July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 Andreas Mitisek

by Nancie Clare / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Peden + Munk

Andreas Mitisek Artistic and general director of the Long Beach Opera since the 2003-04 season, Mitisek wants nothing less than to change the sensibility audiences bring to seeing opera. Attending a performance doesn’t mean sitting in plush seats and watching centuries-old compositions played as they have been for generations. “When you go see a film, you want to see something new, not something that was made 30 years ago,” he says. “So, why should you always want to see the same opera?” He staged Orpheus & Euridice, a newly commissioned work by Ricky Ian Gordon, at a pool that represented the River Styx and The Diary of Anne Frank in the Sinai Temple underground parking garage. Mitisek, who trained in Austria, eventually left his homeland to take his vision of alternative opera to the New World. Austria’s loss was Long Beach’s gain.