Free opera screenings offered in L.A., O.C.

LOS ANGELES The screenings will take place at downtown's California Plaza on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and also at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.

Admission is free and no tickets are required.

"I am absolutely thrilled at the incredible audience response to this wonderful new opera, and I knew that this would be the perfect occasion for LA Opera to present its first public screenings as our special gift to the community," said Placido Domingo, who performs the leading role of Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda in the opera.

The screenings will feature a recorded performance of "Il Postino," which is sung in Spanish with English subtitles.

At the California Plaza, seating will be provided for up to 5,000 people. For the Costa Mesa screening, guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs or other portable seating.

The opera, composed by Daniel Catan, is based on the Academy Award-winning 1994 Italian film, "Il Postino" and is also based on the 1985 novel, "Ardiente Paciencia" by Antonio Skamenta.

The story follows a shy young postman in a tiny Italian fishing village, who discovers the courage to pursue his dreams through his daily deliveries to the famous poet Neruda.

Although the storyline is set in Italy, the opera is sung in Spanish, reflecting the nationality of the composer and the mother tongue of Neruda, whose poetry is featured in the opera.

In addition to Domingo, the opera also features tenor Charles Castronovo as Mario the postman and soprano Amanda Squitieri as the cafe waitress Beatrice.

The world premiere of the opera took place Sept. 23 on the opening night of LA Opera's 2010-11 season.

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