City Opera

Music for Story's Sake

CITY Opera To Premiere Inaugural Production at the La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls (WoW) Festival

Below is the press release from the La Jolla Playhouse.



La Jolla, CA – La Jolla Playhouse, nationally-renowned for its commitment to the development of new work and new theatrical forms, is pleased to announce the projects and collaborators for its second Without Walls (WoW) Festival taking place October 9 – 11.

“Our inaugural Without Walls Festival in 2013 exceeded our wildest expectations, demonstrating that San Diego audiences continue to have a voracious appetite for one-of-a-kind experiences that transform our customary idea of theatre,” said Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.

Ashley continued, “Across the theatre landscape, the relationship between the audience and the art is changing, and immersive theatre is taking place out in the world, playing with boundaries and experimenting with form. The audience is right in the middle of the action, creating a singular event that truly engages and surprises. The Playhouse continues to stand at the leading edge of this burgeoning trend with our Without Walls program, and this year’s Festival welcomes even more collaborators to the table, with projects by some of our favorite local companies, as well as national and international artists, creating a spectacular three-day, community-wide celebration of immersive and site-inspired work.”

The 2015 WoW Festival will showcase more than 20 events occurring simultaneously in and around the UC San Diego/La Jolla Playhouse Theatre District. This year’s event boasts numerous collaborations with renowned San Diego theatre and dance companies, along with several national and international artists, including Liz Lerman, Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater, Ion Theatre, City Opera, Animal Cracker Conspiracy, Fern Street Circus, THE TRIP, ArtPower, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective in association with Switzerland’s Drift Company, along with Canada’s CORPUS, Pittsburgh’s Bricolage Production Company, San Francisco’s Ubuntu Theatre Project in association with San Diego REPertory Theatre, Los Angeles’ Chalk Repertory Theatre, and a return of Moving Arts’ highly-popular The Car Plays. The Festival will also feature several projects by UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance faculty, students and alumni. Additional projects, along with performance times, locations and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Similar to the acclaimed 2013 Festival, this exciting event will serve as a cultural and artistic hub, including a vibrant central Festival Village, where patrons can gather to enjoy food truck fare, relax in the beer garden, hear free acoustic music performances and share Festival experiences. The Festival will also include a Family Day on Saturday, October 10, with several hands-on, family-friendly programs presented by the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum and the Timken Museum.

Since its inception in 2009, Without Walls has become one of San Diego’s most popular and acclaimed performance programs. This signature Playhouse initiative is designed to break the barriers of traditional theatre. Over the last six years, the Playhouse has been commissioning and presenting a series of immersive and site-specific productions at locations throughout the San Diego community, including Susurrus (2010), The Car Plays: San Diego (2011), Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (2012), Accomplice: San Diego (2013), El Henry (2014) and, most recently, The Grift at the Lafayette Hotel (2015). Underscoring the theatre’s mission of providing “unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow,” coupled with the idea that the Playhouse is defined by the work it creates, not the space in which it is performed, WoW is designed to offer theatrical experiences that venture beyond the physical confines of the Playhouse’s facilities.

Festival productions will go on sale in August and will feature a mix of free ticketed events. For more information on programming and artists, visit

Queen of Carthage (World Premiere Adaptation) Produced by City Opera
Queen of Carthage is a contemporary re-imagining of Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas, directed by Cynthia Stokes. Set in a grove of trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the new libretto by Cory Hibbs delves into Dido’s self-sabotage in spite of Aeneas’ love for her. The words and music combine to tell a story of betrayal, obsession and jealousy.

CITY Opera (Queen of Carthage), led by Co-Artistic Directors Cory Hibbs and Cynthia Stokes, is a new, artist-driven opera company in San Diego dedicated to building community by turning beautiful music into stunning theatre and contributing to the dynamic reimagining of opera in America for the 21st century.

At UC San Diego, innovation and creativity are central to who they are and what they do. Students learn that knowledge isn’t just acquired in the classroom – life is their laboratory. UC San Diego is an academic powerhouse and economic engine, recognized as one of the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report and ranked number one in the nation for public service by Washington Monthly. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, UC San Diego Theatre & Dance has been one of the top-ranked theater programs in the country for more than a decade. Training is imaginative, eclectic and interdisciplinary. The department does not believe there can be – or should be – one approach to making work. UC San Diego shapes minds, changes lives, launches industries and builds the student, one discovery and one achievement at a time.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who’s Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page To Stage Program. Visit