THe story of numi opera
Numi Opera is a Los Angeles based opera company. The 2019/20 Season will be the company’s Inaugural offering. Conceived by Founding Director Gail Gordon, Numi Opera is a company inspired by her desire to stage works like the company’s debut productions, Alexander Von Zemlinky’s Der Zwerg, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt. These works not only share a connection to Los Angeles but also share the fate of having been suppressed and banned by the Nazi regime due to the Jewish Heritage of the composers. Ms. Gordon, the child of Jewish Immigrants, feels deeply that the neglect of works of art such as these due to Nazi suppression over the greater portion of a century must be rectified in order to heal a portion of the many injustices perpetrated on the underrepresented and oppressed throughout music history. Zemlinsky and Korngold are just two of the many lost voices that deserve a new audience in the present day.
The name Numi was chosen to evoke the Italian meaning of “the gods” or “the heavens” as in Verdi’s Aida when the divine spirit is invoked by a Priestess for the protection of Egypt, or appealed to by Aida for mercy “Numi, pieta…” It also is meant to recall the term “Numinous” or many, as in many voices. Ms. Gordon’s hope is that Numi Opera will guard and protect the many forgotten voices of these opera composers, reaching through the barriers of time and space and reanimating their creative genius so that they may return, victorious, to the stage and to the repertoire.
HISTORY AND LEADERSHIP
Gail Gordon, Founding Director of Numi Opera, began producing operas in 2000 with her first company, Opera Nova, which she founded to give young singers an opportunity to perform standard repertoire. She went on to lead the Santa Monica College Opera Theater in 2008. Ms. Gordon has produced many traditional operas from the master works of Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Bizet. In addition she was responsible for the acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. In producing this epic work that had only previously been heard at The Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Gordon discovered that there was a real desire from the Los Angeles public to experience new works. She carries this spirit of discovery forward into Numi Opera’s debut 2019/20 seasons. Ms. Gordon is passionate about her vision for Numi and has elected to donate her time and expertise until the company finds its footing in the community.
For any questions or for more information regarding Numi Opera please feel free to get in touch with Gail Gordon via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cristopher Luthi, Musical Director of Numi Opera, received his Master’s and Bachelor Degrees in Music at the University of Souther California. He has been a top prize winner in competitions at both the national and international levels. While a student at USC, Mr. Luthi was awarded a Teacher’s Assistantship and received the USC Keyboard Collaborative Arts Departmental Award. During the summer of 1999, Mr. Luthi was awarded a full fellowship at Tanglewood Music Center, where he participated as one of six vocal pianists. Mr. Luthi is currently the full-time Staff Accompanist and Vocal Coach at Fullerton College where he began his work in February of 2017. From 2006 to 2013, he was the full-time Staff Accompanist at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. He has also worked as Staff Accompanist at both Santa Monica College and Pasadena City College. In 2003, Mr. Luthi conducted the fully staged and orchestral production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica for Opera Nova.