Pacific Opera Project, founded in 2011, has rapidly grown beloved partly because of its irreverent style – one that has never sacrificed production values. In past years, POP has unstuffed opera with saucy performances of Cosi Fan Tutte, La Boheme, the Mikado, and others.
POP’s upcoming production, The Turn of the Screw (January 11, 12, 17, 18, 19) represents a risky departure from that proven formula, given the mad, ponderous tone of Benjamin Britten’s creation. It’s the first non-comedy, in fact, the company has attempted. Few have gone away from any Screw production humming the tunes.
True to form, POP co-founders Josh Shaw and Stephen Karr have, however, turned all the right, well, screws - for what promises to be a stirring production. Voices were given top consideration. Talents have been pulled from an impressive list of companies: Arizona Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Glimmerglass Festival, Indianapolis Opera, Nashville Opera, Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera.
The Turn of the Screw, presented at downtown Los Angeles’ Rosenthal Theater, will also be POP's most expensive production to date, partly given the full orchestra, another first. The company has been known to attract the most passionate of singers, given the shoestring budget that launches professional shows in a matter of weeks. Sold out audiences have become POP's norm, magnetized by the company's jocular style and downright authentic charm.
For a primer on The Turn of the Screw's ghostly plot, peruse SparkNotes' straightforward summary.
View video and photos of past Pacific Opera Project productions.