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  • Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel to Tour with Deaf West Theatre in London, Barcelona, and Paris with their Acclaimed Production of Fidelio
  • Mar. 12, 2024

    MAY 26 — JUNE 3, 2024

    Presented In Collaboration with Deaf West Theatre and El Sistema’s Coro De Manos Blancas, Beethoven’s Opera Is Sung in German and Features Deaf Actors Performing in Sign Language for Deaf and Hearing Audiences

    Tour Repertoire To Also Feature Gustavo Dudamel Conducting the LA Phil's European Premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’s Altar de cuerda with Violinist María Dueñas

    LOS ANGELES (March 12, 2024) – The LA Phil’s semi-staged production of Beethoven’s Fidelio was hailed as a groundbreaking triumph upon its world premiere in 2022 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The idea for the production was originally developed by Gustavo Dudamel through the Dudamel Foundation, which he co-chairs with his wife, actress María Valverde, as a means of elevating Deaf artistry to illuminate the opera’s central theme: the fight to overcome obstacles in order to discover one’s own personal freedom. This collaboration became a reality through the combined vision of LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, director Alberto Arvelo and Deaf West Theatre’s Artistic Director DJ Kurs during the 250th anniversary celebration of Beethoven's birth. With the support and collaboration of the LA Phil, the Tony Award®- winning Deaf West Theatre, and Deaf performers of El Sistema of Venezuela's Coro de Manos Blancas (White Hands Choir), the production explores Beethoven's only opera through the lens of his identity as a Deaf artist who was losing his hearing when Fidelio premiered in 1805.

    Now this landmark production will be revived at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 16 and 17, 2024, after which the LA Phil and Dudamel will take Fidelio on tour to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu (May 26 and 27, 2024), the Philharmonie de Paris (May 31, 2024), and London’s Barbican Centre (June 3, 2024).

    Created for both Deaf and hearing audiences, the production will be presented with the original creative team. Approximately 170 musicians, cast, and choir members will participate in the 2024 European tour, which will mark the first European tour for Deaf West Theatre, and the first European performances for the LA Phil since 2019. Tickets to all performances are currently on sale.

    Gustavo Dudamel said, “Throughout the LA Phil’s history, we have been committed to reducing barriers for audiences to participate in musical experiences. When we first presented Fidelio in 2022, we were amazed by how audiences connected to the work in new and unexpected ways. We are thrilled not only to have the opportunity to bring this production back to Los Angeles, but to be able to introduce Beethoven’s only opera to European audiences in a way that has never before been done.” Dudamel added, “It is a great honor again to partner with Deaf West Theatre and El Coro de Manos Blancas, who we collaborated with to create this production, as we further our mission to show the world the truly transformational power of music.”

    Deaf West Theatre artistic director DJ Kurs said, "Our groundbreaking production of Fidelio with the LA Phil united Deaf and hearing individuals on a global basis, on stage and within the audience. Up until our production, opera was an art form that was considered inaccessible to Deaf people. Bringing the show to a world stage feels timely, relevant and important because we are bringing Beethoven’s work forth in a way that transcends perceived differences in the truest sense. We cannot wait to share the beauty of this collective experience with new and international audiences."

    The LA Phil’s Fidelio places Deaf artists at the core of the opera’s narrative, a timeless tale of triumph over oppression in which the noble Leonore daringly goes undercover to rescue her husband from political imprisonment. Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and directed by Alberto Arvelo with co-director Joaquín Solano, the production will feature singers Tamara Wilson, Andrew Staples, James Rutherford, Gabriella Reyes, Shenyang, David Portillo, and Patrick Blackwell. Deaf West Theatre performers include Amelia Hensley, Daniel N. Durant, Hector Reynoso, Sophia Morales, Mervin Primeaux O’Bryant, Otis Jones and Giovanni Maucere. Participating choirs for the tour include the Cor del Gran Teatre de Liceu (Pablo Assante, conductor, Spain) and Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana (Xavier Puig, conductor, Spain). YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Philharmonic's initiative to ensure fundamental and equitable access to the arts for youth, will be joining the 2024 tour in Barcelona and Paris, where they will participate in educational activities with young musicians from across Europe.

    ”Beethoven’s Fidelio was composed during the composer’s struggle with progressing deafness, and resonates with the energy of what he was experiencing at this time in his life,” said Arvelo. “This production of Fidelio integrates different worlds and languages, serving as a metaphor for art’s capacity to serve as a unifying force. I’m so glad to reunite with Deaf West Theatre, El Coro de Manos Blancas, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, and our partners in Europe, to share this transformative experience with a global audience.”

    The Tour will also include a second program featuring Dudamel conducting the young violinist María Dueñas, a frequent collaborator with the LA Phil, in the European premiere of Altar de cuerda by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz. The violin concerto was commissioned by the LA Phil as a piece for Dueñas who performed its 2022 world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the LA Phil. The symphonic program will be performed at Palau de la Musica Catalana on May 28, the Philharmonie de Paris on May 30, and the Barbican Centre on June 2. Ortiz’s new work will be presented with John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme, written for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”.

    The LA Phil and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will release Revolución diamantina, an album of orchestral music from Gabriela Ortiz, including Altar de Cuerdas performed by María Dueñas, on the Platoon label on June 7, 2023. Altar de Cuerdas will be released on all streaming platforms on 10 May.

    The LA Phil’s tradition of touring dates back to its inaugural 1921 tour across the western United States. With the exception of 2020-2021 season tour, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic closures, the LA Phil has toured annually since the 1969/70 season, performing at some of the most acclaimed music venues and festivals in the world, in cities including Tokyo, Seoul, Mexico City, and New York.

    Support for the LA Phil on tour is generously provided by the Michele and Dudley Rauch Tour Fund and the Karl Loring Fund.

    Support for YOLA on tour is generously provided by The Rafael and Luisa de Marchena-Huyke Foundation.

    Additional support for the Coro de Manos Blancas comes from the Dudamel Foundation.

    LA Phil 2024 Tour

    Beethoven’s Fidelio with Dudamel and Deaf West Theatre

    Dudamel conducting the LA Phil's European premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’s Altar de cuerda with violinist María Dueñas; program also includes Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”


    Performance Dates:

    Los Angeles

    FIDELIO: May 16 and 17 - Walt Disney Concert Hall



    FIDELIO: May 26 & 27 - Gran Teatre del Liceu

    ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: May 28 - Palau de la Musica Catalana



    ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: May 30 - Philharmonie de Paris

    FIDELIO: May 31- Philharmonie de Paris



    ORTIZ/DVOŘÁK: June 2 - Barbican Centre

    FIDELIO: June 3 - Barbican Centre


    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

    Alberto Arvelo, director

    Joaquín Solano, co-director

    Deaf West Theatre, produced by DJ Kurs

    Colin Analco, sign language choreographer

    Solange Mendoza, costume designer

    Gabriela Camejo, artistic producer, Karibanna Content

    Coro de Manos Blancas

         María Inmaculada Velásquez Echeverría, conductor

    Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu

         Pablo Assante, conductor

    Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana

         Xavier Puig, conductor



    Tamara Wilson (singer); Amelia Hensley (actor)


    Andrew Staples (singer); Daniel N. Durant (actor)


    James Rutherford (singer); Hector Reynoso (actor)


    Gabriella Reyes (singer); Sophia Morales (actor)

    Don Pizarro

    Shenyang (singer); Mervin Primeaux O'Bryant (actor)


    David Portillo (singer); Otis Jones (actor)

    Don Fernando

    Patrick Blackwell (singer); Giovanni Maucere (actor)



    Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.


    Founded in Los Angeles in 1991, Tony Award®-winning Deaf West Theatre led by Artistic Director, David Kurs and Managing Director, Jeff Perri, engages artists and audiences in unparalleled theater experiences inspired by Deaf culture and the expressive power of sign language, weaving ASL with spoken English to create a seamless ballet of movement and voice. Committed to innovation, collaboration, and training, DWT is the artistic bridge between the Deaf and hearing worlds. Recent and past productions include the groundbreaking production of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel; an exciting new play adaptation of Oedipus at the Getty Villa Museum directed and adapted by Jenny Koons; The Solid of Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne; Our Town, in a co-production with the Pasadena Playhouse; Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, in a co-production with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts; Spring Awakening the Musical, which transferred from Inner-City Arts to the Wallis and then to Broadway (three Tony Award® nominations including Best Revival of a Musical); American Buffalo (Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice”); Cyrano, a co-production with the Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Production); Big River the Musical (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and Backstage Garland awards for Best Musical in its L.A. premiere, a Tony Award® nomination, and four Drama Desk Awards on Broadway); Pippin, produced at the Mark Taper Forum in a co-production with Center Theatre Group; Sleeping Beauty Wakes, also a co-production with Center Theatre Group, presented at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; Oliver! (Ovation Award for Best Musical) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Ovation Award for Best Play). In 2005, DWT was selected to receive the Highest Recognition Award by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for its “distinguished contributions to improve and enrich the culture lives of Deaf and hard of hearing actors and theater patrons.” To learn more visit


    The White Hands Choir (El Coro de Manos Blancas) is the leading group of the Special Education Program (PEE) of the National System of Orchestras and Youth and Children's Choirs of Venezuela (El Sistema). This program was created in 1995 with the main objective of integrating children, youth, and adults with functional diversity or physical and cognitive disabilities into artistic activities, using music as a tool for social development and inclusion.

    The White Hands Choir is made up of 120 young people who form two sections: the Vocal, directed by Luis Chinchilla, made up of children and young adults with visual and cognitive deficits, motor impairments, learning difficulties, autism, as well as invisible disabilities; and the Gestual, directed by María Inmaculada Velásquez, made up of Deaf and hard-of-hearing children and young adults who perform a novel form of movement art choreographed to music. In their performances, musical works are amalgamated into a single voice, through body expression and gestural language, generating new paradigms for the creative performative arts in society and in education for people with functional diversity.

    Due to its groundbreaking work, the White Hands Choir has received international acclaim. In 2005, the Choir was named Cultural Heritage of Venezuela. In 2010, the city of Friuli, Italy awarded the group the Nonino Risit d 'Aur Award “for symbolizing a miracle for children and young people with disabilities”. The Choir has been invited to participate in Artistic Residencies at the Salzburg Festival, in the summer of 2013, and Milan, in 2015. In 2017, the Choir went on tour to Japan, which led to the creation of the Tokyo White Hands Chorus by El Sistema Japan, and to Vienna, Austria in 2018. In April 2022, the White Hands Choir participated in a critically-acclaimed world premiere production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Tony Award®-winning Deaf West Theatre, at Walt Disney Concert Hall, created for both Deaf and hearing audiences.


    DJ Kurs became the Artistic Director of Deaf West Theatre in 2012. He has produced several award-winning plays and musicals, including Spring Awakening, which he shepherded from its beginnings as an intimate 99-seat theater production in Los Angeles before it went on to Broadway, earning multiple Tony Award® nominations. Kurs sees his role at Deaf West as integral to his continued advocacy and activism within the Deaf community. To that end, he is an in-demand public speaker and panelist: he has given talks at the Berkeley Forum and at special events such as the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment of the Arts.


    Film director and writer Alberto Arvelo has an extensive history working with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Arvelo’s Latin jazz documentary Guaco Semblanz received a Grammy nomination in 2017. His film The Liberator, starring Edgar Ramirez, Maria Valverde, Danny Huston, Iwan Roen and Gary Lewis, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was part of the Best Foreign Film Short List for the 2015 Academy Awards. His film A House with a View of the Sea (2001) was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and received 18 international awards. Arvelo initiated an original film movement known as Cine Atomo, focused on creating opportunities for young Latin American directors. The concept stems from the idea of producing uncommon, reflective and humane movies with minimal and essential crew and production components. Based on a Cervantes short story, the first movie produced using the mechanics of this movement was Habana Havana (2004), directed by Arvelo. The film received a dozen international recognitions. In 2015, Arvelo directed the stage and video artwork of the multimedia performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and starring Bryce Dallas Howard. In 2010, Arvelo directed the staging of the multimedia Cantata Criolla, for the Los Angeles Philharmonic festival “America and Americas” starring Helen Hunt, Erich Wildpret and Edgar Ramirez. Arvelo’s much awarded Cyrano Fernández (2007) is an adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand’s classic play. Premiered at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles, Arvelo’s film preserves the essence of the love triangle, depicting it in the complex and breathtaking environment of a slum in Caracas. His acclaimed documentary To Play and to Fight (2006), premiered at the AFI Festival, delves into the lives of children from the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra (El Sistema), empowered by renowned classical music figures such as Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle and Gustavo Dudamel.


    With her impressive musical expressiveness and technical perfection, at the age of only 19, María Dueñas has quickly established herself as one of the most sought-after artists of her generation. Since winning the 2021 Menuhin Competition and the Audience Prize, the Spanish violinist has been in demand worldwide, making her debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresdner Philharmonie, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony Orchestra, as well as at the Grafenegg Festival, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Carnegie Hall. As a BBC New Generation Artist 2021–23, she will collaborate with the most relevant concert halls and orchestras across the U.K.

    Dueñas has already performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Marek Janowski, Manfred Honeck, Vladimir Spivakov, Vassily Sinaisky, Gustavo Gimeno, and Michael Sanderling.

    Many first prizes stand out in her career. Most recently, she was awarded the Getting to Carnegie Competition, Vladimir Spivakov International Competition, Zhuhai Mozart International Competition, and Yankelevitch Prize, to name a few. Born in Granada (Spain) in 2002, María Dueñas studies with Prof. Kuschnir at the Music and Art Private University of the City of Vienna and at the University of Music and Performing Arts of Grazin. María Dueñas plays on the Niccolò Gagliano violin, c. 17?4, kindly offered on loan from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, and on the Guarneri del Gesù “Muntz,” c. 1736, on generous loan from Nippon Music Foundation.


    The Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu was founded alongside the Teatre in 1847 and has been a central figure in the Spanish premieres of almost the entire operatic repertoire, from the Baroque to the present day. Over these nearly 175 years, the Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu has been conducted by some of the greatest maestros, including Arturo Toscanini, Erich Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, Hans Knapperstsbusch, Bruno Walter, Fritz Reiner, Richard Strauss, Alexander Glazunov, Ottorino Respighi, Pietro Mascagni, Igor Stravinsky, Manuel de Falla, Eduard Toldrà, and in contemporary times, by Riccardo Muti and Kirill Petrenko, as well as other eminent stage directors. The Liceu Chorus has historically been known for its well-suited vocal qualities for Italian opera, establishing a singing style under the guidance of the great Italian maestro Romano Gandolfi, assisted by maestro Vittorio Sicuri, who served as the principal conductor for eleven years. This tradition has continued with José Luis Basso, Conxita Garcia, and currently with Pablo Assante. Peter Burian, Andrés Máspero, and William Spaulding have also held the position of principal conductor of the Chorus.


    The chamber choir at the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Cor de Cambra, is one of the most prestigious professional choirs in Spain. The choir was founded by the Orfeó Català in 1990 with the goal of sharing universal choral music, helping to recover Catalan musical heritage and encouraging new compositions. Former choir directors include Jordi Casas i Bayer, Josep Vila i Casañas and Simon Halsey. Xavier Puig currently directs the choir, while Jordi Armengol is the choir pianist.

    All the choir members are required to have excellent vocal and artistic skills, which means the group has the musical abilities of a truly great choir. It has been conducted by great masters, such as René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim, Christophe Rousset, Vladimir Jurowski, Daniele Gatti, Simon Carrington and Fabio Biondi, and has collaborated with singers Philippe Jaroussky and Mark Padmore. The ensemble has been a member of The European Network for Professional Chamber Choirs (TENSO) since 2010.

    Internationally, highlights include the choir’s 2017 début at the BBC Proms in London, a tour with Jean-Christophe Spinosi and the Ensemble Matheus in 2018, and the choir’s début at the MÜPA festival in Budapest in 2022, with a program of ensaladas and madrigals from the Catalan Renaissance. The St. John Passion by Bach, under the direction of Xavier Puig, the première of Reconnaissance by Kaija Saariaho and Invocation to the earth by Xavier Pagès Corella, under the direction of Simon Halsey, were the highlights of the 2022 season. The most notable projects from the 2022-23 season include performing works by Palau de la Música Catalana guest composers Caroline Shaw and Ferran Cruixent (directed by Júlia Sesé, chorus master); a concert to commemorate the centenary of the Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya [Folk Songbook of Catalonia] which, with the goal of sharing professional choral music throughout Catalonia, toured a total of fifteen towns and cities; a second collaboration with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi on Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria by Monteverdi, and a new collaboration with Franco Fagioli and l’Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal de Versailles, including two concerts in the French auditorium.

    Highlights from the 2023-24 season include performances of The sacred veil by Eric Whitacre at both the Palau de la Música Catalana and Festival Vocal Saulus in Zaragoza, conducted by the composer himself; a performance of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea alongside The English Concert, conducted by Harry Bicket as part of the Palau Opera concert series; Die Fledermaus by Strauss, together with Les Musiciens du Louvre and under the baton of Mark Minkowski, performed at both the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris; and performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio alongside the LA Phil, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel, in concerts at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and on tour in Paris, London and Los Angeles. Last but not least, this season the choir has also produced and performed in two of its own concerts: A song to nature. A cry to the earth and A Schubertiade.

  • Contact:


    Los Angeles Philharmonic: Anna Ress, 760.420.7931,

    Lisa Bellamore, Crescent Communications, 323.500.3071,



    Martin Coulon, +33 (0) 6 63 40 03 35,