Aficionados of big voices have been waiting for Christine Brewer to appear in a Los Angeles Opera production for a long time. Indeed, there were a couple of occasions where she was dangled tantalizingly before us, singing song recitals somewhere in town while Wagner’s “Ring” operas -- her natural habitat -- were playing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
But Brewer’s LA Opera debut finally came Wednesday night in a most unorthodox way -- slipping into the cast of Britten’s chamber opera “Albert Herring” toward the end of its run. That’s right -- a chamber opera, and a comedy at that, written for an ensemble cast of equals.
Fortunately, Brewer’s part -- that of the lordly arbiter of small-town morals, Lady Billows (which she sang in the Santa Fe edition of this production in 2010) -- can sort of lend itself to a Wagnerian soprano. Britten used one, Sylvia Fisher, on his own recording of “Herring.”