8 Must-See Los Angeles Performances

Lang Lang offers a recital on Sunday, March 22 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. photo Courtesy CAMI Music.

From the L.A. Opera’s Hercules vs. Vampires, to dancers and musicians journeying through space and place, check out these eight must-see Los Angeles performances.

Los Angeles Master Chorale
The Los Angeles Master Chorale brings its season to a heady finish. Water becomes a transformative musical instrument in Tan Dun’s riveting Water Passion After St. Matthew for choir, soloists, chamber ensemble and 10 illuminated water bowls; artistic director Grant Gershon leads the work April 11-12 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Closing concerts May 16-17 are devoted to music of Eric Whitacre, who grew up in Nevada, and Arvo Pärt, raised in Estonia. Whitacre’s pioneering Virtual Choir series layers audio from thousands of singers around the world into ecstatic online choral performances; the LAMC program includes his Lux Aurumque and Cloudburst. Pärt, whose reflective, chant-like approach to composition is often referred to as “mystic minimalism,” is represented by works including Missa Syllabica and The Beatitudes. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.7282. lamc.org

L.A. Opera’s Hercules vs. Vampires
Technicolor opera slays bloodsuckers with song! L.A. Opera’s Hercules vs. Vampires, April 23-26 at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, combines opera and midcentury pop culture, synchronizing live music with a 1961 sword-and-sandal epic starring bodybuilder Reg Park: the cult fantasy film Hercules in the Haunted World. When the film’s actors open their mouths to speak, their lines are sung by vocalists from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. The film follows Hercules on a Technicolor journey to rescue his beloved from a fiendish mastermind played by horror legend Christopher Lee. A new score by Patrick Morganelli complements Italian director Mario Bava’s gorgeously gaudy world. 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.8001. laopera.org

Colburn Celebrity Series
The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents a bevy of stellar pianists on its Colburn Celebrity Series at Walt Disney Concert Hall in March and April. Sir András Schiff presents late sonatas by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert March 4. Murray Perahia and Lang Lang offer recitals on successive Sundays, March 15 and 22 respectively. Perahia frames Haydn and Beethoven sonatas with a Bach French Suite, Franck’s Prelude, Chorale and Fugue and a Chopin Scherzo; Lang Lang offers Bach’s Italian Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons and all of Chopin’s scherzos. Hélène Grimaud presents an intriguing cornucopia of works—by Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt, Janácek and Debussy and concluding with the Brahms Sonata No. 2—when she appears April 14. 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 323.850.2000. laphil.org

Space Opera
Choreographer Heidi Duckler explores the intersection of dance and architecture in Space Opera, March 15 and 22 at Thom Mayne’s Morphosis. Her Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre and live musicians lead the audience on a literal and figurative journey through space and place, traversing the building’s parking lot, cavernous interior and garden courtyard. Duckler uses performances in unexpected places to bring attention to historical and architecturally significant venues. Morphosis, the firm run by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, has designed some of the area’s most recognizable and stunning buildings. 3440 Wesley St., Culver City, 818.784.8669. heididuckler.org

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