MUSIC BY LOU HARRISON
PERFORMED BY THE LA PHIL NEW MUSIC GROUP, CONDUCTED BY MARC LOWENSTEIN
AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
Digital Recording to be Released Friday, February 2, 2018,
on The Industry Records
Los Angeles, CA (January 10, 2018) – The Industry and the Los Angeles Philharmonic drew acclaim last year for their co-production of Young Caesar, Lou Harrison’s depiction of Caesar’s love for another man. The production, in celebration of what would have been the late composer’s 100th birthday (May 14, 2017), was directed by Yuval Sharon, The Industry’s founder/director and the LA Phil’s Artist-Collaborator. The digital album was recorded live with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group at Walt Disney Concert Hall and will be digitally released on The Industry Records, February 2, 2018.
Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times described the performance: “Sharon, in conjunction with his opera company, the Industry, mounted a fanciful, visually stunning, endearingly mercurial, marginally risqué, momentarily over-the-top and ultimately touching production. The LA Phil New Music Group, conducted by Marc Lowenstein in the final Green Umbrella program of the season, was sensational, revealing layer upon layer of sheer musical gorgeousness capable, from the first bars, of lifting the spirits.”
Originally conceived as a puppet opera, Harrison’s magnum opus explores the early life of Julius Caesar with a sublime and sinuous, percussion-rich depiction of his love for another man. The Industry’s new 90-minute performance edition fuses Harrison’s original gamelan-inspired orchestration with his later, lush orchestral writing. At the dawn of the gay rights movement in this country, Lou Harrison’s 1971 opera depicting the open love of two men was a scandalous provocation. Now, as the rights of the LGBT community face new threats around the country, presenting Harrison’s harmonious vision is more important than ever.
Young Caesar has suffered a turbulent fate, in large part due to its unabashed subject matter: the patrons of the 1971 Pasadena premiere withdrew their support in protest of the openly gay story, and an aborted production for the Lincoln Center Festival in Harrison’s lifetime has left the opera in crucial need of a high-profile presentation. Subsequent revisions up until Harrison’s death in 2003, including the addition of three rapturous arias from his late musical style, has made this opera a summation of Harrison’s musical ideas throughout his career. That the opera has struggled so long to receive a performance worthy of its place in Harrison’s output – and of his role in shaping 20th-century American music – is one of the vital reasons for this recording.
Leading the LA Phil New Music Group in this new recording is conductor Marc Lowenstein. The cast includes Bruce Vilanch (narrator), Adam Fisher (Caesar), Hadleigh Adams (Nicomedes), Nancy Maultsby (Julia), Delaram Kamareh (Cornelia), and Timur (Dionysus), and also features dancers, along with men of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
The recording was produced and mastered by Jesse Lewis, a Grammy-winning producer who has worked with artists such as the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, A Far Cry, Brooklyn Rider, ETHEL, Roomful of Teeth, and The Knights.
Says Sharon, “Not only does this recording offer fans an opportunity to finally hear a work Harrison considered his magnum opus, but also it will serve as a valuable tool in convincing other companies of the beauty, originality, and viability of this work. I hope this is just the beginning of Young Caesar’s history.”
Included with the digital download is a robust 25-page booklet illustrated with images from the live performance. It includes a synopsis, and essays by Yuval Sharon (director), Robert Gordon (librettist), Marc Lowenstein (conductor), and John Rockwell (music critic).
For more information, please visit: https://www.laphil.com/youngcaesar
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season extends from September through May at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.
The Industry creates experimental productions that expand the traditional definition of opera. By merging media and engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations, we produce works that inspire new audiences for the art form. We believe that opera can be emergent and responsive to new perspectives and voices in contemporary culture. The Industry serves as an incubator for new talent and for artists predominantly based in Los Angeles. Founded by Yuval Sharon in 2010, The Industry has developed large-scale world premiere productions every other year: Crescent City (2012), Invisible Cities (2013), Hopscotch (2015), and War of the Worlds (2017). Throughout the year, we present smaller-scale yet artistically ambitious events including our biennial workshop of new American operas, First Take; Second Take, a full concert commission and workshop from a First Take composer; Highway One, a performance series dedicated to California’s countercultural history; and Lab, a platform for experiments in collaborative processes. The Industry Records expands the reach of new American opera through high-quality recordings. Visit www.theindustryla.org for more information.
LA Phil: Sophie Jefferies, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3422
Laura Cohen, email@example.com, 310.867.3897
The Industry: Elizabeth Cline, Elizabeth@theindustryla.org, 213.626.0750