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Dulce Rosa



Dulce Rosa: Scene 4 Church design 

Jenny Okun’s Photographic Artwork brings Dulce Rosa to Life


Los Angeles, CA – April 2013 –Jenny Okun will bring the stage to life this summer with her photographicartworks created for the Los Angeles Opera’s world premiere of composer LeeHoldridge’s new opera Dulce Rosa, conducted by Placido Domingo. Theopera is based on an Isabel Allende short story Una Venganza andadapted by Richard Sparks (librettist and director).  The opera will beperformed on Friday May 17th, Saturday May 25th, Tuesday May 28th, Monday June3rd, Thursday June 6th and Sunday June 9th.

When asked about where she envisioned the locationof Una Venganza, Allende replied that she was thinking about ageneric South American theme rather than any specific country. Thus beganJenny’s travels in South and Central America.

Jenny had many Spanish themes already shot for a DonGiovanni; however, she needed to capture the overall texture of LatinAmerican life. She visited and snapped photos of jungles, presidential palaces,gardens, haciendas, churches, small towns and big cities. Her travels took herto Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru.

Plácido Domingo, Artistic Director of the Los AngelesOpera and conductor of Dulce Rosa, fell in love with Jenny’s photos– as did his wife, Marta Domingo, a distinguished opera directorherself.  “Anything can happen in this surreal setting!”  Martaexclaimed.

Isabel Allede writes: "By the end of 2012 Richardand Lee came to my house in Marin County to show me in their PCs the result ofall those years of dreaming and creating. I was able to hear the beautifulmusic composed by Lee, discuss the libretto written by Richard, hear most ofthe singers rehearsing, and see, in amazement, the fantastic sets that Yael Pardessand Jenny Okun imagined for this opera. I was very impressed. All that talentand effort invested in bringing my story to life! By the end of thatunforgettable day I was on the verge of tears. Since then I have not been ableto get the music and some of the scenes out of my head; they haunt me, as Ihope they will haunt everyone who sees it."


Shooting Locations included the following:

Ecuador: InQuito, Jenny found city streets, the presidential palace and some jungle shots.


Peru: Limaprovided the stately palace images and the dark and dangerous dockland nightstreet scenes for the opening prologue. 


Mexico:Surrounding Merida, Mexico were many beautiful old haciendas, some intact andsome in ruins, for the before and after the raid images.  The beautifulyellow church in the festival scene was found in Mexico, as were the floralpatterns in the bedroom scene.


Spain: Thefinal hacienda garden scene was a combination of gardens in Cordoba, Spain andat the Mexican haciendas. The elaborate chandeliers in the presidential palacewere shot in Seville, Spain.  The town raid streets were in Granada,Spain.


Costa Rica:Costa Rica provided the sloping hills surrounding the hacienda as well as thejungle scenes and some of the church shots.  The bizarre topiary gardenpath was also in Costa Rica.  The garden where the loversfarewell duet takes place is a combination of photographs from Peru, Costa Ricaand Mexico.  Churches, madonna, angels  andstained glass were discovered throughout small rural churches in CostaRica. 


Stage step-up

Yael Pardess designed threeshaped walls for the Broad Stage, on which Jenny’s compositions will beprojected.  Working together, Jenny and Yael created a flowwhich enhances the mood of the opera as well as serving the narrative.

There are just over 200 imagechanges in the 14 scenes of Dulce Rosa.  This is quitethe feast for the eyes as more traditional operas have one-set-per-sceneproduction.  The images cross-fade very slowly as theaction unfolds, in harmony with the singers and the music.  Theaudience will settle into a ride of beautiful music and images that immersethem in the world of the romantic tragedy that is Dulce Rosa.

An exhibition of the images in the opera DulceRosa will be at the Craig Krull Gallery June 1 – July with anopening party on the June 1st from 4:00-6:00pm.  As well as the main showof images there will be some of the mockups for the stage design and a shortfilm loop of the changing images in the opera.



Stage Projections from the Opera Dulce Rosa

June 1st – July 6th 2013
Opening Reception June 1st  4 -6pm



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