Long Beach Opera artistic director nominated for Grammy

Long Beach Opera artistic director James Darrah received a Grammy nomination last week—joining other local performing arts organizations and leaders receiving national award recognition over the past year.

Darrah’s nomination for Best Opera Recording came for his work as a producer of the Opera Philadelphia performance of “Soldier Songs” by composer David T. Little. Based on interviews with veterans of five wars, the cinematic piece “boldly examines the impact of trauma, the exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing war’s painful truths.”

Only the third artistic director in the Long Beach Opera’s 42-season history, Darrah joined the company earlier this year after the Los Angeles-based director, designer and filmmaker’s recent work producing digital classical concerts and film-adaptations of operas made him one of the most sought-after opera creatives in the nation.

Last year, composer Anthony Davis’ “The Central Park Five,” which premiered with the Long Beach Opera in June 2019, won the Pulitzer Prize for music. Composed by Davis and directed by previous LBO artistic director Andreas Mitisek, the work employed classic opera style as well as jazz and hip-hop to tell the story of New York youths falsely accused of rape.

And earlier this year, six-time Grammy nominee James K. Bass, artistic director of Long Beach Camerata Singers, became a first-time winner. Bass won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance for his work with the UCLA Chamber Choir, of which he is director, and JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, in a performance of Richard Danielpour’s “The Passion of Yeshua.”

The 2022 Grammy Awards are scheduled on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. and will be televised on CBS and Paramount+.

‘Central Park Five,’ premiered by Long Beach Opera, wins Pulitzer Prize for music

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