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'Moscow, Cherry Town': A Shostakovich to sing about

May 7, 2011 | 11:00 am

Moscow Dmitri Shostakovich and "wild romp" are not usually uttered in the same sentence. Yet when Long Beach Opera is talking about its next mounting, the composer's "Moscow, Cherry Town," here you have it:

“This is the company's first Shostakovich,” said Isabel Milenski, the director of the production. “Andreas said he wanted a wild romp, and I assured him I could give him one.”

Andreas is the Long Beach Opera artistic and general director Andreas Mitisek, who is also conducting the upcoming performances in three venues.

 “Moscow, Cherry Town" is the Russian composer's sole operetta. Some call it a musical. Rarely performed, the 1958 effort is to receive its first West Coast staging May 15 as the penultimate production of Long Beach Opera's current season.

Read more in David Mermelstein's Arts & Book story about the composer and his little-seen romp.

Photo: Baritone Robin Buck in the role of Barabashkin rehearses Long Beach Opera's production of Shostakovich's musical-cum-opera "Moscow, Cherry Town." Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times