Esa-Pekka Salonen & the Los Angeles Philharmonic were supposed to start the season -- Salonen's last one as Music Director before he passes the big baton to Dudi -- with a totally Gothic program of Stravinsky’s Firebird, and the Secret Police Scene from Ligeti’s Le Grande Macabre (with Dawn Upshaw officiating) for the opening night gala on October 2, 2008.
Well, no moah.
It's not like they added arias from Barbiere, but the program has been modified, and the sadness srsly toned down. Audra McDonald and Barbara Hannigan will join Upshaw in a program that now includes John Adams, Stephen Sondheim, Duke Ellington, Styne/Cahn’s 10,432 Sheep and Stravinsky’s No Word from Tom from The Rake’s Progress . Um, what?
Esa-Pekka must have been acting like Tom Cruise in Risky Business when his parents leave him alone for the weekend, and he wrecks his dad's Porsche and turns the house into a bordello -- only E-Pek had been given the keys for opening night and he was all ~LETS DO THIS~ it's my last year so let's take off our pants & eat donuts at midnight & pop some NoDoz & scare the pants off the audience with some srsly gothy tunes.
I guess turning Uncle Frank's (Gehry) polished, elegantly crushed beer can into a Halloween pumpkin must be tough, even for Esa-Pekka who remains teh mang.