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L.A. Opera canceling Hungarian 'Bank Ban' production

July 18, 2011 | 11:00 pm

Domingo Los Angeles Opera said Monday that it is calling off a production of the Hungarian opera "Bánk Bán," which was planned for November.

Plácido Domingo, who serves as general director of L.A. Opera, had been expected to conduct the 19th century opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

In a statement, Domingo said that "after several months of working closely with our prospective Hungarian co-presenters, we have been unable to reach an  agreement in a timely enough fashion for us to perform 'Bánk Bán' in a production that would meet all of our artistic standards, and do justice to the significance of the opera."

Stephen Rountree, the chief executive of L.A. Opera, said  the opera was being financed primarily by a Hungarian production company, with all the sets and costumes manufactured in Hungary.

Rountree said that the producers were not able to get the money and other production components in place in time for the scheduled opening.

Fundraising efforts for "Bánk Bán" had already commenced, including a recent social event organized by the Hungarian consulate.

The L.A. production of "Bánk Bán" was to have marked the U.S. premiere of the opera, which is considered one of the most important in Hungarian culture. Composed by Ferenc Erkel in 1861, the tragic opera is based on the play by József Katona and is set in the medieval court of King Endre II.

-- David Ng


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Photo: Plácido Domingo. Credit: Thibault Camus / Associated Press