After sating itself with super-sized helpings of Gustav Mahler this winter, the Los Angeles Philharmonic won't be curbing its appetite for large-scale undertakings next year.
The Phil's 2012-13 season, which will be officially announced later Monday, is a combination of large- and medium-size projects (some new, some evolving from its current season), along with the return of several familiar faces (Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta).
And although there'll be nothing like this season's nine-course banquet of Mahler symphonies, the composer's Symphony No. 5 will be performed in October under guest conductor Daniel Harding.
The season also will have a distinctly operatic flavor, featuring several staged or semi-staged works. They include the second of a planned trilogy of Mozart/Da Ponte operas, "The Marriage of Figaro," conducted by the Phil's music director, Gustavo Dudamel, with sets designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel and costumes by couturier Azzedine Alaïa.
Deborah Borda, the Phil's president, said in an interview that the Mozart project, which the Phil conceived with architect Frank Gehry, grew out of Dudamel's belief that "an orchestra needs to play Mozart, for purity of sound, and they also need to play opera once in a while, to be nimble."
The project is allowing the Phil to continue to explore the spatial and staging possibilities of Gehry's iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Rather than opera sets, Borda described the planned Mozart designs as "installations."