The Industry is an independent, artist-driven company creating experimental productions that expand the definition of opera. The Industry has been praised for “quickly and dramatically making itself an essential component in American opera” (Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times) and “the coolest opera company in the world” (Brian Lauritzen, KUSC).
Founded by Artistic Director Yuval Sharon, The Industry burst onto the creative scene with the 2012 premiere of CRESCENT CITY, a large-scale, interdisciplinary opera by Anne LeBaron and Douglas Kearney. Opening to rave reviews, the production’s striking intersection of visual artistry and musical ingenuity firmly established The Industry as an innovative force in American opera.
In June of 2013, the company presented FIRST TAKE at the Hammer Museum, a concert reading of six works-in-progress by Pauline Oliveros, Mohammed Fairouz, David Brynjar Franzson, Ellen Reid, Aaron Siegel, and Alexander Vassos, establishing a biannual venue for the exploration of new operatic works.
In 2013 The Industry garnered international recognition for INVISIBLE CITIES, an operatic adaptation of Italo Calvino’s novel, composed by Christopher Cerrone. Staged in the spectacular public areas of Los Angeles Union Station, the opera was produced for wireless headphones and marked significant collaborations with L.A. Dance Project and Sennheiser.
Highway One, an initiative to celebrate creative milestones in California’s countercultural musical history, launched in 2014. The first project in this series was IN C, an imaginative staging of Terry Riley’s iconic 1964 masterpiece, performed in the courtyard of the Hammer Museum.
In 2014 The Industry established its own label, The Industry Records, for presenting high-quality recordings of new experimental American opera. The first release was INVISIBLE CITIES by Christopher Cerrone, in November 2014, with reviews from New York Times, Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. The Industry Records released The Edge of Forever by Los Angeles-based composer Lewis Pesacov in Spring 2016. The HOPSCOTCH album, which combined the live performance and studio recordings, was released in 2017 on The Industry Records. In 2018 we released YOUNG CAESAR, which was performed and recorded live with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The Industry co-presented the second biennial FIRST TAKE, the only West Coast workshop of new American operas, with wild Up music ensemble, in February 2015. First Take is quickly establishing itself as one of the most compelling platforms for the exploration of new ideas in American opera. First Take 2015 featured composers Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Nomi Epstein, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Anne LeBaron, Andrew McIntosh
In 2015 The Industry presented HOPSCOTCH with music by Veronika Krausas, Marc Lowenstein, Andrew McIntosh, Andrew Norman, Ellen Reid, and David Rosenboom, unfolding in 24 cars zigzagging throughout Los Angeles and telling a single story of a disappearance in time. In this unprecedented city-wide event, six composer-librettist teams collaborated with over 120 musicians, singers, designers, and dancers on a world premiere opera. Audiences experienced the work in both the intimacy of a car, where artists and audiences shared a confined space, or for free in the Central Hub, a temporary space where all the journeys were streamed live, creating a dizzying panorama of life in Los Angeles.
Lab, The Industry’s platform for experiments in the collaborative process, was established in 2016. The first project paired dancer/choreographer Danielle Agami (Ate9 Dance Company) and experimental vocalist/composer Odeya Nini to create GEST, a new work for body and voice.
From Fall 2016-Spring 2019, Artistic Director Yuval Sharon will serve as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Artist-Collaborator for a three-year residency, which includes collaborations each year with The Industry. Our first project in 2016 with the LA Phil was NIMBUS. Activating an overlooked corridor of Frank Gehry’s magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall, this visual and sound installation, with music by Rand Steiger, becomes a sonic “timepiece” for the building, accompanying visitors to the hall on their escalator ride through the building. Live performances animated the installation throughout the year.
In February 2017 The Industry teamed with wild Up to present our third iteration of FIRST TAKE featuring composers Laura Karpman, John Hasting, William Gardiner and Thomas Rawle, Marc Lowenstein, Nicholas Deyoe and Dylan Mattingly. We also launched SECOND TAKE, a deeper investment in new opera that commissions an entire opera, with a live performance, from the previous FIRST TAKE program. For our inaugural SECOND TAKE we presented BONNIE AND CLYDE composed by Andrew McIntosh with words by Melinda Rice. Together, FIRST TAKE and SECOND TAKE provide a rare and vital opportunity for American opera creators to test new works before the public, in a concert setting with full orchestration.
Our second collaboration with The Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2017 was YOUNG CAESAR, Lou Harrison’s sublime and sinuous depiction of Caesar’s love for another man, was performed and recorded live with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Industry’s new performance edition fuses Harrison’s original gamelan-inspired orchestration with his later lush orchestral writing.
WAR OF THE WORLDS, in November of 2017, was The Industry’s most audacious experiment since HOPSCOTCH. This large-scale, citywide collaborative performance experience was a powerful engagement with public life–bringing opera out of the concert hall and into the streets. Three defunct air raid sirens located in downtown Los Angeles were re-purposed into public speakers to broadcast a live performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The notorious 1938 radio drama created by Orson Welles came to new life with music by Annie Gosfield, directed by The Industry’s Yuval Sharon, conducted by Christopher Rountree and narrated by Sigourney Weaver.
In November 2018 The Industry, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, took over soundstage 23 on the Sony Studios and presented John Cage’s “readymade” experiment EUROPERAS 1 & 2. Fusing fragments of arias and duets from 64 European operas and repurposing found sets and costumes, Cage creates a singular collage of music and theater that both upends and pays tribute to the operatic tradition. This new production was anchored in our local environs and LA history with hand-painted backdrops, props, and costumes from the classic Hollywood era.