Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Debussy’s Pelléas & Mélisande Covers the City

Claude Debussy’s Pelléas & Mélisande conducted by James Conlon opens March 25 and runs through April 16th at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (photos from LA Opera)


Our LA Opera is giving us a wonderful gift of presenting Pelléas & Mélisande. LA Opera continues its 2022/23 season with Claude Debussy’s masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Music Director James Conlon. This is a new production to Los Angeles of this enigmatic tale of hidden longing and lingering suspicion.

“I am enormously pleased that Pelléas et Mélisande, one of the most rapturously beautiful operas in the entire repertory, is returning to LA Opera for the first time since 1995,” said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera’s president and CEO, in a statement about the production.

“Pelléas is one of my, and James Conlon’s, favorite operas, and for several years now, we’ve been planning to offer its enchantments to audiences. I can’t wait to hear Debussy’s beguiling score come to life in the hands of our extraordinary orchestra under his baton. And we welcome a world-class cast, with Will Liverman and Sydney Mancasola both making their eagerly anticipated house debuts in the title roles, and Kyle Ketelsen making an overdue return as Golaud. We are fortunate indeed to experience the legendary musicianship of Ferruccio Furlanetto and Susan Graham in pivotal roles. The production by Sir David McVicar perfectly embodies Maeterlinck and Debussy’s deeply sensual masterpiece.”

Join LAOpera for a city-wide celebration of Claude Debussy’s evocative and ethereal music. Plus pre-opera talks with maestro James Conlon will be before every performance. An extra bonus!


James Conlon will present a deep dive into the French composer Claude Debussy and explore his only opera.


In addition to the LA Opera performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, here are two more events around town.


LA Opera continues its 2022/23 season with Claude Debussy’s masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Music Director James Conlon.


The Ebell of Los Angeles: Impressions of Pelléas. Tuesday, April 4, 2023 – 6:30pm

Based on an enchanting story about a love triangle and an elusive woman found in the forest, Impressions de Pelléas is an abbreviated version of Debussy’s original five-act opera, Pelléas and Mélisande, reimagined on a chamber scale for two pianists and five singers. Under the baton of world-renowned conductor and music director at LA Opera, James Conlon, and performed by artists from LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program and the Colburn School, the story flows seamlessly across 100 minutes of ethereal music. Conceived as an intimate performance experience, Impressions of Pelléas is presented in a beautiful salon setting in the historic lounge at The Ebell of Los Angeles.

Approximately one hour prior to the start of the performance, James Conlon, whose pre-performance lectures have become events almost as highly anticipated as his musical presentations, will present a deep dive into the French composer Claude Debussy and explore his only opera.


Musical audio tour Claude Debussy: Refracting His Music through Art Narrated y Maestro James Conlon.


Norton Simon Museum: Claude Debussy: Refracting his Music through Art

The Norton Simon Museum is collaborating with LA Opera on an audio tour exploring the artistic legacy of Claude Debussy and his relationship to the visual artists of his time, including Claude Monet, Édouard Vuillard, and many others. Maestro Conlon narrates the tour and pairs selections from Debussy’s oeuvre with paintings in the Museum’s 19th-century galleries. Available in March, the audio tour can be streamed in the Norton Simon Museum galleries using your smartphone, or enjoyed at home as an audio slideshow on the Museum’s website.

That is really another great bonus. The Norton Simon is a jewel of a museum. You can see the online tour here.



Backstage with the Buzz is written by Sheila Tepper, Producer Cultural Programming. Sheila has lived in the Larchmont area for fifty years, among her passions have been passing legislation for children with disabilities and interviewing outstanding artists appearing in the Los Angeles area.


Post Script: In 1995 I produced a radio show with Peter Sellars lovingly interviewing his two principles when he directed Pelléas & Mélisande for the LA Opera.


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