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There's a Wagner in town and it's not the 'Ring'

April 21, 2010 |  5:00 am

Despite our present-day mania for assembling the “complete everything” by the great composers, “Das Liebesverbot“ — along with Wagner's other early operas “Die Feen” and “Rienzi” — remain in the shadows, rarely tested by revivals.

In the case of “Liebesverbot,” we may be missing out on a lost gem, if a modest and atypical one by Wagnerian standards.

This is USC Thornton Opera's contribution to Ring Festival LA, a production that in some ways is even more unusual than the "Ring" itself. It is the West Coast premiere — and only the second staged production in North America — of Wagner's almost completely unknown second opera, "Das Liebesverbot" (The Ban on Love).

The performances are Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Richard Ginell watched the preparations and wrote about it for Calendar. Here's his story.

-- Sherry Stern

Photo: Music director Brent McMunn, front right, and stage director Ken Cazan, front left, direct the cast during rehearsal of "Das Liebesverbot." Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times