Stig Pettersson Takes on Strindberg in Hermosa Beach

06/23/2010 03:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Saturday, June 19, 8 pm
Live at the Lounge, Hermosa Beach

Saturday night was the West Coast premiere of Stig Pettersson's new chamber opera based on Strindberg's The Dream Play. It's about the daughter of a Vedic ruler, who comes to earth to see what humans are like, and finds herself intrigued with their options for procreation.


The music that accompanies the daughter's journey is mostly ethereal, using the voices of young women, accordion, bells, xylophone, and even a little toy bugle. You can find the CD here.

Earlier in the evening, Yana Reznik on a Boston grand and Bolivian soprano Gian-Carla Tisera had charmed the audience with Cacinni and dazzled them with Rossini. First clarinetist of the Pacific Symphony Ben Lulich played a Mozart fantasy with lots of notes by Mozart's friend Franz Danzi.

Maxim Velitchkin took over for the rest of the first half, improvising in a larger-than-life Russian manner on themes from European operas and films that none of us could name. Supposedly there was a quote from Shostakovich. The experience was wild and untamed.

I was on the bill, too, impersonating a classical music critic with a late-night sense of humor.