The Los Angeles Theatre, S. Charles Lee's splendid French confection of 1930, still struggling by on the revenues the owners make from renting out the spectacular premises for the filming of movies, television shows and commercials, is going to go live for a week, courtesy of The Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, which will be presenting a production of Alber's rarely performed 1856 version of Manon Lescaut. This theatre is a perfect setting for a 19th century French opera.
Though I've never seen a live performance in the theatre, I've seen movies from every part of the house and know that it has excellent sight lines, and I suspect the acoustics to be as good. That this will be the west coast premier of Auber's Manon is quite surprising, as several west coast cities had thriving opera audiences from as early as the latter third of the 19th century. Even had this work never been mounted in Los Angeles, I'd have thought that at least San Francisco or Seattle would have seen a production. I've never heard Auber's Manon, though I;ve heard parts of Massenet's later version and all of Puccini's, which is the most recent. Maybe that says something about Auber's work, or maybe it just says something about west coast audiences.