Dulce Rosa: Scene 4 Church design 

Jenny Okun’s Photographic Artwork brings 
Dulce Rosa to Life

Los Angeles, CA – April XX, 2013 – Jenny Okun will bring the stage to life this summer with her photographic artworks created for the Los Angeles Opera’s world premiere of composer Lee Holdridge’s new opera Dulce Rosa, conducted by Placido Domingo. The opera is based on an Isabel Allende short story Una Venganza and adapted by Richard Sparks (librettist and director).  The opera will be performed on Friday May 17th, Saturday May 25th, Tuesday May 28th, Monday June 3rd, Thursday June 6th and Sunday June 9th.

When asked about where she envisioned the location of Una Venganza, Allende replied that she was thinking about a generic South American theme rather than any specific country. Thus began Jenny’s travels in South and Central America.

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

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

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

Shooting Locations included the following:

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

Peru: Lima provided the stately palace images and the dark and dangerous dockland night street scenes for the opening prologue. 

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

Spain: The final hacienda garden scene was a combination of gardens in Cordoba, Spain and at the Mexican haciendas. The elaborate chandeliers in the presidential palace were 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 the jungle scenes and some of the church shots.  The bizarre topiary garden path was also in Costa Rica.  The garden where the lovers farewell duet takes place is a combination of photographs from Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico.  Churches, madonna, angels  and stained glass were discovered throughout small rural churches in Costa Rica. 

Stage step-up

Yael Pardess designed three shaped walls for the Broad Stage, on which Jenny’s compositions will be projected.  Working together, Jenny and Yael created a flow which enhances the mood of the opera as well as serving the narrative.

There are just over 200 image changes in the 14 scenes of Dulce Rosa.  This is quite the feast for the eyes as more traditional operas have one-set-per-scene production.  The images cross-fade very slowly as the action unfolds, in harmony with the singers and the music.  The audience will settle into a ride of beautiful music and images that immerse them in the world of the romantic tragedy that is Dulce Rosa.

An exhibition of the images in the opera Dulce Rosa will be at the Craig Krull Gallery June 1 – July with an opening party on the June 1st from 4:00-6:00pm.  As well as the main show of images there will be some of the mockups for the stage design and a short film loop of the changing images in the opera.


Invitation info below:





Stage Projections from the Opera Dulce Rosa

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

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Building B-3 
Santa Monica, California 90404 
Tel: (310) 828-6410 . Fax: (310) 828-7320
Tuesday - Friday, 10:00a.m. - 5:30p.m.
Saturday, 11a.m. - 5:30p.m.


Lauren Newhouse
Ballantines PR 
LA Office: 
Cell: (310)454-3080
Fax: (310) 943-1978