andreas mitisek for laweekly’s people issue

May 22, 2012

Though I have been blogging for the L.A. Weekly for a few years now, I was very excited that the 2012 People Issue would mark my first feature story to be put in print. But with my luck, I was in Europe for the entire time it was on stands! Oh well. I am honored that the editors chose one my pitches out of apparently the hundreds of pages of suggestions they received and allowed me to profile Andreas, a Long Beach-via-Vienna visionary I have been intrigued by since I first heard of the Long Beach Opera in 2010.

Andreas Mitisek: Where Opera Dares to Go

AndreasMitisek_9877.jpgAndreas Mitisek is sitting in the Long Beach Opera’s modest church-rental office near the southern terminus of the 710 freeway, days after wrapping the first performances of the current season.

“It all started with the opera in a parking garage,” says Mitisek, the company’s Austrian-born artistic and general director, in his thick, Schwarzenegger-esque accent. That’s when Long Beach’s oldest professional opera company abandoned a traditional performance space for a 2007 production of Grigori Frid’s one-woman opera The Diary of Anne Frank.

The phrase “opera in a parking garage” casually rolls off his tongue, as if it were perfectly natural for the art form to be presented in a ghostly concrete structure meant to store cars.

It’s the same nonchalance with which he says “opera in a pool,” “opera in an abandoned furniture store” and “spaces of unexplored theatricality.” But opera, of course, is not usually performed in these unconventional locales. It has lived for centuries in temples like La Scala and the Met.


Check out the entire People 2012 issue here.


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