This is Episode 167 with Dr. Joshua Wentz, the artistic director of Mission Opera
This is episode 167 with our guest Joshua Wentz, the Director of the artistic director for Mission Opera and an Associate Professor of Music at Los Angeles Mission College
Joshua Wentz serves as the Director of Music at Santa Clarita United Methodist Church and Production Manager of Landmark Opera in Los Angeles as well as Artistic Director and President of Mission Opera.
Launched in 2019, Mission Opera strives to produce high-quality, accessible opera and musical theater, to provide members of the community the opportunity to participate at all levels of these productions, and to afford both participants and audiences enjoyment and a deeper appreciation of opera and musical theater. Mission Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
And Mission Opera is the reason I sat down to talk to Joshua. His organization, Mission Opera is performing a short opera on the weekends of June 6th and 7th and June 12th and 13th. The piece is called “Le 66,” and is a one-act comedic piece. The story is about two traveling musicians who get lost on the way to help a distant cousin but get side-tracked when a peddler sells them a lottery ticket.
Josh knows that bringing opera to the masses is a challenge due to preconceived expectations by some that opera can be pretentious, is often in a foreign language, some even consider it boring. Knowing this, Mission Opera is working toward making it more appealing to the mainstream. For example “le 66” will be performed in both English and French. A caption viewer with translations is often provided at foreign language performances as well.
I don’t claim to know much about opera but I do recognize the work which is involved in producing one and I certainly respect anyone who attempts to produce one. I found Josh to be really interesting with a great attitude. He knows the challenges he has with his organization but seems eager to take them head on. Also, how can you not admire someone that is doing something for the simple love of an artform?
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