera company in the country is trying desperately to do… [Pacific Opera Project] is not trying desperately to be hip. It just is.” In 2020, POP was awarded The American Prize in Opera Performance.

POP has presented more than 40 innovative new productions to date, including its critically acclaimed version of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio set as an episode of Star Trek; a “fan-tastic” (LA Daily News) Harajuku-themed Mikado; a Dick Tracy Don Giovanni; a Magic Flute inspired by 1990s video games, called “one of the freshest takes on Mozart’s 1791 classic I have come across” (Operawire); and many more. POP’s signature take on Puccini’s La bohème, “AKA The Hipsters,” set in modern day Los Angeles, has become a holiday tradition, returning year after year to sold-out audiences and called “riotous” (LA Weekly) and “an undeniably fun night at the theater that should not be missed” (Stage Raw).

In 2019, POP presented its most ambitious project to date: the first ever true-to-story bilingual Madama Butterfly performed in LA’s Little Tokyo. A co-production with Houston’s Opera in the Heights, the production featured a new libretto written by POP Artistic Director Josh Shaw and Opera in the Heights Artistic Director Eiki Isomura, presenting Puccini’s story as if it actually happened and attempting to answer the question: “How would Butterfly and Pinkerton communicate?” All Japanese roles were sung in Japanese by Japanese-American artists and all American roles were sung in English. San Francisco Classical Voice described the production as “on a visual scale beyond anything it has taken on before – a sumptuously costumed, fully staged, bilingual co-production... Pacific Opera Project deserves a great deal of credit for making this concept into a reality… innovative, creative, and immensely successful.”

POP has presented a number of regional and national premieres of forgotten operas by major composers, including Rossini's rollicking La Gazzetta, a double-bill of La Corona and Il Confuso Parnaso by Gluck, and Don Procopio by Bizet, and Prima la musica, e poi le parole by Salieri. POP continues to in this tradition with the LA staged premiere of Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" in the spring of 2022, part of their Fairytale season, which will also include tonight's La Cenerentola, Hansel and Gretel, and Into the Woods.

POP was quite possibly the most active opera company in the country during the pandemic, producing numerous virtual watch parties of past productions, as well as three drive-in productions in Camarillo (COVID fan tutte, La Boheme, and a Gluck Double Bill), and two in-person, outdoors productions at Heritage Square Museum, Don Procopio and Trouble in Tahiti. Trouble in Tahiti was the very first live, in-person theatrical or musical event in all of Los Angeles County in 2021.

Nearly all POP productions can be viewed for free, at any time via pacificoperaproject.com or the POP Youtube Channel.